By Simon Keir, Westlawn Senior Insurance Specialist 16 March 2015
Watch any daytime TV and you’re likely to see commercials, or those longer infomercials, for direct insurers advertising life insurance, disability cover and even income protection policies. They’re usually promoted as being quick and cheap with the convenience of obtaining your new policy over the phone or online in just minutes. What’s more, you’ll only have to answer a few questions and you’re covered. Now that is easy!
Quick, cheap and convenient: are these really the most important factors to consider when it comes to protecting your family?
For some people with limited insurance needs or simple personal situations, buying insurance direct online or over the phone may be a suitable option. But for most of us, we have our loved ones to consider and we want the peace of mind knowing that should the unexpected happen, they will remain financially secure.
Choosing insurance that protects our families in the way they deserve should therefore be the highest priority, not the quickest, cheapest and most convenient option. And the best way to do that is to seek professional advice from a qualified risk adviser.
Not only will you benefit from a risk adviser’s knowledge and experience, but you may also be surprised to learn that in many cases, they can actually offer more suitable cover for a competitive premium over what is on offer from the direct insurers. This is because they have access to a wide range of insurance policies from different insurers.
Case highlights pitfalls of DIY life insurance
A sad case that illustrates the importance of seeking advice was recently recounted by business coach and author Sue Viskovic, founder of Elixir Consulting. Sue wrote on her blog:
“We heard a heart-breaking story of a mother of three young children who lost her husband to suicide, and couldn’t understand why the insurer was making her jump through hoops to get the life insurance claim paid. There was a 13-month exclusion on suicide, but the policy had been in-force for over four years. The insurer was asking for five years of medical history, looking for evidence that her husband had been treated for depression in the year prior to taking out the cover. At the time of discussion, the claim was still pending, but it is very possible that the young widow will be denied on the basis of a pre-existing medical condition.
“Had this family sought advice when obtaining their insurance cover, the adviser would have taken them through the underwriting process at the outset. The adviser may have found an insurer who would have provided cover, and if not, at least the family would have known what they were covered for.”
From this case, it’s clear that it is wise to go through the underwriting process upfront when applying for insurance cover. When you answer just a few questions and get your insurance cover immediately, you may be subjected to more rigorous underwriting requirements by the insurer when making a claim. When obtaining insurance cover through a professional risk adviser, however, they will guide you through the underwriting process at the time of application and assist you every step of the way by:
The advice on this site may not be suitable to you because it contains general advice that has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal financial, tax and/or legal advice prior to acting on this information.
Westlawn Life Insurance Pty Ltd ABN 91 164 146 285 is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No. 444800) of ClearView Financial Advice Pty Limited ABN 89 133 593 012 AFS Licence No. 331367 GPO Box 4232, Sydney NSW 2001.