As financial advisers, our role extends far beyond the financial planning focused responsibility – it is the emotional guidance we offer clients that can help to lay the foundations for long-term financial wellbeing.
From supporting clients to understand the implications of their choices in both the short and long term, to improving their financial literacy so that they can confidently navigate their financial future, there are a range of ways we can play a role in shaping our clients’ future.
An important part of that role involves ensuring that whatever their chosen financial pathway, the client is taking the necessary steps to protect themselves financially should the unexpected occur.
Hand in hand with that responsibility is the fact that, at times, we find ourselves at the forefront of what can be one of the most crucial moments in our clients' lives, the life insurance claims process.
Support grounded in deep understanding
Claim time represents a vulnerable period for individuals facing challenges such as illness, incapacity, or the loss of a loved one, and these challenges are often integrally linked to a sense of financial security. It is during these times that our clients need support more than ever.
The claims process can be intricate, requiring a number of administrative tasks including the collation of required information and forms, precisely when clients should be focusing on their wellbeing and recovery.
By recognising it is a challenging time for clients and adopting an empathetic approach while also navigating the medical and financial complexities of a claim, we can ensure our clients’ claims are managed efficiently. At the same time, we have a responsibility to provide them with peace-of-mind knowing that someone with experience is in their corner.
An adviser's intimate understanding of the insurance product is another cornerstone in ensuring the client a maximised claims experience. This knowledge empowers us to navigate the intricate nuances of the product, identify benefits that suit individual needs and circumstances, while also streamlining the process.
This trust-building phase during claim time solidifies our position as a partner who stands by clients during their most challenging times.
Reinforcing long-term adviser value
Guiding clients through the claims process is not just a task, it is delivering on a promise we make to them when putting their protection in place – that we will be there for them when they need us most.
Clients at claim time offer a unique opportunity to witness the financial strategies we have put in place in action, long before they are in a position to retire. Helping clients to access life-changing sums that empower them to continue following the path you have envisioned together, is one of the most rewarding components of providing that support during claim time.
Seeing the plan work as intended, while the client remains in a position where they can focus on what matters most, coupled with the satisfaction of aiding them in their time of need, is a profound reminder of the meaningful impact we have on their lives.
Addressing challenges and alleviating stress
Despite the positive outcomes we regularly witness, overcoming the prevailing misconception that insurers avoid payouts can be daunting.
In reality and as an example, in FY22 95% of all claims TAL assessed were accepted1 – with 72% of all claims paid being in living benefits2. Keeping that in mind, ensuring customers understand and feel confident in how their claim is handled is one of the most important things life insurers do. By fostering trust and promoting clarity in the industry, advisers and insurers alike can work together to dispel these misconceptions.
In our advice practice, we recognise that our clients are looking for more than transactional support; they are seeking a compassionate partner during their difficult times, and empathy plays an integral part in effective claims management. We know that the trust we cultivate through empathy is the foundation upon which our relationships are built.
Another way we can alleviate stress is through sharing past client experiences. Real-life success stories resonate deeper than hypothetical scenarios, providing reassurance and peace of mind to current clients. Our extensive case studies exemplify the outcomes we can achieve and strengthen the trust our clients place in us.
By adapting our communication based on each client’s unique needs, we can ensure they feel informed, supported, and confident - ultimately strengthening that trusted client/adviser relationship.
A partnership model with life insurers
The best outcomes of the claim experience can be achieved when advisers have a good relationship with, and work collaboratively with, the life insurer’s claims manager.
Embracing a sensitive approach and expressing empathy in any communication will help ensure every claimant feels supported. By working in partnership, advisers and claims managers are best positioned to maximise the likelihood of quick and transparent claims assessment, so that the claimant themselves can focus on their own wellbeing.
Our commitment to navigating the complexities of the claims process with empathy, expertise, and collaboration ensures our clients' journeys are not only streamlined but also marked by unwavering trust and assurance, which will only enhance the adviser client relationship into the future.
Brent Satill, General Manager at Curo Financial Services.
Brent is a financial adviser and the general manager of Curo Financial Services. Specialising in risk insurance advice, Brent has significant expertise in all facets of the risk insurance advice value chain including underwriting, claims and working with complex structures. Due to this expertise, Brent and the team at Curo are the trusted risk advice partners for a number of accounting practices across Australia.
This information is not legal, tax or financial advice and does not take into account any individual needs, objectives or financial situation, so before acting on it you should consider whether it is appropriate for you and obtain your own advice.
(1). CLAIMS STATISTICS BASED ON TOTAL CLAIMS PAID UNDER TAL LIFE LIMITED AND TAL LIFE INSURANCE SERVICES LIMITED (INCLUDING FUNERAL INSURANCE) BETWEEN 1 APRIL 2022 AND 31 MARCH 2023.
(2). CLAIMS STATISTICS BASED ON TOTAL NUMBER OF ACCEPTED CLAIMS THAT WERE DETERMINED TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR PAYMENT BETWEEN 1 APRIL 2022 AND 31 MARCH 2023. A CLAIM IS ASSESSED IN ORDER TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT THE CLAIM IS PAYABLE. A CLAIM IS ACCEPTED WHEN THE CLAIM IS DETERMINED TO BE PAYABLE.