Don’t underestimate the need to survive both cancer, and the stress it causes

Kiwi’s are 2.6 times more likely to suffer serious illness putting a person off work for six months or more, than we are an accident1.

A casual conversation with a long-term client Olivia* alerted AdviceFirst adviser Murray Pierce to the fact that she’d had breast cancer surgery six months earlier. Olivia has since made a full recovery, but she was still paid out more than $60,000 by her insurer, thanks to Murray.

“I knew that Olivia had a trauma policy, but it didn’t occur to her that she could claim on that trauma policy even though she had recovered. Once she told me about it, I could get it sorted for her. Trauma insurance is there to help see you through the disruption these events cause,” says Murray.

The number of people in New Zealand who have survived for five years after initial cancer diagnosis rose from 57.7% to 63.3%in 2015, but a lot of ongoing damage can be caused by the stress, the disruption to family life, time off work and sometimes even job loss.

“The collateral damage that a trauma event does to family and friends is significant. Money from an insurer can be used in many ways, including paying for extra support, buying time to recover or flying family back from overseas. Traumatic events cause physical stress and financial stress, but at least we can help with the latter,” says Murray.

To find out how trauma insurance can help you get through unexpected events like cancer or serious accidents, talk to an adviser today about what policy is best for you.

1The Financial Services Council (FSC) Income Study 2013
2Ministry of Health, Cancer Patient Survival 1994-2011. Published online 14 April 2015.

Insurance company steps in after ACC stops payments

At least a quarter of Kiwis mistakenly believe that we are more likely to suffer an accident (and get support from ACC) than we are a serious illness.3

When Simon* had a serious car accident which meant he couldn’t work, ACC stepped in to cover him for 80% of his earnings. At first all went fine, until ACC made the decision that he was fit to return to work, and stopped payment.

AdviceFirst adviser James Polson says the overall journey for Simon was harrowing because he had been on and off ACC for more than two-and-a-half years, after finding and starting two different jobs. In both jobs, he was unable to complete the trial period due to ongoing and reoccurring health reasons related to his accident.

Fortunately, Simon had been part of an employee benefit insurance scheme before his accident, which undertook to provide 75% of his income for a maximum period of five years, should he be unable to work for medical reasons, due to illness or injury. This meant Simon’s income protection insurance stepped in after ACC payments stopped.

“We approached his insurer and they put Simon through an intensive medical, psychiatric and physiological evaluation before their medical experts concluded that he was indeed unable to work in his usual occupation for medical reasons. The insurer is now paying Simon 75% of his previous earnings, and will do so for up to five years or until he is able to return to a job based on his usual occupation (whichever comes first). The insurance company is also talking to ACC about resuming its support for Simon,” says James.

Don’t have personal insurance? Still relying on ACC? For a personal evaluation for income protection, contact one of our advisers for an obligation free chat.

The Financial Services Council (FSC) Insurance Gap investigation surveyed 2,000 New Zealand households in 2011

*Please note we have changed the names of clients in these stories to protect identities.
The policy document sets out the terms and conditions of cover, including prescribed waiting or survival periods, definitions and exclusions.

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AdviceFirst is a Financial Advice Provider (FSP23242).