Q: l have just received an email from REST super stating that due to govt legislation l will automatically lose my insurance cover on 1 July 2019, unless l choose to keep it.I am not working and have not for some years.What is the best thing to do?
A: Hi Lynn, it will depend on the type of cover you have in your Rest super. If it's life insurance and you believe you need it, you can contact Rest and let them know you would like to keep it active. This will need to be done each year for the fund to keep it active.
If you have Life and TPD cover, you may want to consider whether you need the TPD as you are not working. (TAP claims are based on your ability to work ever again, which is hard if you aren't actually working). I hope that helps.
Q: With the Federal Parliament, today securing personal income tax cuts is it now time for Parliament to do the same for company and business tax cuts. Let's rally Business Australia and share your thoughts?
A: Business tax cuts are a no brainer in my view. By providing cuts to employers, this will drive confidence and allow entrepreneurs to be comfortable in taking risks, lending, and employing more staff.
This will help drive the economy and innovation in various industries. I think it's a positive move. Considering it's a no brainer, Canberra should catch on, as that seems to be a common intellectual theme there.
How to grow your business with risk insurance
Q: My husband and I are looking at income and trauma insurance policy through our business and would like to ask about trauma. Does trauma only include life threatening illness or an injury that stops you from working?
A: Hi Vicky, good question.
Like the other answers here, Trauma pays a lump sum if you suffer a listed trauma event. It isn’t always life threatening, but always very serious.
There are about 40 different ‘events’ that trauma usually covers. But beware because some will quote you on the ‘standard’ type trauma instead of the comprehensive. Always take the comprehensive because the standard generally only includes 12 different events.
Another thing to consider is depending on the sun insured you’re after, you can add trauma to your income protection (usually a PLUS or Comprehensive with extras policy) and will have some form of trauma included.
Why would you do this?
Because that will enable you to claim your trauma as a tax deduction as it’s part of your income protection.
Let me know if you have more questions.
Kind Regard. Paul
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Q: Following on from the previous question, if something untoward was to happen is there a maximum time frame in which we could claim income protection insurance while the pub was being rebuilt?
A: Hi Michael
As others have said, you wouldn’t be able to claim on your income protection unless you were sick or injured and had a loss of income as a result.
Renovations on a business wouldn’t be covered under a business interruption either unless it was due to damage from a storm or fire, etc.
The best way to remember is:
Income protection pays if you are unable to work and;
Business Insurance pays if your premises can’t work.
I hope that helps.
Q: Listening to Ben Fordham on 2GB yesterday about issues parents are having with their children and the NDIS got me thinking about insurance options for my children. I’m not talking about the families private health insurance but other insurances like disability or trauma. Are they within the blanket policies of parents, what options are available?
A: Hi Margaret,
Similar to what others have said, a type of cover called 'Child-Cover' pays a benefit up to $200,000 in the event of a child between the ages of 2 and 18 if they suffer a major trauma or dies. This can help with parents needing to take time off work to lessen the impact on them financially.
It's generally not offered through a 'blanket' cover with parents, and would need to added on top of your own cover. As a general rule of thumb, it would work out to be around $1.20 per month, per $10,000 cover so it's very cost effective.
I hope that gives you an idea of what is involved.
Q: I’ve recently started my own business after being made redundant and looking for insurance advice. We have a rather large mortgage so I’d like to understand the options available for income protection, trauma or accident – is one more important than the other?
A: Hi Gary,
There are a variety of different options depending on your lifestyle and circumstances obviously.
The main types of cover are: Life Insurance, Total & Permanent Disability (TPD), Trauma and Income Protection. There are so many different options with various insurers, so it is hard to pin point an answer without a basic conversation first.
However, a couple of things to think about are:
Life Insurance - you may want to consider owning it in super, as you can claim the premiums as a tax deduction.
Regarding Income Protection (IP), it is different to Trauma as IP pays a monthly benefit which is aimed at replacing your income prior to claim.
Trauma is generally paid as a lump sum of a listed traumatic event has been suffered (Eg: cancer, heart attack, stroke)
Neither is more important than the other, however IP is usually more common as it covers all aspects of sickness and injury instead of a listed event.
With this in mind, IP is made up of 3 main parts:
a) monthly benefit
b) waiting period (the length of time from sickness or accident till the day the benefit begins being counted - usually 14, 30, 90 days)
c) benefit period (maximum length of time the benefit will be paid - usually 2 yrs, 5 yrs or till age 65)
Considering you are just starting out in business, there is an option these days to pay the premiums via super to help with cashflow. But this needs to be done properly by an insurance specialist to avoid problems at claim time.
I hope that helps answer some questions for you.
Are you one of the majority?
Did you know that more than 70% of Australian life insurance is held in super funds?
But did you also know that almost 3/4 of those benefits wouldn't provide enough for the family after deat ...
Q: I have recently moved to the Gold Coast and am looking to start a Carpentry business and Home maintanence business. I am not not quite sure what insurances, qbcc license and financial obligations are required. I have done some research and still seems abit grey. Please could I get some advise?
A: Hi Cory, well done on taking the plunge into your own business. I would assume you are going to start as a sole trader, so in terms of insurances, you will need a Public Liability (in case something happens to property or people during a job),
If contracting to a larger organisation (eg; developer or strata considering your on the Gold Coast), you will need an income protection (aka sickness & accident but not the same) so the larger organisation is passing the risk of you hurting yourself off them.
Do yourself a favour right from the beginning and register with Xero, which is an accounting software that automates a lot of your bookkeeping as this is what so many businesses starting out neglect. Always know your numbers! It helps with tax, cashflow and borrowing.
Once you're going strong, interview a few accountants locally and choose them wisely (ones that ask lots of questions are a good start) because ideally you don't want to change anytime soon once you grow.
All the best with your new venture. I hope you love working for yourself like we all do.
Kind Regards. Paul
Q: My husband had a motorbike accident & he got TPD & IPP insurance payouts out of 3 of his supers. He has 12.
Going forward we need to roll remainding supers into one account.
But need to find someone who can find us a new superannuation provider who will cover him incase of anything in the future (he is only 38) and won't wipe him because he has had previous claims?
Ms S Robbo
A: Hi Sam, I'm sorry to hear about your husband's case. I'm glad you were able to access TPD payouts though.
The difficult part of finding new cover is going to be his previous claims. No doubt they were very serious, especially being able to claim a TPD policy.
Without knowing the details of his previous conditions, it's hard to give specific direction. However, there are a couple of things you can do.
1. Call a major industry fund such as Australian Super (largest around) or another industry fund, and ask the question: 'with the automatic acceptance cover, does it cover "pre-existing conditions" '. The customer service person 'should' know. But always request the PDS and search it anyway.
2. You could consider an 'accident only' type policy, which, as the name suggests, only covers for accidents. This type of protection doesn't take into account previous medical conditions (in general), but a previous claim may impact on the ability to get this cover depending on what it was.
But I would suggest trying point 1 first and hopefully that should be able to help you.
I hope your husband is getting better.
Why aren't you claiming your Life Insurance as a tax deduction?
Once again, a new financial year brings a flurry of new laws into place. Whilst there are a myriad of super changes which aren't exactly popular with many Australians, there are also some that have fl ...
Q: Just bought family owned business that has been operating for 28 years. Can we get insurance or income protection based on the financials or do we have to have owned the business for a period of time first?
A: Hi Diane,
It will depend on a couple of things. Firstly, if you were doing a similar role (or industry) before?
If so, your previous year's income can be used, but will most likely be what is called an 'Indemnity' policy. This just means that if you are to go on claim, the benefit will be worked out on the previous 12 months income, as there hasn't been a history of income from that source as yet.
It will also depend on the type of business. For example, if there are contracts in place, how many staff, the business structure, etc. It's hard to give a concrete answer without these facts, but the basic results will be based on the above.
I would be happy to give you a more accurate picture if you're willing to chat about it over the phone. Feel free to call or email me for help.
P: 1800 674 435
M: 0411 511 958
Q: We’re looking to use a buyer’s agent and would like to get some advice around their fees. What’s considered a reasonable range for commission and is it normal to have to pay a fee upfront?
A: Hi Toby,
I've used a buyers agent for years and think it's a great idea. And yes, it can be a bit daunting paying someone before anything has really happened.
However, I work with this particular buyers agent (and know of others who do the same) who charge an initial 'engagement fee' of $1000 so they can put the wheels in motion and start searching for properties for you.
Once they find a property, they present it and if you decide to buy it, they basically do all the work and the total fee needs to be paid of $9000-10000. Your initial engagement fee is taken off final payment, so all in you will be expecting to pay about $10,000 for a good buyers agent.
The thing to consider is talking to some of their clients, or seeing the results. They are usually happy to share details of successful clients who have worked with them before. But try to speak to someone who has multiple properties through them, so they know various circumstances, and not just a one off.
In the end, the buyers agent should be able to secure a property under value and you will make their fee back anyway. That's one main reason of using a buyers agent in the first place. Happy to share my experience with you by email if you're interested. I hope that helps you.
Q: hello i am inquiring about a friends issue
he has recently lost his father and we are unable to find any super paper work
i was wondering if there was a way to track it down like the lost super you can
if so where would be the best way to start this process ?
A: Hi Jon,
Sorry to hear about your friend's father.
The best thing to do is to visit https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/Keeping-track-of-your-super/ and enter the relevant details to find out where his super was.
Prior to redeeming the super balance, make sure your friend talks with the super fund to discuss what life insurance options may be on that fund, as many people have automatic insurance built in to their fund.
Once you find any super, you will need supporting documents of his/her late father in order to discuss it further. Happy to any more questions if needed.
I hope your friend manages to finalise it as quickly as possible.
There is a saying that 'even a broken clock is right twice a day'. It's not right on purpose, but it's still right.
Buying life insurance and income protection from a direct insurer is like a broken ...
Q: I have a client with some low value tools of trade, vehicles and excavation equipment. Is it possible to insure these for 3rd party property and public liability with a blanket policy? He is trying to keep the premium low without being exposed.
A: Combining tools of trade, vehicle and excavation equipment is something that should be looked at.
The vehicles and excavation equipment can most likely be done for third party property damage only - it may depend on the type of excavation equipment but most can be done for third party property damage.
With the tools of trade, if they are low value they may decide not to insure them but the best cover for them is to cover them under a portable policy (which could be the same policy that the vehicles and equipment is on but not necessarily depending on competitiveness of price) - a portable policy covers the tools for fire, theft and accidental damage anywhere in Australia.
Hope that helps.
Q: Hi. I use AFG FLEX as a Mortgage Broker however I find FLEX isnt a great CRM system. It handles loan processing OK, and the SMART marketing is OK - but what I am looking for is a great CRM. I hear about salesforce??
I am looking for help on the best CRM to handle all client interactions/link attachments & emails, along with if I send referrals to referral partners.
A: We used Salesforce for a number of years, and whilst it is a brilliant product, the cost of it let's you down. If it's just 1 license you're after, it should be ok but if it's multiple, the cost is substantial.
You might want to try Podio, as it's highly customisable to whatever you need. We've built an entire system around it which links to things like Infusionsoft (marketing crm engine) and other services. Definitely worth a look if you're willing to put some thought and time into building what you want.
Happy to share the Podio developers contact with you if needed by email.
ACT is another one to have a look at, but not as portable as the other options.
Good luck with it.
I have seen all the TV ads about private health insurance increases by more than 4% from April 1st? I currently have family cover with Bupa. Should I be shopping around for a better option or will this affect all insurers across the board.
Any help would be appreciated
A: Hi Scott,
Unfortunately we'll all be affected by the changes to the new rates as it was industry wide. As a general rule, you should always be looking at the market every couple of years to see what else is out there.
Just remember that many insurers change their focus every few years, meaning their target market changes. So, what may have been priced well a few years ago, you might be able to get with another provider this year or next.
Health insurance is something of a minefield, so make sure you do your research before changing. Not one policy fits all. It will always depend on your personal situation, so it's worthwhile to get some comparisons from one of those online sites, but make the phone call to the insurer to ask.
I hope that helps.
Keep your eye on the premiums
I've recently received several Life Insurance company updates about their Income Protection premium rates, stating they are increasing them anywhere from 7-16%!
For the particular ...
Q: We are in the process of early discussions with potential investors to grow our business and want to get some advice on shareholders agreement. It is a family owned business and want to know if we should have a shareholders agreement in place before any investors come on board or should we wait until we agree to terms?
A: Hi Lisa, as Anthony has said above, if there are more than 1 investor, there should be an agreement in place, even if it is family. I've seen the results of family businesses without buy/sell agreements in place and something happens, it's not pretty.
You need to at least start the discussion with a business lawyer and show investors that you have that in place, which will strengthen your offering. Good luck with it!
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Partnership Protection (Buy/Sell insurance) - What is it?
BUY/SELL INSURANCE: What is it and do you need it?
This is a type of protection that is taken on owners within a business.
It is lump sum will be paid in the event of their death, disabilit ...
Q: Ok guys I have a girlfriend in the USA that is in need of some funds urgently but I don't posses a current passport nor do I have a drivers licence so I have some trouble proving my id is there any service that is out there that can help me out or is it as simple as me providing my card details to her so that she can use my Visa card to make a cash withdrawal over there?
A: Hi Carl, Sorry if this answer came a bit late, but I've used OFX ( https://www.ofx.com/en-au/ ) over the years to transfer money to family from Australia to USA and Europe. The first 3 transactions are free and $15 flat fee after that. From experience, this is a great way to transfer money. I hope that helps.
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In 2016 I was interviewed on A Current Affair about the pros and cons or Funeral Insurance, and whether it was worthwhile considering it or not as there had been a lot of bad press about it.
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Direct insurance companies are now in the mainstream media every waking moment of daytime television. I'm sure you've seen the meerkat or the loud sales guy interviewing the lovely sales presenter rea ...