Adviser-Attached Insurance Claims are More Successful. Here’s Why.

By Pride Advice

If you don’t have a financial adviser attached to your policies, your chances of a successful claim are dramatically reduced. Dave Slovinec outlines the reasons, and why we all need to change our attitudes towards insurers (they’re actually good people).

How much do you really know about your insurance policies? Many Australians tend to take the ‘set and forget’ approach; we choose a provider, pay the premiums, and hardly give it another thought. One reason for this is that we never think ‘it’ will happen to us. Another reason is that many believe policies like Income Protection are broadly the same.

Neither of these views hold up to reality. We need to change our attitude towards insurance – and insurers (believe it or not, they aren’t looking for ways to get out of paying – more on that below). Policies are there to provide a financial buffer when tragedy strikes, but we have to know the details if we’re going to claim what our policies entitle us to.

Below, I outline why claims with an adviser attached are 90% more likely to be paid, and why that cheaper policy you keep seeing advertised probably comes at a steep price.

What does having an adviser attached to your policy mean?

It simply means that, when it comes time to make a claim on your policy, your adviser will take control of the process. What that entails we cover below. You can attach an adviser to an existing policy or talk to an adviser first about which policies are right for you.

You don’t have to be a client of ours to take advantage of this service. You can simply nominate us as adviser and then pay a small fee when it comes time to make a claim.

The benefits of a claims adviser

Advisers remove roadblocks

Broadly speaking, advisers make insurance claims faster and smoother. One of the biggest hold-ups when making a claim is not supplying the right documentation, or not having that documentation correctly filled out. We know what to ask for up front, and we know how it needs to look before it’s sent through to the insurers.

Doctors’ reports and financial reports are two of the best examples of common hold-ups. Accountants and doctors are, obviously, experts in their respective fields. But knowing the medical ins-and-outs of a particular cancer diagnosis is not the same as knowing what information an insurer needs. The same goes for financial records.

But advisers do. When we’re attached to a claim, we make sure that anyone supplying necessary documents knows precisely what information is needed. We then examine the documents before they go off to the insurer, and – importantly – make sure all the necessary information is sent across at the same time. The dribs-and-drabs method only drags things out.

We provide peace of mind

Claims are made because something bad has happened. Whether it’s a cancer diagnosis, a traumatic injury or something else altogether, your physical, mental and emotional health will be sapped. The only question is by how much.

The last thing anyone in this position wants to do is handle the administration of a claim. Making phone calls and ensuring you know what information is needed by the insurer – and where to get that information – is an extra layer of stress you don’t need at this particular point in your life.

An adviser can take this burden off your shoulders. Knowing that somebody else is taking care of your claim – an expert in the field no less who knows precisely what to do – can provide some peace of mind and allow you to focus on your health and wellbeing.

I have been a long-term client of Pride Advice and, like a lot of people, always wondered “are personal insurances and the premiums I pay worth it?”.

I have recently been diagnosed with cancer and am now undergoing chemotherapy.

My doctor has told me I will need at least a year off of work due to the nature of what I do.

Pride Advice has helped me to make a claim on my insurances and thankfully I now have an ongoing income and a lump sum in my bank account.

This has taken a lot of pressure off financially and I can now just concentrate on getting well.

I am very grateful that I had good cover in place and some support during this challenging time in my life.

We are here to help you

We simply aren’t familiar enough with our policies to ensure we’re claiming all the benefits that we’re paying premiums for.

A classic example is Income Protection insurance. Isn’t this just for injuries or illness that forces you to take time off from work? Not necessarily. Some policies have specific injuries written into it that you can claim a payment on even if that injury doesn’t force you to take time off work.

The reality is, we don’t know what we don’t know. Advisers can run their eye over your policies to make sure you claim what’s yours. You’re paying these premiums for a reason. Don’t leave potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table because you simply weren’t aware.

Heard about a better deal? Wait – and talk to an adviser first

On October 1st, 2021, a raft of new regulations was introduced to the insurance industry. In jargon speak, we refer to policies from before this date as ‘old world’ and policies that come after as ‘new world’. Many new world policies have premiums that seriously undercut those of old world policies. Because of this, many are thinking of switching over.

This, in all likelihood, is a mistake. The cheaper premiums invariably come with a different kind of cost – inadequate coverage. For example, an old world policy might pay out at 75% of your income. A new world policy is more likely to be around 70%, which will then decrease the longer the claim lasts, dropping to as little as 50% in some cases.

We get it, though. Inflation and cost-of-living pressures make a $200-a-month saving on insurance premiums extraordinarily tempting. But the true cost of these premiums is usually inadequate coverage when you need it most. Always have a discussion with your adviser first before switching policies. There may be ways to keep your current policy but reduce the premiums by, for example, extending waiting periods.

By and large, if clients have an old world policy, we try and keep them on it.

Insurers’ bad reputation isn’t warranted

Insurers in Australia get a bad rap. The narrative tends to be that they’ll do anything to wheedle out of paying. One of the most common questions I get is, ‘will my claim actually get paid?’. Sensationalist stories on certain commercial ‘news’ programs don’t help.

The reality couldn’t be more different.

If your claim is fair, you will get paid. That’s a fact. Insurers are not looking to shirk their responsibilities. I know clients who have had their policies in place for a very short time – as little as a month – and then had to make significant claims due to an out-of-the-blue cancer diagnosis. Their benefits were paid within a fortnight.

If you are one of the many Australians who have been influenced by the false narrative surrounding insurers, it’s time for a rethink. Don’t ignore your policies because you believe they won’t be honoured, and please don’t avoid insurance altogether because you think that it’s money down the drain.

If your claim is covered by your policy, you will get paid – and promptly. It’s as simple as that.

Talk to an adviser and know what you’re covered for

Insurance isn’t life changing. In fact, it’s there to maintain normalcy as far as possible when tragedy strikes. But, in order for it to do this, we have to know our policies and the coverage they provide. An adviser can not only do this, but tell you if the coverage is adequate for your circumstances, and make the claims process more efficient and more likely to result in a payout.

At Pride Advice, we have extensive experience in the insurance world. We can guide you through a claims process or even just run our eye over your current policies to see if they provide good coverage. We can be involved as much or as little as you like. Give us a call and change your attitude to one of life’s most important buffers.