Why it pays to NOT go direct for your insurance


[I have used the terms adviser, agent and broker synonymously]

All the insurance ads you see on TV are either for general insurance (I can't seem to get that NRMA tune out of my head!) or for direct life insurance (e.g. insurance line, real insurance).

Insurance products that you can only get via a qualified life insurance adviser are not advertised. I don't know why, perhaps we do such a great job for the insurance companies they don't need to advertise for your business! Perhaps the regulator doesn't allow it.

In any case, you may not know that in general, insurance sold via an agent is generally cheaper than that sold direct. The biggest reason for this is that agents qualify the life insured to a much greater degree, thereby reducing the risk to the insurer. Also, insurance advisers are paid by the insurer so that you are not out of pocket for  seeking the advice you need and taking up the cover (unless you have agreed to fee for service with your broker).

The other day, a client of mine received her annual insurance notice and felt the increase in premiums was a lot. Having had a recent poor experience trying to claim on behalf of someone else under a general insurer for workers compensation, she decided to do some investigating for herself.

She went online, compared a few products and found that she could save $700 a year. The problem was, she was not comparing apples with apples.

Had she not come to me to discuss her situation and seek my advice, she would have ended up with an inferior product to her existing cover and could end up having an even worse experience for herself if she ever needs to claim.

As a professional financial planner, I put your interests first.  This means I work for you, the client.

I have access to the full market of life insurance products and by working with me, you get the benefit of:

  •  My knowledge of insurance policies and the differences between different contracts;
  • My skill in discovering and determining your wealth protection needs and matching your needs to the right products;
  • My empathy to understand you and give you priority;
  • My availability and accessibility to answer all your questions;
  • My persistence and confidence to ensure you take up my recommendations;
  • My expertise in managing the application and underwriting process, ensuring you get the best outcome;
  • Access to our claims experience, so that if you ever need to claim, we are there to help you through the process, getting your claim secured as quickly and as pain free as possible.

At a recent adviser presentation that I attended, high profile and recent insurance claimant Gail O'Brien, wife of the late Professor Chris O'Brien (Chris O'Brien Lifehouse at RPA) stressed to us that in her view as advisers we have a social responsibility in doing our job, and that in her experience "not having it [insurance] is not worth the risk".

I encourage you to share your stories with me and to spread the word of the value of life insurance and the value your financial adviser brings to “securing your financial slice of life”.