“There’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst.” - Stephen King
most people would know someone who has been impacted by an unforeseen illness, injury or death
What We Do
We can guide you through many of life’s important financial decisions, from family budgeting, planning for
retirement, superannuation, business succession planning, estate planning and estate equalisation,
underpinned by an appropriate personal insurance portfolio. Of course, we will refer you to appropriate
specialist advice (e.g. solicitors or accountants) when it is needed.
A robust personal insurance portfolio is the foundation of all financial planning.
Without it, even the best financial plans can unravel in an instant.
You are your own greatest asset.
Yet many Australians do not have insurance in place to protect their ability to work if a long-term illness or injury should strike. This is alarming, considering many of us will be disabled by accident or illness at some stage of our working lives!
Income Protection can be very important if you are self-employed or a small business owner, as you may not have sick leave or annual leave, or be covered by a worker’s compensation agreement.
How much does your income mean to you? It could be the difference between keeping a roof over your head or not. You might need it if you want to have a holiday, keep the kids in school, pay off your car or investment property, or even plan for retirement on your own terms.
Your day-to-day lifestyle and your net assets can be severely affected if your income stops for months on end.
Income Protection Cover can insure up to 75% of your income, plus superannuation, and is payable in the event you are unable to work due to accident or illness.
Depending on the policy you choose, your income protection may be able to cover you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, almost anywhere in the world. And your illness or injury does not have to be work related.
Even better, the premium you pay may be tax deductible!
If your income is important to you, you really can’t afford not to have this cover in place.
Contact us for further information.
Life (Death) Insurance Cover
On average, there is one death in Australia every three minutes and thirty-six seconds.
Without you, could your loved ones pay the monthly bills or keep up the mortgage repayments?
If you have any debts or dependents, or would like to provide those you leave behind with a cash legacy, you may need life insurance. Perhaps you need to consider options for estate equalisation?
Life Insurance provides a lump sum payment, payable on your death or diagnosis of a terminal illness.
Talk to us about the possibility of tax effective strategies which may be applied under certain circumstances to Life Insurance Cover.
You may well have some life cover in your default superannuation fund, but, for many reasons, this should be reviewed by a specialist adviser to ensure it offers the protection you are counting on.
Alarmingly, Rice Warner’s Underinsurance in Australia 2017 report found the average Australian family would find only 47% of its basic needs would be covered if they needed to claim through their life insurance, or 28% of the amount they would need to maintain their existing standard of living.
Through its report Rice Warner warns the results of significant underinsurance not only restrict the lifestyle the claimant and their dependants can enjoy after an unfortunate event, it also incurs substantial
cost to government mainly in the form of social security benefits. [https://www.finder.com.au/underinsurance-inaustralia]
It doesn’t matter, I’m not the main bread winner…” Well, according to 2019 research by Salary.com the childcare and home help provided by a stay-at-home spouse can be worth more than $230,000 every year if it had to be outsourced! [https://mumsgrapevine.com.au/2019/02/stay-at-home-mum-salary/ ]
Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD) Cover
Things don’t always go to plan.
Illness and accidents do happen. And, if serious, could leave you unable to work.
How would you, your family and/or your business cope, if you could no longer work and earn an income?
How would you manage if you needed permanent care?
TPD Cover provides a lump sum payment in the event you are unable to ever work again, due to sickness or injury.
You need TPD Cover if you have any debts or dependents, or would need an injection of cash to pay for alterations to your house or vehicle, specialised equipment, or ongoing care.
The disability pension – if you even qualify – provides only around 20% of the average Australian wage.
You may have some TPD Cover within your default superannuation fund.
However, it is possible this cover may have a reducing benefit and may only represent a small portion of the benefit you would need.
There is also a danger your default TPD will have weaker policy definitions, which can make claiming on the policy more difficult.
Default insurance has not been tailored to your specific needs, and should always be reviewed by a specialist adviser.
Trauma (Critical Illness) Cover
We all get sick sometimes, that’s life. But an unexpected health event can occur at any time, no matter what your age.
The cost of recovering from a major illness like cancer or heart attack can take its toll, not just emotionally, but financially.
Trauma Cover is a type of life insurance that provides cover if you are diagnosed with a certain illness that will make a significant impact on your life, such as cancer or a stroke. [https://moneysmart.gov.au/glossary/traumainsurance]
A comprehensive list of the medical conditions you will be covered for will be clearly specified within the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of the policy you purchase.
This money can help you survive financially, so you are able to focus on getting better, rather than worrying about how to pay the bills!
It can pay for ongoing treatment, or perhaps alternative therapies, and give you the means to maintain your standard of living while you recover.
Private medical insurance can help with the cost of medical treatment and hospital expenses, but it often does not cover all specialist therapies or ongoing treatment needs.
Serious illness does not always result in total and permanent disability. Advancements in medicine mean it is often possible for patients to recover their original lifestyles.
However, the financial burden of serious illness can be significant, and just as crippling as the illness itself.
Does your business have fixed or regular expenses that would continue to be due and payable even if you were unable to work due to accident or illness?
The key to understanding Business Insurance lies in understanding the purpose of the insurance.
Ownership Protection (Buy/Sell) Insurance is intended to provide insurance for all partners or shareholders in a small business. In the event of a partner/shareholder’s death or disablement, the insurance provides lump sum capital to allow the remaining partner(s)/shareholder(s) to purchase the deceased/disabled person’s share of the business.
Business partners should protect themselves and each other with a professionally prepared Buy/Sell Agreement, recording the agreed purpose of this insurance. We can provide guidance in this regard.
Revenue Protection (Keyperson) Insurance provides a lump sum payment designed to offset the expected financial loss to a business if key people within that organisation were to suddenly die or become disabled and unable to do their job.
A Keyperson is someone who is critical to the financial health of the business.
They may possess specific knowledge and experience and/or valuable personal contacts, or they may provide financial support to the business, such that in the event of their death or disability, the business may not be able to continue or would suffer a significant financial loss.
The loss may be a reduction of profitability, an interruption to business activities, or the inability of a business to service financial obligations and commitments.
Substantial recruitment costs may also be incurred in finding a specialist replacement.
Asset (Debt) Protection Insurance provides a lump sum which can be used to pay business debts if the insured person dies or becomes disabled.
This can be used to prevent any short or medium-term financial difficulty that may occur if the person was key to the business, and their loss affects the ability of the business to service debt.
This type of insurance may be a condition of the granting of a business loan.
Where there is more than one business owner, liability for a business loan will often be shared.
The maximum amount insurable for each life insured sharing responsibility for the loan may differ between insurers.
Business Expenses is a monthly benefit, insuring the reasonable and regular normal operating expenses of a business, where those expenses continue when the life insured is disabled by accident or illness.
If there is more than one owner of the business, it will pay the insured’s share of the covered business expenses.
A regular monthly payment will help keep things afloat for many partnerships, small business and sole traders.
An example of expenses covered are: rent or mortgage payments (including principal and interest); property rates and taxes, equipment or vehicle lease costs; electricity and water costs; cleaning and laundry costs; depreciation on equipment and premises the business owns; salaries of employees not generating business income; accounting costs; business insurance premiums; net costs of a Locum; etc.
We look forward to helping you to understand this specialised area of insurance advice and why it may be so very important for you and your business.
Life is complicated! Every single person has different estate planning needs.
We can refer you to estate planning specialists to establish a sturdy Will and other important estate planning tools like Powers of Attorney and Health
We can assist you to analyse your financial position and to put Life (Death) Insurance in place to create a cash legacy upon your death.
It can be structured to ensure the proceeds are dealt with via your Will or it can stand outside your Will.
You may own a business, farm or other asset that you wish to leave to a specific family member?
You may wish to provide a cash benefit to someone in lieu of an asset you wish to leave to someone else?
You may have dependents who require ongoing specialised care?
You may have a blended family, and finances are complicated?
You may have animals which will need care if you predecease them?
For example, once it was acceptable for the family farm to be left to the eldest son…but what happens where one child is catered for and others
Throughout Australia, State legislation now provides other potential beneficiaries with the right to claim further provision from an estate, i.e.
“contest the Will” if it can be established that they have not been adequately provided for in the Will.
This may result in an asset having to be sold to provide cash for potential beneficiaries and a costly legal battle. Despite the best intentions of
the deceased, their Will may be challenged.
For ultimate peace of mind, take control of your estate plan now.
Obtaining specialist legal estate planning advice which incorporates, where necessary, appropriate estate specific insurance advice can help ensure
these problems do not occur.
Complying Superannuation funds are tax effective investment vehicles which exist to provide financial benefits to their members in retirement – or to the member’s beneficiaries in the event of the members death.
You probably know how much super you have now, but do you know how much you’ll need when you retire?
Superannuation savings are generally made through trust funds, and if those funds meet prescribed government standards, they are eligible
for tax concessions.
Most employees in Australia have superannuation paid for them by their employers. However, this often isn’t enough to provide for the type of
lifestyle most of us envisage in retirement.
Those of us who are self-employed need to make our own arrangements!
Once you reach retirement age or retire from the workforce, there are many options regarding your superannuation, and sometimes you just need
someone to talk to.
A rule of thumb is that you’ll need two-thirds (67%) of your pre-retirement income to maintain the same standard of living in retirement. [https://moneysmart.gov.au]
|Annual living costs
|Weekly living costs
Source: ASFA Retirement Standard, December
ASFA estimates that the lump sum required at retirement to support a comfortable lifestyle is $640,000 for a couple and $545,000 for a single
person. This assumes a partial Age Pension.
ASFA estimates that a modest lifestyle is mostly met by the Age Pension. They estimate the lump required to support a modest lifestyle for a single
or couple is $70,000.
We can help you ensure you are financially prepared for many enjoyable and prosperous years in the next stage of your life.
Making a Claim
When you need to make a claim on one or more of your personal insurance products, we will be here to help.
The insurer will need you to provide information to support your claim.
It often takes some time to gather all the right information for your insurer but providing the right information will assist the insurer to process your
claim in a timely manner.
Depending on the type of insurance you may have to provide the following information:
• medical reports and medical test results from your doctors.
• details of your work duties, including physical requirements, and the number of hours you work each week.
• payslips and tax returns, or financial statements if you are self-employed.
• if a person has passed away, a death certificate or medical report listing the cause of death.
Your insurer may ask for permission to contact your doctor about your claim.
You may also have to go to an independent medical examination with a specialist, who then reports to the insurer.
If illness or injury continues to affect your ability to earn an income, you may need to have regular assessments and complete progress claim forms.
TheLife Insurance Code of Practice sets out what insurers should do when handling your claim, including timeframes for making a decision and
keeping you updated.
We hate hearing the naive comment “but they never pay anyway” because in all our years assisting clients through countless claims, we have never seen a legitimate claim denied.
We can assist you to obtain the relevant claim forms from your insurer and guide and support you through the claims process.