The million-dollar question…
Go direct to your bank for personal insurance or use an adviser?
While there is no RIGHT answer, it’s good to know what your options are and the benefits. While we may be biased ‘working in the independent adviser industry’ we thought it was important to relay some key points on why you should choose an adviser.
Firstly, what is an adviser?
Key word. Independent. They don't work for any specific insurance company, they work for you. Therefore, they aren't going to sell a particular companies products but rather what works best for you. So, what are the benefits of having an adviser?
1. The full service process
It’s not just about having insurance, it’s the full process: claim management, working through the hurdles at insurance set-up time, and how your life circumstances, payments etc are managed.
Having an adviser, you aren’t just sold a policy with a hotline number for future communication… the hotline number that then goes to ten different customer service people you’ve never met and whom have zero investment in you, your family and your insurance plan. With an adviser you don't need to repeat the same story to several different people, be sent endless paperwork to fill out and deal with somewhat ridiculous waiting times. Disclaimer: while this may not always be the case, it is a reputation the banks uphold.
Instead, you’ll be dealing with one to two people who know you, your family and have your best interests at mind. They will bat for you when it comes to dealing with your provider and getting hurdles across the line. We want to see your claims paid for... help you to keep your insurance when life takes a turn, offering help through the niggly processes that insurance brings to the forefront.
Independent advisers will go through a slower more vigilant process of setting up a plan that is specific to your life. They will set up weekly payments that suit your budget and focus on getting all the additional tick boxes covered that come with the paper work. They are able to do this as they have access to tools and knowledge that offer an independent point of view.
What does being independent mean? And how does it impact you?
Independence means the adviser can offer a full range of providers and the varying cover options that come with. An adviser will select what best fits your situation – as everyone is different. Whether this be for price, product or T&C benefits (i.e. exclusions from previous medical history). It’s not about the moolah (though advisers obviously don't work for free), it’s about putting you in the best position you could possibly be in so you stay with that insurance adviser long-term.
Dealing with a bank – they’re aligned with one provider i.e. ANZ and OnePath. This means that they will only ever offer you that one insurance provider, even if it may not be the best one out there for you.
3. The best bit…
I doesn’t cost you anything to have all of this extra – second to none service and security! The insurance provider pays for our work because it means less work for them.
4. What now?
Well now it’s what adviser to use? Get a feel of the people you’re dealing with; what are their business values, processes and priorities. Do these components align with you and your family long term?
Insurance can be a tricky path that requires navigation... a specialist to help you navigate. That’s what your adviser is for. There is so much information in the insurance world, leave it up to the specialist to know and let them direct you through all of the ins and outs.