With the insurance industry experiencing unprecedented premium volatility and changes in insurance policy benefits, now is a good time to assess one’s level of life insurance cover.
Insurance cover is often either overlooked altogether or reviewed too infrequently, which can mean that insurance plans become deficient. Insurance cover needs to change over time to reflect any changes in circumstances, and protect the ongoing ability to earn an income.
It’s critical to make reviewing insurances part of a regular routine as people transition through life stages. The most common triggers for changing or taking out life insurance are starting a family, buying a new home and starting a new job in a higher income bracket, but even self-funded retirees can often have insurance needs after they finish work.
Structural changes to life insurance policies have resulted in many policy definitions changing.
An Australian Prudential Regulation Authority intervention on income protection to improve sustainability guidelines has resulted in many features and policy benefits being removed or altered.
The government has also made changes to eligibility for insurance cover in super, with some members unaware they had been exited from the cover automatically, only to learn they don’t have adequate cover upon making a claim or when it’s too late to get it back.
Existing life insurance cover needs to be reviewed regularly. Financial advisers, particularly risk specialists, are well-placed to help clients with this part of their overall financial strategy, and compare the market for policy wordings.
They can then provide a detailed recommendation based on the client’s particular situation, and manage the application process. If a client needs to claim, the adviser should be acting as their advocate in making the claim.
This article was authored by Andrew Kennedy, Key Risk Adviser, Sydney.