John Cameron's personal blog

Serious discussion about your financial position now - and in the future.

RIP - AGREED VALUE

Income Protection insurance is about to make a change – for the worse.

The gold standard of income protection, has long been “agreed value” policies, and these have been the products that most advisers have recommended to their clients.

With agreed value contracts, the amount that you will receive when you go “on claim”, is agreed up front, at the time of taking out the policy, and is based on your income at the time of taking the policy out. This provides a high level of certainty of your cover. As Always, there is a catch. If the insurance company needs to (e.g. if it is losing money), then it can increase your premium (well, not just your premium but the premiums of everybody who has that sort of cover).

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Cancelled insurance – a case of good intentions gone horribly wrong

Imagine the following. You know a young couple with a family, a mortgage, and all the other commitments that go with modern family life.

Then, tragically, one day one of the parents is killed.

When the survivor gets him or herself back together after a few days, the survivor contacts their insurance company, to lodge a claim, only to be told that their insurance has been cancelled because of changed government laws.

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Comm Bank scandal – it's all about culture

Over the last few months, important non-banking arms of the venerable CBA have come in for lots of media criticism.

First it was the financial planning arm and now it is the life insurance arm, Comminsure. They stand accused of using outdated definitions of what constitutes a heart attack, to knock back claims, that could have succeeded under more modern, liberal, definitions used by many others in the industry. Insurance is a minefield of definitions and complexities. There is not much doubt whether somebody has died, but has a person had a heart attack? – it all comes down to the definition.

In the bank’s financial planning arm, in-house advisers gave clients poor advice, that cost them dearly. 

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