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The willful ignorance of a miopic point of view

Sounds angry and somewhat is. It comes from constantly being told that commission-based sales people, especially life insurance advisers, are bottom-feeding scum of the earth.

Tuesday, September 10th 2019, 12:39PM 2 Comments

by Jon-Paul Hale

The reality, if anyone wants to have a closer look, is quite the opposite. In today's parlay of instant-now consumerism, we're dinosaurs that won't adapt.

Well frankly we're adapting, and have been for a long time. You only need to talk to Russell of QPR or Graeme of Strategy for any length of time to tell you product has moved greatly in the last 20 years.

So what's got my blood boiling?

The constant: we're sales people, we don't care, and we don't help. Well that may explain some sales people. But on the whole not the majority of the insurance industry.

To be fair I have spent most of my time with life and medical advisers, not so much general. The key message I had from my advisers as a BDM was "what can I do to help my client?”

And help we do.

A few examples:

  • 22-year-old female, back injury, on amputation drugs for nerve pain. GP said it's an injury, ACC said it's not. J-P got involved, reviewed and navigated the medical and ACC systems. A $40,000 surgery with ACC and the patient got her life back.
  • 56-year-old gentleman, shoulder injury, declined for ACC, waiting in the public system for 18 months on WINZ. J-P got involved, degenerative work-related claim dating back from 1994 approved and paid by ACC. Eighteen months of weekly comp paid, WINZ reimbursed, DHB reimbursed, and six months of rehab support that the public system would not have provided. And the surgery was done by one of the best shoulder surgeons in the world.
  • 43-year-old female, knee injury. Not on ACC claim as it got missed. Surgeon said 22 days average for approval, and we still have to have it added to the claim, so it could be six months. Give it to J-P, injury added to the claim and surgery approved in six days. Yes, six days. The surgeon's comment, "I don't know what you did but that's the fastest approval for surgery I have had in 22 years, and you had to get the injury added first".
  • 50-year-old female, bowel screen abnormal. Client said: "I'm not doing this, I have no idea how", J-P arranged the colonoscopy, cancer claim approval and surgery. In eight weeks they were not only recovering but had started back at work. The DHB would have only been getting to them at the seven week mark, at best, for the testing.
  • 23-year-old female on claim for a head injury, two year employer benefit, came to me. The advice resulted in confirmation of her own occupational TPD and access to retraining and early wash up settlement of the claim for them to get on with life.
  • 69-year-old male, long-term prostate infection, 30-plus years. The medical system has got to the point of saying they can't help. Discussed with a GP specialist in the area, found a new plan that has a well-researched chance of success. Not a pill but a plan that may restore full health.
  • 56-year-old stroke patient, seven weeks waiting for an acute neurological consult with public health. No phone call, no contact. Lands on my desk with the written referral. Forget that, what are the private options? Three days later he's in front of a neurologist and the income protection policy is paying for it.

With the exception of one of these clients I got paid $0 directly for this work. Sure some are prior clients that I got paid commission for and there is renewals. But at the end of the day it doesn't matter how I got paid. It is the client outcome that really matters.

And you can bet your bottom dollar, these clients didn't care how I got paid, just that I did. Many of them it was a case of introduce me to five friends and family. Which they all did anyway. They want their people looked after in the same way.

This isn't just an advert for me, this is a philosophy I have.

We help people when they need it the most. We don't have all the answers but we'll try and find them.

And all of you out there, who work in the same space, have your own stories just like these.

They need to be told. Tell them.

Tell them here, tell them everywhere.

Tags: ACC health insurance insurance Insurance Advisers Jon-Paul Hale Life insurance

« More work needs to be done on policy ownershipFinally, a breath that suggests it's not all about the advisers and their advice »

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Comments from our readers

On 13 September 2019 at 12:31 pm Tash said:
Good examples of why the Internet is the very worst place to get Life, Disability or Health insurance. No one to help when it really matters!
On 19 September 2019 at 2:15 pm JPHale said:
Tash, I agree with your comment, however, none of these were direct purchasers.

One had employer scheme cover and came to me on that claim, the rest were existing clients in some shape or form.

The issue with ACC is for an injury to be covered under private medical it needs to be declined by ACC first.

And it is in our interests to have ACC pay when they should, as they price for these claims already and an insurer doing the surgery kicks out the weekly compensation entitlement. Critical if they haven't taken income protection or have an exclusion.

Secondly if the surgery is paid for by the insurer when ACC should have paid it puts unnecessary pressure on the insurers premiums. Something all client's hate to see.

That's said, many advisers help hugely at claim time, just like this. But no one hears about it.

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