Four common Insurance mistakes

With so many details to pull together, Insurance can be a complicated topic – especially if you’re not familiar with the jargon. Less than 10% of Insurance claims are not paid, and in most cases it is because of an avoidable mistake.

In this guide, we take a good look at the most common ‘insurance mistakes’, and how we can help you avoid them.

Unwitting non-disclosure

Insurance providers are fans of forms: that’s a given. And there’s a reason why Insurance applications come with so many questions: it’s a process called ‘underwriting’.

To determine your premium rates and policy conditions, the Insurance provider needs to gather all relevant information about you, including any past medical conditions and habits you may have (e.g. smoking). But what if your memory fails you when you’re filling in the forms?

Without guidance, it can be easy to overlook details that seem insignificant or simply forget about them, but it’s important to note that unintentional non-disclosure or misrepresentation could result in a future claim being rejected and even your policy being cancelled.

As your adviser, we can help you avoid unwitting non-disclosure – by asking the right questions and answering all of your queries.

The one thing that can jeopardise your claim

Once again, when it’s time to claim, being truthful is always a good idea. This includes providing the correct information – nothing more and nothing less than this.

Things like adding non-existent items to a Contents Insurance claim or falsifying receipts, for example, cannot just lead to a claim denial. They may put your future insurability at risk and even result in prosecution.

So please don’t hesitate to contact us: we can help you ensure that your claim is filed correctly, and do everything we can to ensure that the payout is fair, reasonable and quick.

Not reading the small print

Are you sure that you know what your Insurance does and does not cover?

Time spent reading the small print can be tedious, and it often creates more questions than answers. It’s one thing to identify all inclusions and exclusions; it’s another thing understanding their implications.

Needless to say, we know the ins and outs of your cover. Have any questions for us? Please feel free to get in touch.

Missing premium payments

Keeping up with your premium payments is also crucial. If you fail to pay for a certain amount of time, your policy could lapse, leaving you uncovered and unable to make a claim.

If it was an oversight, consider setting up direct debit: it will take care of it for you. But if – for any reasons – you’re finding it hard to meet your premium payments, please let us know as soon as you can. Working closely with your Insurance provider, we may find ways to help you manage your premiums without losing cover.
As you can see, there are a number of important things to consider. So reach out to us whenever you need assistance: we’re in your corner to make your Insurance journey as simple and smooth as possible, helping you avoid all the bumps in the road.

An Adviser Disclosure Statement is available free and upon request.

When is the best time to buy Pet Insurance

You may ask yourself whether you should get pet insurance when you have a kitten or puppy, or wait a while and get it as they are older in life. Although you may think that your puppy or kitten is healthy and unstoppable, they can be susceptible to illnesses and still learning their way around this big world.

Puppy or kitten

Pet insurance for many is the last thing on the mind after bringing home a new pet. You’ve paid for the animal, initial vet costs and vaccinations, microchipping plus all their toys, bedding and food. Many people hold off on purchasing insurance as they cannot afford it immediately.

Puppies and kittens often have very weak and sensitive immune systems and as such more susceptible to illness and disease.  This can turn in to thousands of dollars in vet bills. By paying monthly instalments for pet insurance as soon as you pick up your new furry friend, you can give yourself the peace of mind knowing that they will be covered.

Injuries and illnesses to your pet can come at the worst of times, so if you decide to put aside some money and not get pet insurance, you may be hit earlier than expected and not have enough to cover the treatment bills.

Older dogs and cats

Our pets get more fragile with age and tend to find themselves sick or injured even with the best care. For most, this is the perfect time to have pet insurance, however most companies will not take on a new policy if the pet is over 8 years old – although will continue to cover the pet if the policy was registered before the 8th birthday.

If you do decide to insure your pet in their later years, they may come with pre-existing conditions that can be excluded from your insurance cover. The longer you wait for pet insurance, the higher the chance there is going to be exclusions.

When should I get pet insurance?

Accidents and injuries can happen at any time; with younger animals being prone to injuring themselves while older dogs and cats being more susceptible to illnesses. The perfect time to get pet insurance is when you can’t afford to be paying for any unexpected injury or illness. Although it may seem like an unnecessary expense to some, when you cannot afford an unexpected big expense and don’t want to compromise your pet’s health, pet insurance is the perfect option for you – therefore get it as soon as you can.

If you are keen to look at getting insurance for your beloved cat or dog, then you can either contact us on info@insurenz.co.nz or click on link and get you pet covered ASAP – 1 Cover Pet Insurance

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Young and healthy? Three reasons why Insurance is a good idea

Thinking about the unexpected isn’t always easy and – especially when you’re young, healthy and dependant-free – the ‘worst case scenario’ may not be on your radar yet. But there are plenty of reasons to consider Insurance at a young age.

If you belong to the Millennial generation or know someone who does, this quick read may help you put a couple of things into perspective.

No one is bulletproof

Sadly, recent research found that certain medical issues are no longer limited to the elderly, and these include strokes, diabetes and bowel cancer (+15 percent among under-55 Kiwis in the last 20 years, according to a University of Otago study).

Being young is usually about experiencing life as it flows, living for the here and now. Of course, this sense of endless opportunity and invincibility is certainly empowering. But keep in mind that, should the unexpected happen, personal Insurance could help you remove the financial stress that you and your loved ones may face.

Protecting your future will never be this cheap again

You are your most important asset, and protecting yourself from the ‘worst case scenario’ may only cost you a few dollars a week. In fact, one of the advantages of taking out Insurance when young and healthy is that premiums are at their lowest. Plus, if you choose level-premium Insurance, you might even be able to lock in that premium rate for life.

Do you have any financial commitments?

You may have debt, such as a student loan or a mortgage. And if you suddenly stopped earning an income or worse, these commitments could easily turn into an additional burden for your family or partner. Insurance is designed to prevent that – on the off-chance that something happened to you, money would be one less thing to worry about.

Depending on your personal circumstances, there are different types of cover available. From Income Protection to Life Insurance, from Mortgage Protection, to Health Insurance and Trauma Cover, each offers different benefits, on different terms and conditions. If you’re keen to find which works best for you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

An Adviser Disclosure Statement is available free and on request.

Insurance company refuses to cover Auckland mum with rare illness

 

Here is a great article which points out why getting good financial advice is important, so that you have the right cover for what you require it for. We listen to find out what you want the cover for, before coming back to you with recommendations.

Trauma insurance is a great cover to have, (We have had some amazing claims stories) but it is specific to a list of conditions (these vary dramatically depending on whether it is a bank product or one through Insure NZ). We will also look at other options that would have covered Selina in the situation below. We can mix and match cover, so that it will cover as much as we can for your particular budget.

Three months ago Selina Linton fell out of bed, unable to move her legs. She barely remembers the following weeks spent intensive care; doctors can’t say exactly when, or to what extent, she will recover.

The Auckland woman was struck by Guillain-Barre Syndrome — a mysterious, debilitating illness that attacks the nervous system. The 54-year-old dental assistant remains in a rehab centre, in nappies, unable to walk.

Her husband Nathan Linton, 53, said he was shattered to learn the trauma insurance policy they had been putting money into for over two decades didn’t cover Guillain-Barre. It wouldn’t pay out for what the family deemed an “incredibly traumatic” experience.

The Lintons’ discovery is not unusual. Trauma insurance, also known as crisis or critical illness insurance, is a broad term for a highly specific type of coverage. It pays a lump sum to be used any way the insured chooses.

Selina’s medical bills were covered by the state, so Nathan said the money would have gone into modifying their Titirangi home for the wheelchair his wife was likely to return with. He said the family were also “getting kicked” through being one income down.

Nathan said he hoped others might temper their expectations of trauma coverage after his family’s experience: “we’d have done better putting the money in a jar by the bed”, he said. Ideally, he wanted Guillain-Barre put on insurance companies’ trauma tick list.

A spokesman for AMP, the Lintons’ insurance provider for over two decades, said trauma policies didn’t cover Guillain–Barré Syndrome for several reasons, including because only 40 to 80 New Zealanders got it each year.

“Insurers can’t cover every eventuality – if they did premiums would go up and cover would not be accessible or affordable,” he said.

Guillain-Barre sufferers who permanently lose their ability to “perform key tasks independently” could, however, get a pay out through trauma insurance, he said. Selina was not eligible as doctors believed she would eventually recover.

Karen Stevens of the Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman (IFSO) said she had many clients who, like the Lintons, felt misled by their trauma policy.

“Trauma in everyday language means something unexpected that happens to you and plays havoc with your life — but if it’s not specifically mentioned in your policy, it won’t be covered,” she said.

“We recently had a woman come in who had suffered fairly horrific injuries from giving birth to a baby, for example, which left her incapacitated. She said it was the most traumatic thing that could have happened to her, but since birth wasn’t mentioned in her policy there was nothing we could do.”

Stevens said disgruntled heart attack victims approached the IFSO “constantly”. While trauma policies typically include heart attacks, they only pay out if certain events play out.

Since being in hospital Selina has had pneumonia, a tracheotomy — doctors cut a hole in her windpipe to get air to her lungs — a flooded lung, and excruciating nerve pain. Her husband said her “good brain inside a very sick body” — which until recently could not speak — and the ever-fuzzy prognosis of Guillain-Barre had taken psychological tolls too.

She could barely keep her eyelids up at 4 o’clock in the afternoon last Tuesday, in a wheelchair at her Point Chevalier rehabilitation clinic. She held her husband and their 22-year-old daughter Lucy’s hands, and cried.

“Now I should be finishing work for the day and going home to cook dinner with my family,” she said. She missed the Titirangi trees, her dog, and “catching up with the girls”.

Nathan promised to get their wheelchair-unfriendly house ready for her “somehow”, to hasten her homecoming.

“We’ll suck it up,” he said. “But we thought we were responsible, taking out that insurance policy so that if something like this happened, we’d be able to look after each other comfortably.”

WHAT IS GUILLAIN-BARRE? 

– It is a collection of symptoms, rather than a single disease.

– They include rapidly progressive weakness, sometimes resulting in complete paralysis.

– Recovery typically takes three to six months, though two-thirds never fully recover and it can be fatal.

– It frequently follows another health problem such as food poisoning, flu, childbirth or surgery.

– Two cases were triggered by the campylobacter outbreak from contaminated drinking water in Hawke’s Bay last year.

If you have any concerns about your insurance cover and wish to have a free no obligation chat, please call on 09 551 3500 or click here

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Travel Insurance – How do you choose?

I recently had a trip to Europe and being in the insurance profession, decided to look at options available for travel insurance.

Like all insurances, there are a number of companies to choose from and they all have slightly different cover options and wordings.

I decided that I would look at 1 Cover Travel Insurance as it looked cost effective and seem to cover what I needed it for. As I said to my wife, you do not know how good they are until you have a claim.

We were travelling to Europe and first flight was to Hong King via an Air NZ flight, which left at midnight. (We have 2 children, it was there first time on a plane and thought the late flight will mean they will be able to sleeep through the flight… we were hoping anyway). The children had fallen asleep (yay!!) when there was an announcement – the plane, was going back to Auckland as the pilot got sick. So after 5-6 hours in the air, we were in Auckland again, (where we started) kids did not want to get up and we had to hand back duty free and go back to check in.

The confusion and chaos when we arrived was crazy, we had no communication from Air NZ and did not know what was happenning and how we were going to get new flights to start our holiday. – my daughter was asleep on the bags, my son was being amazing but extremely tired, never mind us.

We were given a number to call Air NZ to rebook our flight… as you can imagine the lines were busy and 3 hours later nothing – they offered us accomodation at Sky City (back in the city) – at this stage we were at our wits end and so called 1 Cover and asked what our options were, they were friendly and gave us our options.

We made the call to book into the Novotel across the road, luckily they had a day room available. The kids and my wife went to bed, while I called Air NZ to rebook our flight. – Finally after 6 hours, we got a new flight booked that was leaving that night. We slept, had some food and then started the journey again.

Once we got back to NZ, I had kept all the relevant documents like they had said when I originally called and made the claim. 3 days later had confirmation of claim being approved and payment a few days after that. We were happy that we could choose where to stay and they paid for our food and drinks while we were delayed.

I would now use them all the time and am lucky enough to be on their affiliate program and offer travel cover through 1 Cover Travel Insurance – I am not a specialist in the area and still recommend that you find the company that suits you, but if you wish to have a look at cost and options for 1 Cover Travel Insurance, please click logo above or here

 

 

Call for NZ to rethink bowel screening

New Zealand needs to rethink its exorbitantly expensive second-rate bowel screening programme based on research from the UK.

That’s the view of Associate Professor Brian Cox from the University of Otago who says UK research proves flexible sigmoidoscopy screening is better than the faecal occult blood (FOBT) New Zealand is planning to use.

During a sigmoidoscopy exam, a thin, flexible tube, or sigmoidoscope, is inserted into the rectum, while a FOBT detects very small amounts of blood in a bowel motion before they become visible to the naked eye.

The results of a UK trial of flexible sigmoidoscopy published in The Lancet confirmed the reduced bowel cancer incidence and mortality persists for at least 17 years after the flexible sigmoidoscopy test. The benefit is very likely to persist for the rest of a person’s life, Professor Cox says.

He says a 15-minute sigmoidoscopy is by far the most cost-effective strategy for reducing bowel cancer in New Zealand and it could be performed by GPs.

“This is the most cancer-preventing 15 minutes anyone could ever undertake.”

A flexible sigmoidoscopy screening test once when aged 55-64 years reduces lifelong risk of bowel cancer by 35 per cent and mortality from bowel cancer by 41 per cent.

Professor Cox says the earlier results of the UK trial at 11 years of follow-up were published in 2010 but were not deemed sufficient by the Ministry of Health to guide the development of bowel screening policy in New Zealand and only a pilot study of two-yearly FOBT screening was pursued.

The evidence from the UK trial clearly indicates the need to completely rethink the approach to bowel screening in New Zealand before an exorbitantly expensive second-rate FOBT programme is instituted, he says.

A national flexible sigmoidoscopy programme could begin within 12 months covering the entire country.

About 3,000 New Zealanders are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year, and it’s the second most common cause of cancer death.

Budget 2016 invests $39.3 million for national bowel screening, starting with Hutt Valley and Wairarapa DHBs in 2017.

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MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN BUYING INSURANCE

Buying insurance can be confusing, but when the unexpected happens – a death, floods, car accident, unable to work or illness – it’s a relief to know that some of those financial losses will be covered. But how do you know how much coverage you need? And what questions should you ask before buying a policy?

Many consumers aren’t sure. Insurance coverage is far from one size fits all, so here’s a look at mistakes some consumers make when buying insurance.

Assuming insurance is unaffordable.

A large percentage of the population has no health or life insurance. Often that’s because people feel they can’t afford it. This is not correct and you will be surprised at what you are able to get.

The average consumer thinks life insurance is three times more expensive than it actually is. And often they do not research the actual costs.

When buying insurance, ask about potential discounts. These may be offered if you place all your insurance with one company or you may be able to get discount on medical insurance if you add some other cover with it.

Relying on assumptions or outdated figures.

It is surprising how many people we talk with who realise that they may either be underinsured or in some cases over insured because they have not had their insurances reviewed for a while.

As things change so quickly in the insurance industry, it is worthwhile reviewing your insurance on a regular basis because you need to make sure that it meets your needs at the time you need at the most.

Click here to see video on why to review you insurances

Shopping on price alone.

Comparing insurance policies can be confusing, but resist the urge to simply choose the policy with the lowest premium. Consider the company’s reputation and the coverage you get for the premium you pay.

What we do for our clients is make sure the company that we decide to choose, has good claims paying history, at application stage they have the company that will offer the best terms and policy wordings that at the time of claim have more chance of paying.

Glossing over the details.

Insurance companies pay a claim when you meet the policy wordings of the insurance cover. It is always wise to read and understand these wordings, so you are aware of may or may not be covered. We specialise in this, so you do not need to and available to answer questions if anything is unclear.

What I see when I meet with clients is that they have insurance cover, but due to the complex wordings of the policy document and not having a degree in law to understand these, that people find it hard to understand exactly what they covered for. I actually have a law degree from the UK and therefore am able to decipher these wordings for you and help you understand them in plain English.

Setting your excess too low.

Setting a low excess typically means higher premiums. Insurance is designed to protect against losses you could not cover yourself, so if you can afford to pay the first $500 or $1,000 yourself, you may not need a lower excess. Consider your own financial situation. How much of the risk are you willing to insure yourself?

Because insurance can be so complicated, we recommend a regular review of all your policies to ensure you are adequately covered. Now would be a good time to call and book a time for a review so you don’t find yourself out of pocket should disaster strike.

Feel free to contact us for a free no obligation chat – Insure NZ – 09 551 3500 or click here

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Diabetes – How much do you know?

Diabetes is a disease where your body cannot control its blood sugar levels properly – either because your body doesn’t make enough (or any) insulin, or because your cells have become resistant to insulin.

Insulin is a chemical produced in the pancreas. It helps your body process sugars.

  • If blood sugar levels aren’t kept under control, diabetes can be life-threatening.
  • Diabetes can lead to other health conditions, including kidney failure, eye disease, foot ulceration and a higher risk of heart disease.
  • Keeping your blood sugar at a safe level means you’re less likely to have other health problems.

There’s no cure for diabetes, but there are things you can do to stay well. Support from your friends, whānau and health care providers can help

Heart and diabetes checks

Diabetes is our largest and fastest growing health issue we face in New Zealand. Diabetes is closely linked with heart disease (also known as cardiovascular disease or CVD), and together they are responsible for the deaths of more New Zealanders each year than cigarettes are. Many of these deaths are preventable.

The More Heart and Diabetes Checks Health Target has been established to help save these lives – aiming to have regular heart and diabetes checks for at least 90 percent of those at risk of developing these conditions. Find out more about heart and diabetes checks.

How common is diabetes?

There are over 240,000 people in New Zealand who have been diagnosed with diabetes (mostly type 2). It is thought there are another 100,000 people who have it but don’t know.

  • Diabetes is most common amongMāori and Pacific Islanders. They’re three times as likely to get it as other New Zealanders.
  • South Asian people are also more likely to develop diabetes.
  • The number of people with both types of diabetes is rising – especially obesity-related type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is when your body has stopped producing insulin. People with type 1 diabetes need to inject insulin to live.

  • Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children.
  • Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is when your cells have become insulin resistant or your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to keep you healthy.

  • Type 2 diabetes usually develops in adults but it is becoming more common in children.
  • Type 2 diabetes is the only type of diabetes linked with obesity.

Diabetes in pregnancy

Pregnant women can also develop diabetes. This is known as gestational diabetes (or ‘diabetes in pregnancy’). It usually goes away when the baby is born.

But the problem is more widespread than that, and it appears to be worsening.

In fact, advocacy group the International Diabetes Federation has estimated that by 2040 the number of adults with diabetes globally will rise about 55 per cent to reach 642 million.

And there’s no room for complacency, with the federation stating that the condition kills one person worldwide every six seconds.

However, diabetes can often be effectively managed, even prevented.

While access to quality medical care plays a large role, so too does public awareness of diabetes, and to test your knowledge, we’ve developed a quiz.

Answer the 10 questions below as true or false, then check the answers to see how you fared.

Afterwards, you may also like to complete or update your Wellness Assessment to learn about your diabetes risk and potential ways of addressing it.

For more information and individual advice, consult an appropriate health professional.

 

What’s your diabetes knowledge?

Indicate whether the following statements are true or false.

  1. Glucose is found in blood only.
  2. Insulin is a hormone normally released into the blood after eating.
  3. Type 1 diabetes is a lifestyle disease.
  4. In type 2 diabetes, the body may stop responding to insulin properly.
  5. Being overweight does not increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  6. You can develop type 2 diabetes without experiencing obvious symptoms.
  7. Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  8. People with diabetes should avoid sugary food and drink.
  9. Type 2 diabetes always requires medication.
  10. Gestational diabetes goes away after pregnancy.

Click Here For Answers

Source 1, Source 2

Why review your insurance policies – How we can help!

It is good idea to review with your insurances, if you have not seen your adviser for a while or do not have one give us a call 09 551 3500 or 0280 467873.

As our business name suggests, our team services New Zealand wide.

We can also arrange and review certain insurances for Kiwis living abroad.