I remember as a child sitting at my Dad’s feet as he had a beer with one of his friends. They were complaining about money, the economy, their bosses, the usual conversation. Taxes are extortionate, we are underpaid and meanwhile the Insurance companies are ripping everyone off. It’s a racket! Everyone knows someone with a story about how they didn’t get paid out on their insurance. Whether it’s travel insurance that doesn’t pay for doctors’ bills when you get hurt skiing or workers compensation that didn’t pay out because of a few lines in the fine print. Insurers are just out to make money, not pay claims.
Some years later a close family friend got into a car accident with her two children in the car. The children only suffered very minor injuries, but the mother broke her back and neck. Whilst she regained some movement in her arms and torso she was stuck in a wheel chair for the rest of her life. When we went to visit her two months later the house looked completely different, there was a ramp leading up to the front door, a stair lift to go between the floors and she had a new car that was fitted out so it could be driven without the use of her feet and legs. They also had someone working at the house with them to help take care of the children whilst her husband continued to work in his job as an airline pilot.
I remember asking my mum about what had happened, and she said that they got an insurance payout. I felt confused, because knowing that insurance is a rip-off and can’t be trusted, why did they pay for all this stuff? She had received a one million dollar permanent disability pay-out on a policy she had applied for through her employer where she worked part time as a secretary. In the late 1980’s that was a tidy sum, and with those funds they were able to minimise the damage that a terrible accident created for their family. She was able to pay off the mortgage on their family home and pay for renovations to allow her to keep living her life with her disability.
The truth is Insurance is just like the car she was driving. There are cars that are held together with cheap glue and staples, and there are cars that are built by engineering masterminds that will protect you when the worst happens. The same is true of anything.
Some insurers advertise heavily on TV, you can call a number and twenty minutes later you have a million dollars’ worth of life cover that may potentially not be worth a dollar. When it comes to claim time, the rules are rigorous and you must fit clearly defined criteria to obtain a payout.
We don’t deal with careless insurance here, and it doesn’t take twenty minutes to get insured. It’s an in depth process where we disclose every medical detail to an insurer. It can take a month or more of interviews, assessments and advice. As your adviser I am here to be your ally through this process, to get you the right type of cover and the right level of cover. To assist you through the claims process and to review your situation to make sure that everything makes sense as your situation changes.
An ‘easy’ insurance policy is not your friend at claim time, but a real financial adviser and insurance company can save your livelihood at claim time, and take a situation that could ruin your life and rectify it. A couple of million dollars doesn’t bring back a lost loved one, or give you back the use of your legs, but it will make life a lot easier.