FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Thinking about Personal Insurance

Do I really need Cover?

Choosing a Personal Insurance plan is a huge decision for most families. There used to be one type of service and barely any competition, but in this day and age with the internet and the variety of insurance companies available make our choices far more complex not to mention time consuming. Finding the best plan for you and your family is a very important job you need to know what options are available to you, (Life, Trauma, Health, Income Protection….) what each of those options offer and whether or not you can AFFORD what it is you think you may need. Our Insurance Specialists are key when looking for the right cover they will help you save time and money as well as getting you the best insurance product in the market with the best value added benefits best suited to you and your family.

First of all there is no one-size fits all when it comes to Personal Protection plans each individual or families circumstances are different which is where our insurance specialists help assist you with considering what and who you need to cover. You could be a single person without a spouse or you may have children to support, you may have elderly parents or siblings who may need your support, or you may just want to leave some money to your niece & nephews. At the very least, a Personal Protection plan will consist of a life insurance policy which pay debts that would otherwise land on your family’s shoulders.

If you are married, you need to consider how your surviving spouse will manage after you die, especially if you have children together. For example, will your spouse be able to live solely on their income? Would they have the money to pay for funeral costs, medical bills, debts, or other expenses? Will they be able to pay the school tuition for children, if you have any? So do YOU think you need cover?

I do need cover but can I afford it?

Finding the balance of a restricted budget and the need to financially protect oneself should something happen to you or the main money earner of a household can be tough, but it is never a good idea to bury your head in the sand especially when planning for your financial independence. With careful consideration, you and your family will be able to find that sweet spot, where you get the coverage you need at prices you can afford. Without feeling like you are sacrificing more important things in life.

You’ve realised that you do need Personal Insurance cover however first you need to determine what kind of cover you need and whether or not you can afford it. There are many factors involved when asking the question, what cover do we need, luckily there are also many product options available in helping financially protecting you with the right cover. Life Plans do have a unique offering where we offer a FREE Financial Plan worked through by one of our Authorised Financial Advisor’s. This offering will allow you to see what type of cover is best suited to your circumstance and what cover is best suited to your current budget and best of all you get the Financial Plan all for FREE!

But I Already have Cover

That’s the best news to hear knowing that people we talk too have already pre planned some type of Personal Protection cover. Knowing that they will be financially protected in the event of something happening to them or a family member such as a minor or major health trauma, a disability or worst case scenario a death. The first thing we would ask when finding out you already have cover, is when was the last time you reviewed your insurance policies? Do you know what and how much you are insured for?

In the majority of cases new clients I speak to have no idea even what they are covered for, the insurer they are covered with, how much they can claim and how much they are paying for their premiums. Alarm bells then go off as I think if they don’t know what they are covered for then they may be missing out on the potential to make a claim under any of their current Living Insurances if they have previously suffered any major health or injury events.

Many active insured kiwis who do not review their cover regularly may also fall under either of the two most common mistakes 1. Under Insured or 2. Over Insured. In my time I have come across individuals who are paying far too much because they think they need every single type of insurance available whereas when we sit down and review their plan we end up with realistic coverage that will financially protect them easily without any unnecessary insurance product. And vice versa clients that should in-fact have specific cover that they do not have. So it’s fantastic that you already have cover but is it the right cover for you? Let us offer you a FREE review to give you peace of mind knowing that you have the right cover, plus we love meeting new people, call us on 0800 222 414.

LIFE PLAN FAQ

What is Personal Insurance?

In a broad sense it’s where an insurance company agrees to pay you a lump sum of money if you die, become terminally ill or sick. It can also replace your income should you get sick or have an accident where you suffer an impairment or end up out of work – In return you pay the insurance company a premium which is a regular payment to keep the insurance company activated. Our Insurance Specialist will help find the right Personal Insurance for you and we even offer a FREE Financial Plan with our Authorised Advisor.

Can I apply for Personal Insurance if I have a disease, an illness, or I’m very overweight?

We advise that you still apply as all individual cases are different, it may be that the terms of your policy are changed somewhat from your original quote. For instance, some conditions may be excluded or a premium loading may apply (this means your premiums may have a % added to the standard quote). Our Insurance Specialists will provide more detail and will walk you through any exclusions or premium loadings that may be added if you do suffer any pre-existing medical conditions, we are more than happy to help and answer any uncertainties you may have.

How much will Personal Insurance cost me?

Standard Premiums are based on your age, gender, smoking status, occupation and the amount of insurance you wish to take out. A quote from an insurer can differ to a standard quote depending on health history and current lifestyle. The best way to know approximately how much it will cost you is to call us on 0800 222 414 and don’t worry there’s absolutely no obligation to take out insurance and we certainly will not try the hard sell we are just happy to provide you with information required and ensure you understand it and we can generally give you an immediate quote over the phone.

Who owns my policy?

You can choose the “policy owner” (this is the person that the insured amount is paid to if a claim is made). The policy owner can be you or any other person, or if you’re setting up cover with a partner you can choose to have a “joint” policy, which means that you both own the insurance. If you are the policy owner and you die then the policy will get paid out as per your will or will be part of your estate. If you have a joint policy (partner) or an alternative policy owner then the amount will be paid to your partner or the person as listed on your policy. You may also wish to have more than one owner such as adding more than one adult child onto the policy, if you have further complex situations about policy ownership call us on 0800 222 414 to help you get those answered.

Can I change the owner of my policy at a later date?

Yes no problem, you can do this at any time, insurers will just require a “Transfer of Ownership” form to be filled out and signed. Just let us know if this is what you intend to do and we can get the ball rolling for you with the relevant paperwork.

What are my payment options?

The most common payment options is Direct Debit however you can also use Credit Card payment. Most of the insurers have the options of either weekly, fortnightly, monthly or annually so you choose what best works within your payment plan. When applying for cover we can help you decide the best form of payment to suit you, generally people base it around the pay period dates as this tends to be the most convenient.

Does smoking affect my premium?

If you are a smoker than yes premiums are higher generally another 50% higher than those of non-smokers. The good news is that if you stop smoking, the insurer will lower the cost of your insurance so be sure to call us to let us know of any changes in your smoking habits. (If you are smoke-free for 12 months or more you qualify as a “non-smoker)

Will my premiums increase?

Most importantly the insurer cannot increase your premiums based on health conditions that occur after your policy has been accepted and issued. Therefore the urgency of applying for Personal Insurance before health problems do start occurring will help eliminate premium loadings and exclusions. There are different options which can alleviate the pressure of premiums increasing each year this is where the expertise of our Insurance Specialists will help. However as an overview on premiums “Yearly Renewable” premiums increase annually based on age and if you have indexation chosen then with inflation also. “Levelled” premiums mean your premiums will stay the same and will not increase each year due to age. These are very important options to consider especially when thinking about future premium costs, our insurance specialist will work through various options to help you decide on the best fit.

Can I cash in my policy

There are no current policies with any Insurance Companies in New Zealand that allow you to cash out your policy, your premiums will pay to keep the policy active and only in the event of a claim will you receive payment.

Can I reduce or increase the cover after my application has been accepted?

Yes. You can reduce your cover at any time, you can also increase cover at any time however most insurers will put this request through underwriting unless it is part of a special increase benefit where no underwriting may be necessary. An increase or decrease would be something we help you consider when our insurance specialists offer the FREE Annual review of your plan.

7 Insurance Myths That People Believe In And Are Left In The Dark About…

Discover The Truth To Your Personal Insurance

Myth 1. Most insurance companies and there products are roughly the same. Complete myth. They are not.

Myth 2. Insurance costs a lot of money. Not once you understand the value and what you should be paying of it. You should be paying anywhere from 3%-5% of your total family income coming in on your personal insurance. This will guarantee you can continue to live and accumulate wealth for the rest of your life and hopefully have an enjoyable retirement should something happen to you or your family.

Myth 3. I will just take out what I think is right and do it myself to save money. You will end up with the wrong products, a wrong company and probably paying to much then never be able to claim.

Myth 4. The bank looks after my insurance. They probably do but in many cases you would have gotten very poor advice from a bank teller and wrong products. I know IV worked at many banks and had many clients come to us with completely wrong and watered down products that they have been paying for years. Banks a great at lending money and setting up accounts but poor on giving you the right insurance advice or looking after you. How many times has anyone from the bank called you and asked if you were ok and is everything working as it should?

Myth 5. Insurance brokers don’t care about me and they only after commission. Most good insurance brokers really care about you. They want to build a strong long term relationship with you and they want you as a long term client. They have small businesses with fewer clients so can give you personal service unlike a bank or direct insurance company where you are number in the ten thousands to them.

Myth 6. I can’t afford it. I guarantee you are spending a large chunk of your wages on everyday wasted junk such as daily coffee, lunches, movies, new clothes etc. You need to prioritise your insurance budget then a budget for sanity money.

Myth 7. Nothing will happen to me. Today we are living a faster more stressful life. We work longer and everything is more expensive. Stress is a real killer today directly and indirectly. Due to our lifestyles, diseases are far more prominent today. It’s not a matter of if something happens to me but when it will. Ask yourself if you know anybody who has had cancer, diabetes, a heart attack, a stroke been sick or injured and cannot work. a unforeseen accident. It will happen at some stage.

I have spent half my life listening to people and their fears and concerns regarding insurance. My own father has huge debt but doesn’t believe in insuring himself or his wife. If something were to happen to either of them they would lose everything. It’s crazy to think they would risk everything they have built over their lifetime for the cost of a few thousand dollars each year. The funny thing is they insure their home, contents and his old $3000 car but won’t insure themselves or their ability to earn an income. Like many New Zealanders insurance is something that we traditionally haven’t been brought up with, understand or in many circumstances like my dad see value in. Once you find an expert to help you explain what it is you are really taking, then helps you through the entire process to get it, then is there looking after you for the duration of when you need it then you will then see value in it.

Is X Company a ‘Good Company? Who will help me to evaluate companies and their products (Its not just price)?

One of the biggest questions for all of us when looking at personal risk insurance such as life insurance, income protection, trauma cover:

  • What this a good company?
  • Are they able to pay claims?
  • What happens if they go under?
  • Do they have the best products?
  • Do they have the cheapest premiums?

It’s very hard to sift through the massive maze and tons of information to be able to make the very best decision. There is so much advertising, and piles of crafty persuasive techniques it’s hard to trust anyone. I also don’t want to take something out and spend a lot of money only to find my products are watered down and not what I though they were.

One of the biggest questions is do I do it on my own. Go direct or take an out a cheap Warehouse or Supermarket policy. The danger of this is you will get what you pay for. Also many consumers will get caught with non disclosure or a product that is not what they thought. All the fine print and jargon is very confusing.

You need to find a product and company that offers all the above.

Company Stability

Unfortunately company stability does not guarantee that the company will always be around. Many companies will merge, get brought out and fold. History will show us even the largest insurance companies and banks in the world are not guaranteed to stay a float. LetÕs look at AIG, it went into receivership after the last GFC hit, and the American government had to bail them out. The same with Merrill Lynch, Freddie May and Freddie Mac. So no company is immune, even though many will preach about their strong ratings or the fact they have been around 150 years this is still not a guarantee. The good news is that someone will step in and take over the remnants of the company and its existing book and remaining assets.

However we can provide research that provides current up to date ratings of the insurance provider. This can give us some guide.

Better Quality Products

There are defiantly providers that offer a full range of products and quality of products that are better than others. A good broker has the ability to compare all insurance company products against each others. The funny thing is the majorities are usually very close in price but there can be a massive difference of quality compared to others. The good companies have many additional benefits built into their products compared to watered down ones with limited benefits for other companies and usually the price is very similar.

As a consumer you won’t know which ones are good or bad. You need to find a good adviser that can show you.

Wasted add on’s

How many times have we purchased something with all these add on’s and benefits that we didn’t want and was a waste of time. How many times do we go to purchase something and we get sold on all the add on’s that is absolutely essential. We go to McDonalds to buy a burger and we end up buying the coke and fries. That’s so common now that McDonalds have mastered the add on’s and now they are called combos and now we buy them automatically. Once upon a time we would have gone to McDonalds and quite happily just purchased a single burger.

So you’ve been looking at life insurance, income protection or trauma insurance and wandered are all the optional add on’s necessary. Here’s the tip. Some are very important but the majority are not. Which ones do I choose? Ask me and I will tell you.

If you have a terminal illness, you can begin to take money out of the policy before you pass away,” Love says. “In America, it costs a lot of money to die, and sometimes you’re putting the family and yourself in a real bind. Having the ability to tap into financial well is a very useful thing.”

He’s right. In fact, the best insurance policies offer accelerated death benefit riders for free — they’re simply part of the policy. So if you’re shopping around and see a life insurance policy with one of these riders, that’s a sign that you have a good policy. (In fact, I wrote about these riders earlier this year, in case you’d like to go down Memory Lane.)

Guaranteed insurability riders. This is a rider allows you to buy more insurance without having to go through the underwriting process. And much as I try to make the underwriting process as painless as possible, having this rider saves you time filling out forms later, which is a nice bonus. But that’s not why people buy guaranteed insurability riders.

People buy a guaranteed insurability rider because they know that they may need more life insurance in the future, and having this rider, allows you to get more insurance without having to reapply for it and take a medical test and learn that to get more insurance, your premiums are going to skyrocket.

For instance, let’s say that you buy a life insurance policy at age 30 because you’re married and just had a kid. By age 40, you might have three or four kids and realize that if something happened to you, your larger family would be severely underfunded. Well, you’re 40. Ten years older. Maybe you’re packing ten, twenty or fifty additional pounds. Maybe your blood pressure is now high, and you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea or diabetes. You might understandably be nervous about re-applying for life insurance. Well, if you bought a guaranteed insurability rider, none of that matters. You can get additional insurance at the same rates you would have paid 10 years ago when you were younger, slimmer and healthier.

And, of course, you may just want to buy insurance not because you have more kids but you feel that you need more insurance. Love says that his 93-year-old father-in-law has a life insurance policy for — wait for it — a thousand dollars.

“I’m sure when he took that out 70 years ago; a thousand dollars seemed like a lot. But today, a thousand isn’t going to go very far,” Love says.

But I have Assets! (Why Do I still Need to Take Out Insurance?)

One of the big questions is I have enough assets that my family can sell or I can sell if something happens to my family or myself.

That’s fine but we all spend a life time trying our very best to build capital and assets for a hopefully long and comfortable retirement. Building assets, businesses or accumulating wealth for a more reasonably life and retirement is not easy. It would have taken an extreme lot of hard work, diligence, sweat, patience, at times anxiety and stress.

The Role of Assets

We also know there is a very small percentage of New Zealanders that have significant net worth that can truly afford to self insure themselves

The last thing you want to be is forced to sell down some or all of those assets because an illness hit your family or yourself. Insurance is actually very very cheap, and I actually tell people I hope you never ever have to claim it because if you have something major has gone wrong with you or a loved one and you would wish that on your worst enemy. I believe that for only about 3%-5% of your family’s income you and your family can take out a full range of comprehensive insurance products that will protect you for any outcome and you will never be forced to sell any of your assets ever. That’s Peace of Mind. Who wouldn’t want that?

A Nice Funeral

Mum still had a reasonable mortgage but luckily she did have life insurance otherwise not only having to deal with the grief of her dying, then burying her but also having to come up with money to settle all her debts.

One thing I look back now and I’m truly happy that we were able to send mum off with a top class funeral. We had the money to spare no expense and it was truly fitting. It made me feel so good to able to do that.

Another corollary argument here is that people with net worth are much more easily able to buy high-dollar life insurance policies. $25 or $50 a month might seem like a lot for somebody living paycheck to paycheck, but for somebody with $100,000 and up in the bank, it’s very affordable. But, at the same time, getting a policy isn’t any more expensive for a high net worth individual than it is for somebody who’s waiting for payday — and you can’t say the same about other long-range financial plans like Medicare, which actually charge wealthier, people more for services. By contrast, a millionaire can still get a $500,000 policy for just a couple of hundred dollars a year – (assuming they’re in good health, etc.)

People with high net worth can also strategize better to pay less for life insurance. They can take out policies at younger ages, to lock in low premium rates.

You need an expert to decipher the policy wording and product for you to make sure its right for you and your circumstances. Lesson one: Not all insurance products are the same:

All insurance products are different and every insurance company has different bells, whistles and products. It’s a mine field to determine what you are actually buying.

I have been a Qualified Financial Adviser in the insurance industry for the past fifteen years in both Australia and New Zealand and I recently got caught out myself.

I would consider myself to be an expert in insurance but recently I took out landlords Protection cover to protect my investment property against my tenants wrecking the place. Against all my advice and experience in the industry I took the first policy I saw through my bank and thought just like every consumer that are all the same. My first mistake was I thought that and my second mistake was I didn’t take my own advice and get an expert to tell me what the best products for landlords insurance is. I wasn’t an expert in landlords insurance but I thought it would be ok.

I got stung bad. I paid two years worth of premiums then when my nice tenants trashed my investment property to my horror when I went to claim all the terrible wording, terrible product and fine print basically said they won’t pay. I had to prove the damage was deliberate and another out clause they had in this product been I could only claim one damaged bit at a time at a cost of $500 excess per claim. Even though the entire house was trashed I could only claim one little bit at a time. I fought them hard but got no where. End of the day it’s my responsibility to know what insurance I purchased. I had to pay the damages all myself out of my own pocket. I learnt an invaluable lesson.

Lesson number 1. Get an expert broker to give you advice when purchasing any insurance products. Also there are different brokers with different expertise for different insurance products. General insurance vs Personal Risk Insurance for example.

Although us New Zealanders like to think we know most things, are prepared to give it a shot and she’ll be right I will sort it out myself. Unfortunately it won’t be right and many things we do need expert advice and if you try and do it yourself you will get stung. If you had a tumor or major health problem would you try and diagnose yourself and medicate yourself. When you need legal work, dental work, or anything specialized done do you do it yourself. You may try to, and give it dam good crack but end of the day your are playing with fire. The only person who is going to suffer when something goes wrong is your family and you. Insurance is no different; Get an expert broker to help you. The great news it won’t cost you any extra than trying to figure all your insurances out on your own.

Insurance is easy once you’ve found an expert broker

Whether you’re shopping around for car, travel, life or health insurance, this insurance buying guide will help you obtain an insurance policy at a competitive price but still provide a comprehensive level of coverage. Many people look for the cheapest policy but be warned — it’s not necessarily going to deliver and you’ll likely be left with out of pocket expenses.

Tips to save money and obtain the best insurance coverage

What’s important to you? Make a list. If you’re in the market for car insurance, your top priority may be to insure against damage to third-party vehicles, theft or the full replacement cost of your new car. Whatever the reason, ensure that you buy insurance for the right reasons and not strictly based on price because it will come back to haunt you.

GET A QUOTE!

Does the insurance company provide quality customer service? When comparing insurance quotes, ask the provider what the procedure is if there was a problem with your claim. A good insurance provider will have a toll-free, 24-hour number you can call. Does the person on the other end of the phone exhibit good industry knowledge? Are they friendly and helpful?

Examine the insurance policy. Is the policy simple to understand? A policy can be quite confusing if it is long, uses complicated words or is hard to navigate. Insurance providers should be upfront and honest. A clear, concise insurance policy will help you understand your policy.

When comparing insurance coverage, keep a running list of the different terms presented in each policy. This way you will become familiar with the basics of that type of policy and notice things that may be lacking in other policies.

When comparing insurance quotes, record the premium charges, the excess charges and any discounts that may be available. For example, a provider may offer a 15% discount for premiums paid annually or if you sign up online.

Research the insurance company. This is important as you must be comfortable that the provider is financially stable and can pay out on claims if need be. We cover more on this topic in the researching insurance providers section.

Investigate the company’s track record for handling insurance claims. This is very important as it is often a very stressful time and you don’t want to experience difficulty with your insurance company. The claims process should be easy and efficient. Ask the insurance provider how claims are handled and if the assessor will come to your home. What is the typical turnaround time for an insurance claim payout?

Another important question you should ask the provider is how often the rates increase. If you were to file a claim, can you expect a premium increase?

Choosing Insurance Can Be Time Consuming & Confusing

Yes it is. Although we all loath insurance and don’t want to spend money on it, unfortunately it’s a part of life that we must take the time to do right, otherwise you will pay the price if you don’t do it correctly. Finding an affordable policy with comprehensive coverage from a reputable provider is sometimes easier said than done. Choosing insurance is a serious matter, take your time.

Use an insurance expert. This will save you time and money. You will not pay any more for using one rather than going direct yourself or through the bank.

Everything you need to know about making a claim

At some stage in our life, most of us will need to make an insurance claim. This is the part everyone fears and if you are making a claim something usually very serious has gone wrong.

This is when the insurance company will assess your claim to determine weather or not they will pay out as per the conditions specified in your policy. It’s extremely important that you are honest and accurate in your application and your have disclosed every detail. Many people take out insurance on their own accord or don’t get help only to find at claim time they didn’t disclose everything properly and the application was not fulfilled correctly. This will be considered fraud, there will be no payout and your claim will automatically become void, leaving you without recourse or reimbursement for your loss.

What is an insurance claim?

An insurance claim is when you seek the benefits provided by the insurance company due to an occurrence covered by the policy. The claim is then filed with a representative of the insurance underwriting company. The insurance claim goes through the proper filing procedure, and then a claims evaluator reviews your policy and conducts a thorough investigation into the damage or loss of your property. Not all insurance claims are paid out. Fraudulent claims in the industry costs New Zealanders $62 million annually. That’s around $62 per household. To qualify for an insurance claim, the policy must be active or fully paid.

What information should you give when making an insurance claim?

The application form asks personal questions that should be answered truthfully. Omitting any information can cause denial of your insurance claim, so be sure to include every detail. It is important to be honest. Insurance investigators are very good at finding discrepancies. Some insurance claims investigators come from law enforcement or investigation backgrounds and have years of experience identifying inconsistencies in stories. They know what questions to ask and are aware of common lies. If you are honest in your claim, you should not have a problem receiving your settlement.

When purchasing your insurance policy, be careful to disclose all information. Once you’ve had a policy voided due to non-disclosure, it will be difficult for you to obtain insurance again.

When can a home insurance claim be denied?

A home insurance claim may not be granted if it is proven that the damage to the home was done intentionally or through fraudulent means. The company may or may not approve the claim after they have assessed the circumstances and reviewed the policy. A home insurance claim may also be denied if the damage or incident was not specified in your home insurance policy.

What information should be presented for a fire insurance claim?

A fire claim should be supported with documents proving ownership of the home. If the documents have been lost in the fire, other supporting documents will be required. A home appraisal, mortgage documents or purchase records from the real estate agent will be required. It is advised to report the damage immediately even if you lack the necessary documents in order to start the fire insurance claim process right away.

If you are faced with any insurance claim problem, you can take the issue to the Insurance Ombudsman to help resolve the issue free of charge. See the next sections for more information about the Insurance Ombudsman.

Where can I get help for insurance claims and insurance claim settlements?

Contacting the local authorized agent is the first step. You can also go back to the insurance broker or insurance agent you bought the insurance policy from. You will need to complete an insurance claim form. Be sure it is filled out properly. When reported to the insurance company, the company will immediately dispatch its insurance claim adjusters to investigate the damage to the property. Usually, the insurance provider you bought the policy from will have a contact center or help line. This is a good place to start. Most Insurance companies also have a website where you can download, complete and submit an insurance claim form.

The Insurance Ombudsman

With the number of insurance policies written in New Zealand, there will likely be the occasional insurance claim problem. The insurance company has to protect itself from fraudulent claims and may, at some point, deny a claim in error. Conversely, the consumer has a right to fair dealings as well. This is why the Insurance Ombudsman was created. Any disputes handled by the office of the Insurance Ombudsman are reviewed thoroughly and without prejudice toward either party. If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Ombudsman, you can still take the matter to court. Note that insurance companies are bound to the decisions of the Ombudsman.

The New Zealand Insurance and Savings Ombudsman

The New Zealand Insurance and Savings Ombudsman (ISO) is a free independent service. This is where you lodge your complaint or receive assistance when there are unsolved issues regarding your claim. The office resolves insurance claim disputes without charge to the consumer. The office deals with problematic claims regarding house, contents, travel, auto and income protection insurance claims.

The Insurance Council of New Zealand

The Insurance Council of New Zealand, also known as the Insurance Council of NZ, represents NZ fire and general insurers. During disputes or legislations, the Insurance Council of NZ works to protect the interests of the insurance companies without prejudice to the insured consumers.

How do I make an insurance claim?

You must provide your insurer with a full and accurate account of what happened. If applicable, be sure to supply photos or diagrams.

Keep a record of when and whom you spoke to in regards to your insurance claim. Ask for a reference number of the conversation. This will make it easier for them to retrieve your information if it needs to be reviewed for anything promised or said to you during your conversations.

Keep a file of all information regarding your insurance claim and throw nothing away, including the damaged property, until your insurance claim has been approved. You may need it to prove your claim.

If you are unhappy with the insurance adjustor‘s assessment regarding your insurance claim, you may want to hire an independent insurance expert.

What If my insurance claim is denied?

This is an unfortunate position to be in. If you find yourself facing this situation, consider the following tips:

Contact someone of higher authority in the insurance company to explain your dissatisfaction.

Determine whether the insurance assessor had all the facts and properly understood your claim. Look at all the reasons why your claim was denied. Was there or is there information you forgot to supply?

You can always make a formal complaint to your insurance company. Find out their procedure and supply them with a copy of all documentation, photos and expert advice you may have received. Ensure that your complaint is made in writing.

The New Zealand Insurance Ombudsman has been set up to help consumers with insurance claim disputes. It is free of charge. They will assess your claim and decide whether the denial of your insurance claim is justified. You can find the contact details for the Insurance Ombudsman and other insurance resources here.

Search our insurance tools section. You will find free templates that will assist you when buying insurance or when making an insurance claim.

Steps to Take When Requesting Insurance Claim Assistance

If you need help making an insurance claim, contact the local insurance agent affiliated with your insurance company immediately. It may help to be aware of the following:

Regardless of the type of insurance claim, be ready to deal with the process.

Ensure that your insurance application was and still has accurate. It’s better to contact your insurance company with updated information before an accident happens.

Request the assistance of an independent insurance claims adjuster to help you if there are problems with your insurance claim.

When your insurance policy comes up for renewal, make sure that the details are still correct and disclose anything that may affect an insurance claim in the future.

Cooperate with the insurance claims adjusters that represent your insurance company; they are there to assess the damage to prevent contractors from charging exorbitant fees for repairs.

If the insurance company withholds payment on some grounds, ask the Ombudsman to look into the case.

To avoid problems when it comes to insurance claims, always keep receipts, photos and serial numbers of your most valuable insured possessions.

Know your insurance policy inside out. Know what dollar and value amounts your items are insured for. Contact and communicate with your insurance provider if you feel some of these values or details are outdated or incorrect.

Keep records of any communication you have with your insurance company. You can download free insurance tools from the insurance tools section.

You Can Still Qualify for Insurance With Preexisting Conditions Such As  Cancer.

With new advanced medical science and technology today are able to overcome the many diseases and illnesses that once would have been terminal. In the past because these types of diseases and illnesses weren’t considered curable, survivors weren’t able to qualify for life insurance at all. Now due better treatment options and higher survival rates, many insurance companies are revising their policies to offer coverage.

Qualifying for insurance after surviving an illness or disease is complicated, but it can be done. Heres a step by step breakdown of how to do it.

Find a Good Insurance Broker

Finding and using a good insurance broker is everything if you want to get any cover and the right cover with the best company. If you try and do it your self by going through a bank or direct to an insurance company you will not get a full range of insurance company options or free advice.

The right insurance broker knows where to go and what to do for the many different scenarios and circumstances they have faced with their clients as a broker.

A good agent will assess your budget, your health and possible loadings or exclusions, understand your goals and financial commitments, your families circumstances. As your life changes so will your insurance needs. A good agent will build a life long relationship with you and help you with those ever changing insurance needs as its needed.

A good broker will help you understand and disclose

1. Your Health Information
2. Your illness Information
3. Your Treatment Information
4. Understand your Waiting and Benefit Periods
5. Help with the Underwriting

Life Insurance for Extreme Risks

If you are a mad adventurer, love scaling high mountain peeks, extreme skiing or adventures, you have probably thought how would this affect my insurance or can I get insurance?

When I think of extreme adventurers I think of someone sky surfing off a cliff or a sky scraper. I think off someone abseiling down the centre of the earth through 500 meter crevasses into the abyss.

Of course many of these activities are dangerous and I’m sure there have been accidents and some broken bones. But accidents and broken days also occur in everyday life and activities we participate in daily. Driving to work, stepping off a curb or getting injured by a ridiculous unforeseen event. Also participating in the many everyday sports such as Rugby, basketball, league, soccer and many others can result in injury.

In most scenarios you can get cover. Some extreme events can excluded and others there may be loadings, but you will be surprised what you can get cover for because the risks aren’t in fact that real compared to some everyday activities.

Should We Take Out Insurance When We Are Young with No Mortgage and No Children

The very best time to take our personal insurance is the younger you are. As we move through our lives and as we get older we generally get bigger, we incur injuries; we get illnesses and diseases such as diabetes. Once you get all these things your insurance premiums are usually a lot more expensive and you can expect loadings and exclusions. So the best time to take cover is when you’re young and free of these age related problems.

The earlier you take out cover you can lock in premiums on a level plan so that your premiums will never go up due to age related inflation. The younger you are the cheaper the premiums will be because you are a lower risk of claiming. So then would be the time to take cover and lock in the premiums.

Throughout our life we know there is a high probability that we might get married, might take on debt a mortgage, and may have children. There’s a high chance at some stage in our life we may get sick or incur a disability or disease. There’s a good chance someone in our family will incur one of the above and that’s when insurance is needed.

Also over the period of our lives the average New Zealander is going to earn about $2,000,000 in income. This is based on an average salary of $50,000 per annum over forty years in the work force. If you want to do things in life that we all want like, buying a house, raising a family, perhaps the odd holiday, accumulating wealth and hopefully living a comfortable retirement then its fundamentally important you take our Income Protection to protect your income for the rest of your life. To take out a pretty comprehensive full insurance package you should be looking at spending between 3%-5% of your income. This will guarantee if something happens to you, you still have the ability to still pay bills and accumulate wealth will continue. This is a real safety net and the earlier you take it and lock it in the cheaper it will be and remain.

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