Ask a dozen Advisers and you’ll get a dozen different answers. And they will all be right.
Every insurance company has something to offer – but some are better in one area and others better somewhere else.
Really the most important question is “which is the best insurer for YOU?”
It’s our job to work that out by understanding your needs, your budget and then to provide you with insurance coverage options that meet your requirements and from the Insurance company that is right for you.
Even tougher question!
Insurance is not a ‘one size fits all’ deal. Your insurance needs to be tailored precisely for you.
And there are so many factors that will come into it:
• Do you have kids?
• A mortgage?
• How’s your health?
• How old are you?
• What do you want to protect? – Your income? The kid’s inheritance? Your lifestyle?
And we are only just getting started!
So your insurance needs will depend on your personal situation and budget. We will help you make the adjustments you need – maybe more insurance – maybe less!
Your insurance should keep pace with you. Not the other way round!
Impossible to say!
We know that sounds like a cop-out but the price will depend on the cover you want, what you need (which is different to want!), your age and your health
Getting instant quotes off the web, banks, or over the phone can seem quick and cheap but it also means that the policies will not be tailored for you. And you may be paying for cover that you can never claim on! And when it doesn’t pay out your ‘quick and cheap’ insurance is suddenly very damned expensive!
So as to the cost. We do not want to you to be paying too much but you need to be covered properly. Now unless money is not an issue (Yeah, Right!) we will have to adjust your cover to make it the best it can be. And that is why your cover needs to be tailored for you.
Choosing the right cover means you can continue to comfortably afford it. Because having insurance is playing the ‘long game’. You might not make a claim right now but, sooner or later, you will! And when that happens the cost of your cover won’t bother you at all!
All you need to know is:
• What each company offers in their policies (and that includes the fine print!)?
• What are the terms and conditions of individual policies?
• What are the differences in the requirements for various policies?
• What are the requirements for claim payouts for individual policies?
• What are the differences between all the companies?
• What do you do if there is ever an issue with an insurance company?
Now if you have all of that under control getting your insurance cover will be easy because any insurance company will take your money - even if what you want is wrong, provided that
• you fit their criteria: and
• you can pay the premium.
So why do they do this?
They just presume that you know what you are doing! (even if you don’t!)
And that’s where we come in.
We will make sure your policy is right for you, will service your policy on a regular basis, and be there to help you with claims and issues. And this will cost you exactly the same as if you did it yourself. In fact, by using our free services, your premium costs could even be lower because you won’t be paying for things you don’t really need!
So why would you want to do it yourself?
That depends on how much of a gambler you are.
Now if you are prepared to bet that you will
• never get sick,
• never have an accident,
• never be able to work again
Then go ahead, back yourself, and ‘self insure’ – which just means you have no insurance and will be able to provide everything you need for yourself and your family when it all goes wrong.
Now how about taking the bet that you will NEVER die?
Not the best odds there. So when you die what is going to happen to your family, your income, your mortgage, your business, a school for the kids and so many other things? Will your ‘self-insurance’ still continue to provide for them?
No idea? Haven’t thought about it?
If you are not sure of the answer we now know that, at the least, you may need some Life insurance to cover your death. (the weird idea that!)
And the chances are that you will have other people and things that need protecting as well.
So let’s explore what they are and see what you can do.
But then we were always going to say that, weren’t we?
But here is why:
The Insurance industry is one of the most tightly regulated industries in the country. We are all Registered Financial Advisers (RFA) which means the NZ Government has checked us out and said that we are okay guys and give us a license. We have to be registered with the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). That means our character and background have been thoroughly checked (again!) and we have to abide by the rules of the FMA.
We must also belong to a Disputes Resolution Service. This means that if you are not happy with our service you can make a complaint about us and we will have to explain what we have done for you and why. If we can’t, we can be fined (very heavily!) and will need to make restitution to you.
But there are more important things to us than these rules.
You are our client. Our first concern must be (and is) to do what is best for you. Our aim is to get the cover that is ‘just right for you.
And while we are doing this:
• everything we do is open and transparent (and you are entitled to see it all);
• you will be informed at each step;
• we will make any changes you want; and
• even cancel the process at any time if you choose; plus
• even if you get the cover you want you can still say no.
You contact us. We are available at any time of the day or night to assist you.
We will help you lodge your claim, follow up on its progress, try to push your claim through as quickly as possible and make sure we do everything we can to get your claim paid.
We have close relations with the insurers and can speak directly to the person handling your claim. Sometimes (and it doesn’t happen often) there may be the odd problem and that is when we ‘go into battle’ for you’.
We find that most issues can be resolved and, despite current beliefs, most insurers are happy to pay out on legitimate claims.
Remember – we work for you! You are our client – not the insurance company.
• we will talk to you and find out what you need, what you can afford, and which insurance is right for you.
• we put together a proposal giving you an opportunity to decide if our recommendations are what you actually want
• when you are happy with what you are being covered for we will complete an application
• we submit that application to your chosen insurer and they will do the underwriting.
Underwriting? What’s that all about?
Underwriting just means the Insurer works out what the risks are for you and for them before they issue your policy. By doing it upfront there are no surprises coming in the future.
But not all Insurers are the same. Some don’t underwrite at application time. They just take your money and give you insurance. YAY! (This particularly applies to banks and some retail insurers like the Warehouse and Countdown).
So why not just go with them? Because you don’t get away that easily!
These Insurers will still underwrite you. They just do it when you actually make a claim!
That’s when they ask all the same questions the other Insurers do and chances are that your answers today will probably be a bit different now than they would have been 10 or 20 years ago.
And if, 20 years ago, you didn’t tell them something because there was no underwriting and you didn’t think it was important it is likely that these guys will decline your claim.
And even if they don’t ask you it is your responsibility to inform them of anything you know that could affect your insurance. If you don’t- hey, not our problem!
And this is how insurance companies get such a bad name when it comes to claims. And knowing you will be paid when you make a claim is definitely the most important part of having an insurance policy.
By doing the underwriting at the time of application you will know if there are any issues and they can be resolved before the policy is issued. You will know that when you make a claim it will be paid.
Underwriting before acceptance of insurance is important. Insurers that do this get ONE chance to make sure everything is correct. And once they issue your policy they can’t ever change your cover, even if they have missed something you told them.