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Increase on complaints for non-payment of life insurance by super funds March 5, 2014

Posted by Meike Suggars in Disability Insurance (TPD), Life Insurance, Personal Insurance, Superannuation.
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Life insurance payouts refused by super funds

As reported in Herald Sun 1 March 2014


Download the article here: Herald Sun article Super Headache dated 1 March 2014


Beware: no forms or medicals! September 20, 2012

Posted by Meike Suggars in Income Protection, Life Insurance, Personal Insurance.
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If you ever have the TV on during the day, you can’t miss the ads promoting life insurance and funeral plans with “guaranteed acceptance”. They show off that there are no long forms to complete or medical tests needed to get insurance with them. They make getting insurance with them easy – just call now and you can do it over the phone…

But did you know that if you don’t complete an application form with medical questions when putting insurance place, you get a blanket exclusion on all pre-existing conditions? And when you claim, that’s when you have to complete the long forms and get the medical tests done because that’s when YOU have to prove that whatever illness you’re claiming for was not a pre-existing condition.

So as well as dealing with the stress of illness, you’ve also got the stress of dealing with the insurance assessor. Easy? Um, no. And you may not actually get an insurance payout, even though you’ve been paying your premiums every month!

If you do the medical form at the time of application, the insurer decides if they’re willing to accept your application based on your medical history. If they do apply exclusions you will get notice in writing of exactly what those exclusions involve. Everything else is covered by your new insurance.

Beware: Bull roams freeHere’s an example. Mary has RSI in her right wrist. She applies for life insurance and income protection over the phone after seeing an ad on TV. There are no medical questions and no medical tests – as the ad said, she’s guaranteed to be accepted. Three years later, Mary injures her wrist playing sport and lodges an income protection claim because she can’t work. But this claim is rejected because Mary’s condition is complicated by her RSI and she already had the RSI at the time she applied for insurance

 If Mary had completed a long-form application with medical questions, her application probably would have been accepted with a right-wrist exclusion. That’s terrible you say?! Well, no not really – she’s knows exactly what she’s covered for (most things) and what she’s not so there’s no guess work or uncertainty. The whole point of insurance is to provide a safety net, which her policy would do even with the exclusion.

So, before you jump on the phone and get your “guaranteed-accepted” insurance policy with no medical questions, ask yourself if you really know what you’re getting and what you’ll be covered for.

Call your financial adviser or Suggars & Associates and we’ll help you get the right policy in place as easily as possible.

The advice in this article is of a general nature only and does not take your personal circumstances into account. You should seek financial advice before making any investment or financial decisions.

Image courtesy Noel Reynolds

Looking down from heaven March 16, 2012

Posted by Meike Suggars in General, Life Insurance, Superannuation.
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For many of my clients, life insurance is the first type of personal protection they consider – usually when purchasing a property or starting a family. If you provide financially for members of your family – either children, siblings or parents – it’s likely that term life insurance will form a key part of your Personal Protection Plan.

It’s also likely that you’ll want your dependents to have access to insurance monies as soon as possible; after all, bills still have to be paid even if you’re not here.

Looking down from heaven

Looking down from heaven – would you be happy with what you saw?

To speed up the payment of insurance benefits, consideration should be given to the use of binding death benefit nominations if the life insurance policy is held within superannuation. AMP’s claims experience indicates that using a binding death benefit nomination instead of a non-binding nomination on average reduces the time taken to settle the claim by 60 per cent.

A valid binding death benefit nomination can also be useful in reducing the likelihood of protracted legal disputes over the proceeds of a will.

There are restrictions on who you can nominate as beneficiary of a binding death benefit nomination, and there may be tax implications so it’s important you talk to your financial adviser or contact Suggars & Associates to ensure your life insurance is structured in the most effective manner for your personal situation.

The advice in this article is of a general nature only and does not take your personal circumstances into account. You should seek financial advice before making any investment or financial decisions

Photo courtesy of karindalziel

The Impact on Kids September 27, 2010

Posted by Meike Suggars in Life Insurance, Personal Insurance.
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This week I attended the funeral for a close friend’s dad. It was so sad to think of all the things that my friend won’t be able to share with his father – big things like the birth of his first child, and little things like watching the Grand Final together on TV.

I can only imagine how devastating it must be for a young child still dependent on their parents for the day-to-day things, with a whole lifetime stretching out in front of them, to lose a mum or a dad. Pretty scary I’d think.

Imagine how much scarier if their parent’s death leads to financial instability which meant they have to change schools and/or move house? Not only have they lost one of the most important people in their lives, they’ve lost the familiar routine of life that should be there to help prop them up during this time of intense emotional loss.

After surveying over 1000 Australians, ING has recently released its “Picking up the Pieces” report. Among other things, key findings from the report show the impact on kids after losing a parent when adequate provisions have not been made, include:

Of the children who had to change schools due to financial pressure:

  • 69% suffered from diagnosed clinical depression
  • 75% suffered from depression, anxiety or panic attacks
  • 78% said their academic performance suffered

Of the children who had to move house due to financial pressure:

  • 73% said that their family was unable to support them as much as they would have if a parent hadn’t passed away
  • 64% said their academic performance suffered
  • 64% saw their involvement in school activities decline

Image courtesy of Roland Tanglao

Parents do so much to give their kids the best possible opportunities in life – whether you think about the folate supplements during pregnancy, the pureeing of carrots into baby food, getting up early on frosty Saturday winter mornings for football training, or staying up late to help finish last minute essays – so make sure those opportunities can continue if they suddenly have to deal with death sooner rather than later.

By putting adequate life insurance in place, parents can protect the financial security of their children in the event of their own premature death. Talk to your insurance adviser or contact Suggars & Associates to review your insurance needs so your children don’t become a statistic.

You can read more about the ING survey here.

The advice in this article is of a general nature only and does not take your personal circumstances into account. You should seek financial advice before making any investment or financial decisions.

Ladies! Life Insurance protects your highest priorities March 29, 2010

Posted by Meike Suggars in Disability Insurance (TPD), Income Protection, Life Insurance, Personal Insurance, Trauma Insurance.
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A new survey conducted by SheSpot shows career is not the number one priority for Australian women. For 74% of women, that number one priority is family, followed in second place by financial security. In fact, 62% of women surveyed are worried about money and claim it’s the number one thing making them unhappy.

I wanted to know how many women have personal insurance in place to ensure their family and financial security is protected in the event of illness or injury?

The Suggars Family 1983

The Suggars Family 1983 - the way we were

As reported by RiskInfo, it’s been revealed in the recent Lifewise/NATSEM Underinsurance Report that one in 5 working age parents will die or become seriously ill or injured, however 95% of families don’t have adequate insurance in place to protect them from the potential financial hardship that often follows such circumstances.

Are you one of them?

If you are, it’s easy for you to take control now while you’re still fit and healthy by taking out personal insurance. 

  • Income protection pays you 75% of your income if you’re unable to work for an extended period due to sickness or injury. Learn more about income protection
  • Trauma insurance pays out a lump sum if you’re diagnosed with one of over 40 illnesses including cancer, heart disease and stroke. Some policies even cover serious pregnancy complications.
  • Total & permanent disability (TPD) insurance is the only insurance to cover permanent disablement caused by mental disorder (including stress) and muscular skeletal injuries.
  • Death cover is often called Term insurance. This pays out in the event of death, and is just as important for mums as it is for dads as it can be used to pay for a nanny/house keeper who’ll iron the shirts, make sure the kids sports gear is packed on Tuesdays and that homework is done on time.

These different types of insurance can be combined to provide you with the cover you need, based on your personal circumstances. So don’t gamble with your family’s future. Contact Suggars & Associates to find out what insurance options are available to you.

The advice in this article is of a general nature only and does not take your personal circumstances into account. You should seek financial advice before making any investment or financial decisions.