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Archive for Insurance Protection

Superannuation Statements – What to Check

Last financial year’s superannuation statements are hitting your mail boxes over the last week.

It is important that you check your details are correct. The type of information you should be checking:

  • What is your balance.
  • Is the balance trending upwards over time – remember the Centrelink aged pension will probably not provide enough for the niceties in life. Chances are you will be relying on your superannuation for a better quality of life in your retirement.
  • Are all this year’s superannuation payments showing on your statement?
    Only recently we had a client whose superannuation guarantee payments from his employer were going into a different fund to the one he thought. And in rare cases, unscrupulous employers have been known not to make their payments at all even though they have a legal requirement to do so.
  • Do you have insurance within your superannuation (life, income protection or total permenant disability)?  Is it still sufficient for your needs?
    Remember that insurance premiums within your super fund are paid from your superannuation returns rather than billed to your directly. This makes them a convenient form of extra financial security, but one which it is easy to overlook.
superannuation statements in Australia

It is important to understand your superannuation – and superannuation statements – at every stage of life not just as your retirement

If you have multiple small balances in superannuation it is a good idea to consolidate them. Before you do so check you are not going to lose important insurance cover.

Lastly, check that you have received all your statements because it is easy to forget the small balance accounts.
If you move addresses and a couple of your superannuation statements are returned to the superannuation company, you might not notice.  Small balance lost super can end up in lost super.

If you need more in depth help understanding your superannuation statement, determining the right insurances, finding and consolidating superannuation please contact our friendly staff at Approved Financial Planners in Perth and we will help you get your superannuation in order.

Total and Permanent Disability Insurance: Business vs Personal

Total and permanent disability insurance is designed to help protect individuals and businesses from the severe consequences of a permanent disability that makes someone unable to ever return to work. While most people are aware of its personal use and coverage, many are unaware that TPD can also be used to protect their business in the case of a permanent disablement to a key member of the staff.

Total and Permanent Disability Insurance

Covering Your Business

Total and permanent disability insurance can be used by business owners to cover their losses or expenses if an important team member becomes totally disabled and is unlikely to ever work again. The consequences of a permanent disability to a key person can include the loss of income and productivity. It can also cost a lot to replace them and train that replacement.

Coverage levels can be difficult to work out because there are so many factors involved. Skill level, training time, loss of productivity and loss of market leverage are all important considerations. Your insurance provider has access to formulas that are accepted across the industry to help you determine what coverage is appropriate.

Covering Yourself

TPD insurance for the individual can help cover personal losses if you become totally disabled and are unlikely to ever work again. It can be used to help you with current expenses, recurring expenses and one-off expenses. Current expenses are those that are present at the time you are injured, including costs of living such as loan repayments, monthly bills and food.

New expenses are those which are a result of your disability. These include your initial medical costs, rehabilitation and modifications to your home or car to accommodate your disability.

Call Approved Financial Planners Today

At Approved Financial Planners, we have been providing financial planning help and disability insurance protection to the Perth area since 2005. We have more than 80 years’ combined experience in providing financial planning and wealth protection for our clients. After an individual consult, we can help you determine what kinds of cover you need.

To learn more or for an individual consult, call us today: 08 6462 0888.

Have You Been Denied Life Insurance?

Most people who apply for life insurance in our Perth office are approved, but sometimes an insurance company will reject or deny life insurance. There are many reasons that people are denied, but it doesn’t always mean you are out of options. Here are some strategies that you can adopt if you are denied life insurance.

Collect Information

Denied Life Insurance

It can be helpful to ask the insurance company for information as to why you were denied. For example, you may have taken a medical examination that found a previously undisclosed illness.

Confirm the Veracity of the Results

Mistakes happen in every facet of business. Sometimes they happen while applying for insurance. It can be helpful to double check and make sure all information that you and other sources provided was accurate.

Work with an Approved Financial Planner

At Approved Financial Planners, we know that the first option isn’t always the only option. We use our experience and know-how to assess your information and find the option most likely to provide a positive outcome for you. Like lenders, each insurance company has its own guidelines. An application rejected by one company may be accepted by another.

Sometimes, though, you just won’t be eligible for the kind of insurance you want. In that case, we can search for similar products so that you aren’t totally unprotected.

Call Approved Financial Planners today. We have over 80 years’ combined financial industry experience. We know how to work within industry regulations to put your best foot forward and give you a great chance of the positive outcome you seek.

Call us today: 08 6462 0888.

Are Your Wealth and Family Protected?

Total and permanent disablement insurance, or TPD, is a form of disability insurance that pays you a lump sum payment in the case that you are never able to work again due to disability. TPD can help ensure that your needs and your family’s are covered if you become permanently unable to work. (1)

Total And Permanent Disability Insurance

Sadly, a disability can happen to anyone, young or old. A person can suffer a debilitating injury by playing sports, driving or even walking down the street. A head trauma or severe illness can have life-changing consequences. These are all risks that we face every day of our lives, even if they aren’t in our consciousness.

How TPD can Help You

If you sustain an injury or illness that makes you unable to work, TPD can help you provide for your family. It is usually purchased in tandem with life insurance to provide a “financial safety net” for you and your family in the event that you are no longer able to work. (2)

TPD is usually purchased in one of two formats. It either protects you if you can no longer work in your own occupation or if you can no longer work in any occupation. It can help you cover the costs of debt repayments, rehabilitation and your costs of living in the future. (2)

Each insurer has a different set of definitions that determine whether you are deemed “totally and permanently disabled.” For example, an injury that requires you to take a year away from work does not qualify as being “permanently disabled.” It is important to know exactly what is on your coverage. (2)

Call Approved Financial Planners Today

To learn more or to enquire about total and permanent disability insurance, call us today: 08 6462 0888.

AMP, “Total and Permanent Disablement: Protect your future and the future of your loved ones.” https://www.amp.com.au/personal/insurance/products/insurance/total-permanent-disablement#our-tpd-products
Australian Securities and Investments Commission, MoneySmart, “Total & Permanent Disability Cover.” https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/insurance/life-insurance/total-and-permanent-disability-cover

Activities that Raise Premiums and Make it Difficult to Obtain Life Insurance

Are you an active person looking for life insurance who lives in the Perth area? Are you wondering why your premiums are so high? Here are some high-risk activities that may be raising your life insurance, courtesy of a US not for profit organisation called “Life Happens.”*

Cliff Diving

This is diving off of a cliff into water. It is exceedingly dangerous for many reasons. If you don’t hit yourself on the way down, you can sever your spinal cord when you hit the water, especially if it isn’t deep enough.*

Big Wave Surfing

Activities that Raise Premiums

Australia has a lot of world class surfing. Unfortunately, finding the biggest waves causes the most risk. If you don’t drown, break bones or suffer severe organ damage, you can fall victim to a shark attack.*

Free Running

Free running consists of running as fast as possible and jumping from roof to roof. This is an urban sport that is “best” where there are plenty of walls and railings providing opportunities to flip, jump and tumble over.*

Base Jumping

Base jumping is jumping off of a fixed object using a parachute. BASE stands for building, antenna, span, earth (such as a cliff).*

Street Luge

This is like lying on a huge skateboard and being pushed down a big hill. Speeds can reach more than 100 km/h.*

Non-Australian Division:

Heli-Skiing

This consists of jumping out of a helicopter onto a mountain that would be otherwise impossible to reach and skiing down. You can start an avalanche and if you fall, you probably won’t be rescued.*

Ice Climbing

Ice climbing is even more dangerous than mountain climbing because of their crampons. Crampons are the razor-sharp stakes they dig into the ice to gain a “hold.” They are also the most common source of injury for ice climbers.*

Call Approved Financial Planners Today

We hope you liked this. It’s a “no-brainer,” but risky behaviour can raise your insurance premiums or make it impossible to be insured. To learn more or for an individual consult, call us today: 08 6462 0888.

*Life Happens, 28 October 2015: “7 Sports that Make Getting Life Insurance Hard (or Impossible!)” http://www.lifehappens.org/blog/7-sports-that-make-getting-life-insurance-hard-or-impossible/

Disclaimer:
This information contained in the blog may contain references to other special offers or promotions offered by persons who are not part of the AMP group of companies. AMP has not verified, and is not responsible for, the information provided by other parties or persons not part of the AMP group of companies.

Subject to any applicable law which cannot be excluded, AMP group of companies and Approved Financial Planners Pty Ltd makes no warranties or representations regarding the quality, accuracy, merchantability or fitness for purpose of the goods or services available from these persons. Your obtaining of goods or services from these persons is at your own risk. AMP group of companies does not accept any liabilities arising from reliance on the access and the availability of the information, or fees and charges that relate to the use of such information.

Understanding Trauma Insurance

Trauma insurance can take care of you and your family if you have a traumatic illness or procedure that makes you unable to work for an extended period of time. We have helped many Perth residents protect themselves from the financial consequences of conditions or procedures such as a stroke, a heart attack, cancer or even a major organ transplant.

Unlike income protection insurance or total and permanent disability (TPD) cover, trauma insurance pays you upon being diagnosed. The time that you are unable to work is irrelevant. Many of our clients in the Perth area have found trauma insurance to be the missing piece that completes their wealth protection program.

Understanding Trauma Insurance

How Trauma Insurance Works

Trauma insurance pays you a lump sum if you are diagnosed with any medical condition specifically covered or have a medical procedure that is specifically covered. It is a standalone policy that pays you regardless of your ability to work. It is often used for medical and living expenses that are over and above those covered by TPD or income protection.

Each policy is different, but our parent company, AMP, has a list of 48 different conditions and procedures that are covered under trauma insurance. The main reason for having trauma insurance is to provide some extra protection for the unforeseen expenses that often occur when you suffer a traumatic condition or procedure.

Your Wealth Protection Plan

We know that everyone’s financial situation is different. Consequently, we can’t make specific recommendations without an individual consult. However, we can tell you that trauma insurance works best in combination with a comprehensive wealth protection plan. A comprehensive wealth protection plan usually includes trauma insurance, TPD cover, income protection and life insurance, also known as “death cover.”

We don’t want to plan on the unthinkable happening to us, but even in Perth it can be helpful to know that you and your families are protected in case of traumatic illnesses, accidents, disability and death.

To learn more, call us today: 08 6462 0888.

Is Your Wealth Protection Plan Up to Date?

Wealth protection, also known as insurance, helps you protect yourself and your family. It helps you ensure financial security for yourself and your family in case something bad happens to you. We have been providing wealth protection and financial planning in the Perth area since 2005. We can’t provide individual advice without a consult, but here is an overview of how a solid wealth protection plan may protect you and your family.

Up To Date Wealth Protection Plan

The Four Basic Types of Insurance

There are four basic types of insurance cover: income protection, trauma cover, total and permanent disablement (TPD) and life insurance.

Income protection pays you up to 75% of your income in monthly payments during any period of time that you are unable to work because of injury or illness. This provides for your monthly expenses and keeps you and your family afloat while you are unable to work.

Trauma cover pays you a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a specific illness or medical condition outlined in the plan. Many plans also cover medical procedures such as bypass surgery. This allows you to focus on getting well instead of worrying about finances.

TPD pays you a lump sum if you become permanently disabled to a point where you are unable to work again. This can be specific to your current occupation or for any occupation.

Life insurance, or “death cover,” provides a lump sum to your family or other beneficiaries if you die. It is generally recommended that you have a life insurance policy that at least covers your mortgage so that your family doesn’t have to worry about losing their home.

Talk to the Experts

At Approved Financial Planners, we are experts at wealth protection. We can talk to you and help you determine what is most important and relevant to your financial situation. If you already have a wealth protection plan in place, we can help you make sure it provides the protection you and your family need.

Call 08 6462 0888 today.

Is the National Disability Insurance Scheme Enough to Protect You and Your Family?

Currently, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has two trial sites in the Perth area. The NDIS is under the umbrella of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). It is currently available for residents of two Perth suburban areas: the Lower South West and Cockburn/Kwinana.

Financial Planner Discuss NDIS

What is the NDIS?

According to their Government website, the NDIS is a scheme in which the disabled are offered community assistance to help them live better lives. It is designed to assist not only people with disabilities, but their carers and their families. It is intended to provide those who suffer a significant and permanent disability. Assistance includes information, referrals, individualised supports and plans, early intervention and support to help access activities and community services.*

However, there is one thing that the NDIS isn’t: it is not Total and Permanent Disability Cover.

What is Total and Permanent Disablement Cover (TPD)?

TPD or Permanent Incapacity (PI) cover is a wealth protection vehicle that pays you a pre-determined lump sum if you are disabled while the policy is in effect. You receive the lump sum if you are never able to work in your own or another occupation you are suited to through your education, training or experience.

Our parent company, AMP, provides TPD or PI cover. It is designed to provide support for you and your family if you are unable to work again. It is usually used to cover debts and to compensate for the loss of income.

There are three basic types of TPD cover: Own Occupation, Any Occupation and Activities of Daily Living (ADL). PI cover definition allows for Any Occupation and ADL only.

Own Occupation TPD covers you if you are unable to work in your own occupation again. Any Occupation TPD/PI covers you if you are unable to work in any occupation. ADL TPD/PI covers you if you are unable to conduct two out of the five activities of daily living.

Call Approved Financial Planners Today

Each individual situation is different. The best way to know whether or not you would benefit from TPD cover is to talk to one of our financial planners. Call 08 6462 0888 today.

*NDIS: “What Help Can I Get.: http://www.ndis.gov.au/people-disability/what-help-can-i-get

Techniques to Protect Your Lifestyle and Wealth

Perth financial planners are in a unique market, especially when it comes to wealth protection. Perth may have suffered the least of any Australian capital city during the Global Financial Crisis. This situation may have created a false sense of security for many in the Perth area, as though we are “immune” from financial disasters.

Unfortunately, Perth doesn’t have an exemption from unexpected trauma, illness or financial woes. Here are some ways to protect both your wealth and your lifestyle.

Income Protection Insurance

Do you have enough money set aside to pay your day to day expenses if you were suddenly unable to work for more than a few days? Income protection insurance is essential if you become unable to work due to disability or illness. The cover usually replaces 75% of your income. It is subject to tax, but the premiums are deductible. It can be obtained through your superannuation fund.

Techniques to Protect Your Lifestyle and Wealth

Total and Permanent Disablement

Total and permanent disability or TPD insurance provides for a lump sum payment in case you become totally and permanently disabled. Either you or your beneficiaries receive the payment, which is a pre-determined sum. It can also be obtained through your superannuation fund.

Life Insurance Cover

Life insurance cover is also called death cover. It provides a lump sum to your beneficiaries in the event of your death. Suicide is also covered after the policy has been in effect for 13 months. Life insurance can also be purchased through your super fund.

Trauma Cover

Trauma cover, also called “trauma insurance,” pays you a lump sum in the case of a disability or an illness that is specifically covered in the policy. The benefits are tax-free and can be collected upon proof of diagnosis.

Call Approved Financial Planners Today

Nobody wants to think the worst is ever going to happen to them, but it does happen. Wealth protection products help provide the peace of mind that you and your family are protected in case the unthinkable happens.

Call 08 6462 0888 to learn more.

A Checklist for the Self-Employed

We like to think that financial planning is important to everyone in Perth, and that includes the self-employed. We know that many self-employed people tend to neglect financial planning services because they are always busy and don’t have the time. We visited the ASIC website called MoneySmart and found some information that can be helpful to the self-employed.

This information is general and is not a substitute for individual advice, but we thought it might be helpful for the self-employed to see what ASIC has to say about self-employed people and money.

Financial Planning For The Self-employed

Managing Cash Flow

Those who are self-employed tend to make a good living and earn a strong income. However, that income doesn’t always come in on a regular basis. For some, it can be months between pay periods. ASIC stresses that it is important for the self-employed to manage their cash flow properly to ensure that they have income during long gaps between “paydays.”*

Pay Yourself a Wage

ASIC recommends maintaining a high yield savings account and putting all profit into it. Then, they recommend paying yourself a wage while leaving the rest of the money in savings. They also recommend separate bank accounts for personal spending and business spending. They also recommend that you plan ahead for holidays and make sure you have money saved to fund them.*

Save Money for Taxes

Those who don’t save for taxes often find themselves owing a lot of money to the ATO at the end of the year. ASIC recommends making this a high priority.*

Retirement Planning

According to ASIC, as many as 25% of self-employed Australians don’t have any superannuation funds. They recommend building your own super.*

Income Protection

ASIC also recommends that the self-employed carry income protection insurance to ensure that they are protected in the case of being unable to work.*

Call Us Today

Learn why so many people in the Perth area rely on Approved Financial Planners for financial services and advice. Call 08 6462 0888.

*ASIC, MoneySmart. “Self employed people.”