The True Value of Insurance

KEY POINTS:

• Most super funds offer insurance. However, it’s important that you ensure the cover is enough for you and your family.

• As your life changes, your insurance policies may need to change with you.

• We’re here to help. We can review your policies with you.

Research shows that only around 16% of people actually have life insurance.(1) Also, only 6%(2) of consumers have income protection, while one in six men and one in four women are expected to suffer a disability from the age of 35–65 that leaves them away from work for six months or more.(3) While these statistics can be confronting,the flipside is that checking, maintaining and possibly upgrading your insurance coverage can provide tremendous peace of mind.

What’s your most important asset?

Most people have insurance for their home and motor vehicle, but fail to cover their most valuable assets – their life and their ability to earn income over the long term.

Which policies are relevant to me?

There are four main types of personal insurance:

• Income protection – helps you meet your financial commitments by providing regular payments if you are unable to work due to sickness or injury.

• Trauma cover – provides a lump sum payment after the occurrence of a serious medical condition (such as cancer, stroke or heart attack).

• Disability cover – total and permanent disability (TPD) cover provides a lump sum payment if sickness or injury leaves you totally and permanently disabled.

• Life cover – a lump sum payment to your nominated beneficiary in the event of your death or a terminal illness.

How can I be sure I’m covered?

Given the various types of insurance available, it can become overwhelming or confusing about what is best for you. You also don’t want to be stuck paying for cover that you don’t actually need. We can review your polices with you and provide practical and ongoing advice on personal insurance.

I already have a personal policy, isn’t that enough?

If you already have personal insurance you may appreciate some of the peace of mind it can bring. The most important thing is that you keep your policy in mind and not just tucked away in a drawer. Do you know how much you’re covered for? As your life changes, it’s vital to ensure that your policies change with you. If you get married, take out a mortgage or have a child, take a look at your coverage. You may find that you are still covered sufficiently or that you wish to upgrade some or all of your policies.

But aren’t I covered by my super fund?

It’s true that most super funds offer some level of income protection and death or disability cover. However, it’s important to read the ‘fine print’ and ensure that the coverage you have is enough to provide for your family if the worst were to happen. In some cases, the default coverage simply isn’t enough if you have children or other family members in your care. For example, the average amount of lump sum death cover is just over $150,000.(4)  Would this be enough for your family? Also, policies like income protection may have waiting periods for payment. Therefore, you need to know what these waiting periods are and how long you and your family can survive on a reduced or non-existent income.
Things like mortgage payments, car repayments, school fees and everyday expenses keep occurring no matter what. If you were to become sick, injured or if the very worst were to happen, you would want your family to be able to carry on as normal.

Case study – Tom’s story

Tom is a successful lawyer and is married to Janette. He has worked hard over the past ten years to accumulate valuable assets. To support his desired lifestyle, Tom decided on a $300,000 trauma policy to protect him against cancer and heart attack.

Unfortunately, last year Tom was diagnosed with prostate cancer and was unable to work for six months while he underwent treatment and recovered from the illness.

Tom was paid a trauma benefit of $300,000 from his policy which assisted with Tom’s recovery. The insurance policy replaced his income and paid his medical expenses. Without it, Tom would have had to rely on Janette’s income.

Tom continued to pay his annual policy fee and 12 months after the initial payment of the trauma benefit, Tom bought back his $300,000 trauma policy at standard premium rates.

Unfortunately, six months later Tom had a serious accident, suffering a major head trauma.
Tom and Janette were relieved that, as a result of the trauma policy, he qualified for another trauma benefit of $300,000.

Again, they were able to meet their expenses and Tom was able to recuperate with some peace of mind.

 

Source: CommInsure, Protection and peace of mind for life (based on CommInsure average claims in 2008 calendar year), page 18, 2011.

1 Roy Morgan Research, 6 months to April 2009, Australian population aged 14+.
2 Roy Morgan Research, see footnote 1.
3 Institute of Actuaries, Table IAD 89-93 – white collar males and females.
4 CommInsure, Protection and peace of mind for life (based on CommInsure average claims in 2008 calendar year), page 9, 2011.

Competence of the Wealthwise team is outstanding

 

I have been a client of Jamie Luxton and the team at Wealthwise since my retirement in 2003. Finances have always been a virtual known territory to me so I had no idea who to turn to after quitting full-time work. A friend strongly recommended Jamie Luxton to me and I have never looked back since.

No problem has been too small to be considered carefully and have it patiently explained to me. I have always been insecure about money but know I can relax knowing that if I make a mistake I will not be judged, but will be given advice in a calm, kind and professional manner. I know that if something crops up I can immediately contact Jamie Luxton and he will deal with the issue quickly.

The overall competence of the Wealthwise team is outstanding. I have had several dealings with other members of the team and have been really impressed with their efficiency and helpfulness.

I enjoy the newsletters and information brochures which are sent out to me regularly. These keep me in touch with current issues.

I enjoy my consultations with Jamie. He has a warm, considerate manner and is very knowledgeable about the financial world. He had taken the fear out of financial management as far as I am concerned.

Diane Holmes, client since 2003

Realisation that retirement wasn’t all that far away…

“In the mid 80′s my wife and I were deceived, or for want of a better word ‘conned’ into making some poor financial decisions. This continued for a number of years before we were able to escape from our predicament.

Unfortunately having been freed from one predicament, we were confronted with yet another. A truthful realisation that retirement wasn’t all that far away and as time was running out, an urgent strategy needed to be employed to provide for that time.

We came to Financial Wisdom and Wealth Wise, initially through Ian Schupelius and since then have taken confidence in knowing that our retirement has been carefully and professionally planned. Wealth Wise staff have always been courteous, polite and helpful at all times.

We are most appreciative of Tim Luxton for his advice and genuine regard for our own particular financial situation. Tim’s cheerful nature and sound knowledge has again restored our trust in the financial system.

We look forward to our regular meetings with Tim and hearing that our investments are on track as planned.

Retirement doesn’t seem like such a bad move after all!”

Stephen Kelly, client since 2004