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[Obituary] Ron Flood

The death of a proud insurance salesman. Ron Flood, CLU 1953 - 2020

Sunday, April 12th 2020, 8:24AM 7 Comments
Ron Flood

Well-known, Hamilton-based insurance adviser Ron Flood has died after a battle with leukaemia.

Flood started the life insurance industry in 1979, as a salesman for NZI Life. His very first client appointment was at 10:30am on Wednesday 1st August 1979 - the day of his son, Paul's, sixth birthday.

Paul ended up joining his father in business in 2011.

Ron said: "I am passionate about the life insurance industry, actively participating in consultation around compliance standards and product design. In 2005 I completed a Graduate Diploma in Business Studies in Personal Risk Management (Massey)."

His passion and desire for higher standards is well-documented in comments on Good Returns.

During his career in the financial service industry Ron served as President of the Life Brokers Association (LBA), which subsequently merged into the New Zealand Financial Advisers Association (NZFAA). He was a member of Financial Advice New Zealand, formed from a merger between the LBA, NZFAA, and the Professional Advisers Association.

Ron received many industry awards, including in a 2015 he was presented with the IFA President's Award for services to the IFA and the financial services industry.

He was also president of the LBA in the early merger period and had remained an outspoken commentator in our profession advocating higher standards for advisers, and he was not afraid to call himself a salesman.

I have been in the life insurance industry for 30years 15 days and am proud of every second I have been a "salesman".

My first death claim in 1981 was the result of a young lady coming into the office with her boyfriend to cancel his life policy. They wanted to save for their first house and thought the premiums he paid were slowing them reaching their goal.

Not only did I "sell" them on the idea it was money well spent, the young lady took out a policy as well. Within two years this young lady died of cancer and had it not been for my "sales" skills, she would have had no cover in place. 

My largest claim to date is in excess of $1.1million. The policy was on a person who was in partnership with another. When the partnership disolved, he could not see the need to continue with any cover.

He was not a believer of insurance and only had a policy to appease his business partner. I was able to "sell" him on the idea of continuing with the policy (it had been in force five years).

The client died of cancer within 18 months and his wife and young family were grateful I "sold" him on the idea he needed to keep the policy. 

I know of a client whose "professional adviser" charged a fee for advice and had the client cancel all his life cover. This was in spite of the fact the client's brother was a broker and advised against it. The arguement was the insurance premiums were impacting on his retirement savings and in the long term (14 years) he would be better directing the money into retirement savings.

The client died of cancer within two years and the accumulated savings weren't even enough to bury him. 

Insurance is "sold" by "salesman" and always will be.

The challange to us all is to ensure that in future insurance is sold by competent, qualified and professional salesman. Just because a "salesman" receives commission, does not make them any less professional than if they charged a fee.

The problem we have is that if insurance was sold only to clients on a fee bases, we would have an even larger number of underinsured New Zealanders.  

(Source: Ron's first comment on Good Returns Aug 15, 2009) 

Fellow adviser Nigel Tate says that Ron was the sort of person that found a problem then set about finding a resolution. "He never shied away from a challenge."

Becoming President of LBA he was heavily involved with the development of standards and having seen what was required early he completed his Graduate Diploma in Personal Risk Management in 2005 he attained his CLU with IFA soon after. He had the tenacity of old school insurance agents with the smarts of a professional, this tenacity showed through with his attitude post diagnosis.

Ron was also an extremely keen golfer and was involved with the establishment of ‘The Friday Floggers’, a group of industry participants in the early 2000s at the Hamilton Golf Club now the largest single group of contributors to the club.

"We will play a round in your memory Ron," Tate says. 

Ron passed away in his extended bubble at home on April 11 surrounded by his family.

Tags: Obituaries

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Comments from our readers

On 12 April 2020 at 11:06 am dcwhyte said:
So very sorry to learn of Ron’s passing. Always a good word to share and passionate belief about what he did. He will be sorely missed by many and forgotten by none. Thoughts with the family - RIP Ron.
On 12 April 2020 at 12:46 pm Tony Vidler said:
This saddens me enormously, as Ron was one of the most genuine people I've known in my decades in the business. An actual gentleman in deeds as well as words; and a funny bastard. A great thinker in the business with aspirations for it to truly become a profession; but a bloke willing to roll his sleeves up and get stuck into doing the work to make it happen. A focussed character who brought intensity and a relentlessness to everything from working a client case to playing a game of pool. One of the real characters of the industry, but one of the real workers too.

It is a genuine loss to this industry, and I feel for his family, friends and clients as they have truly lost someone special.
On 12 April 2020 at 5:02 pm said:
Such sad news, always enjoyed chewing the fat with Ron, a legend of the Waikato insurance industry. Rest well mate.
On 12 April 2020 at 5:11 pm Bernard McCrea said:
That is sad to hear. Ron's reputation for the Advisers is unheralded and he was always sticking up for them, especially when he thought they were getting a rough deal. He was a good man and will be missed by many.
On 12 April 2020 at 5:29 pm Stephen O'Connor said:
Very sad to read this. Ron is a loss to our emerging profession. He was one of the good guys and someone I always enjoyed catching up with. He will missed by us all but especially his family and close friends. RIP Ron!
On 14 April 2020 at 9:24 am Brian Klee said:
I also very sad to read about Ron's death. There were so many times we'd have "state of the nation" chats - we were kindred spirits for decades.

As others have said above, he was passionate advocate for how insurance should be represented and the standards held by those in our business. This was demonstrated by the many years of service he gave to keeping the LBA alive.

My sincere condolences to his family. May your fighting spirit rest in peace.
On 24 April 2020 at 10:47 am Skeeter said:
My thoughts and prayers go out to Ron's family and close friends. Ron did the industry proud and will be a real loss.
Thanks for your leadership Ron.

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