As ASIC knuckles down on poor quality and poor performing income protection products, the benefits of tailoring with an expert are even more evident.
As the fallout from the Hayne Royal Commission continues, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is beginning to flex its regulatory muscle in the financial services sector.
A key focus for ASIC recently has been the practice of some Australian banks to use cold-calling from overseas based call centres to sell products described as poor quality and generic in the income protection and life insurance product range which, in some cases, have not even been honoured in the event of a customer wishing to claim.
Insurers can no longer cold-call customers to sell life insurance and consumer credit products, with a ban on the practice coming into effect on Monday. https://t.co/FRJds1NoLr— Consumer Action (@consumer_action) 12 January 2020
The case couldn’t be any clearer for customers to look beyond the easy but often poor performing insurance solutions offered by some segments of the financial services industry, and to engage with expert, reputable and experienced insurance professionals to develop tailored insurance solutions which meet customers’ specific requirements and are demonstrated performers when it comes to claims.
If you are considering an income protection or life insurance product, there are some questions you should ask yourself at the outset. If you’re thinking about insurance, you need to make sure it’s the right product and configured the right way to meet the needs of you and your family.
- Are my circumstances covered by a generic policy or do I need to tailor it?
- Have I thought through all of the specific circumstances that influence my policy coverage?
- Do I know other people with similar circumstances to mine who I can talk to?
The reality is that most income protection policies are flexible and can be tailored to suit your personal circumstances. Expert, professional insurers in the sector will have access to a wide range of policy products to suit a vast array of job types and personal circumstances.
Some examples of tailoring options include:
- Flexibility on the waiting period between being incapacitated and receiving your first insurance payment. Typically, this can vary from fourteen days to two years. A shorter wait period will of course mean a higher premium. You may have sufficient savings or accumulated sick leave to defer the waiting period, thereby reducing your insurance premiums. A ‘benefit period’ of two or five years, or up to age 70. This is the period during which you receive your income protection payments.
- The percentage of your gross income that you would like to insure. While the maximum is generally 75% of your gross income, some insurers can allow for up to 85% of your pre-injury income.
- Insurance contract type – you can usually choose between an agreed value contract, where the insurance amount is stipulated when you sign up, or an indemnity contract, where the payment quantum is assessed when you make a claim.
There are many other potential tailoring solutions that you can discuss with a reputable insurer to make certain that your insurance is a good fit with the circumstances for you and your family.
If you’re thinking about income protection or life insurance, make the right decision to talk to an expert and get the cover that is best for you.