Life Shield provides an unbiased, professional and efficient service that appeals to accountants. Even though we are qualified financial planners with experience in other areas such as superannuation and investments, we only deal with personal insurances such as life insurance, income protection, business expenses, trauma and TPD. Our specialisation ensures that we keep on top of the ever changing market in regards to both quality of cover and cost.
Our business model is built around the engagement of our clients’ accountants. In order to understand a client’s situation and then to implement a personal insurance strategy, it is important to ensure that we can work together to ensure that the client reaches the best outcome.
I have made some notes below as to areas of Income Protection that will be relevant to an Accountant’s as well as their clients’ situations.
Income Protection provides you with an ongoing income stream in the event of not being able to work due to illness or injury. There are many possible variations within the policy and it makes sense to choose the options that are relevant to your occupation and lifestyle. We have covered some of the relevant variations for Accountants and their clients below:
Usually you can insure up to 75% of your current income which can be increased as your income increases. There are however Income Protection policies in the Australian marketplace that allow you to insure up to 100% of your income, at least for a portion of the benefit period.
The amount that you are able to insure is capped by some insurance companies at $20,000 per month, though there are insurance companies that will allow up to $60,000 per month benefit for Accountants and other professional occupations.
Stepped premiums are great in the short term, however will cost you much more in the longer term as your premium will increase each year due to your increasing age. If you are expecting to keep your policy in place up to retirement, choosing a level premium option (which does not increase in cost up to age 65 or even age 70) could save you half of your premiums over your lifetime. This will ensure that your Income Protection premiums remain cost effective and affordable in the long term.
Are you receiving a portion of your income due to working as a sole trader or on a contracting basis? If so, your income changes from year to year. An agreed contract ensures your whole benefit will be payable in the event of a claim even if you have earned less over the preceding 12 months to claim. An indemnity option means that at the time of claim you will need to provide recent financials to support your benefit amount which may result in a lower benefit payable.
Choosing the right waiting and benefit period on your policy is paramount. This can be the difference between receiving benefit or not and it makes a large difference to the cost of your policy.
For example, if you can afford (through savings or other liquid funds) to be able to manage for the first 3 months of not being able to work and therefore have a policy with a waiting period of 90 days, this will reduce the cost by approximately one-third. If you already have some Income Protection within your superannuation fund that you are happy with (Hesta or Health Super for example) with a benefit period of 2 years, an additional policy may be purchased with a waiting period of 2 years in order to reduce costs. This will ensure that you will be protected for more serious illnesses and accidents that keep you away from work for longer periods of time or even for the rest of your life.
Some insurance companies, in addition to the above ‘Blood Borne Disease” clause, offer Needle Stick cover to Doctors, Dentists and other medical professionals that will provide a lump sum in the event of becoming infected with HIV, Hep B or C whilst performing their usual occupation. You are able to apply for cover amounts up to $1,000,000. There are companies that include this lump sum option as part of the standard Income Protection contract for medical professionals.
In your occupation as a medical professional, if you were to become infected with HIV, Hep B or C you will be forced to cease working even though physically, you have the ability to continue. It is important to ensure that your Income Protection policy will pay a benefit in these events and it is clearly defined in the Product Disclosure Statement.
We understand the marketplace for Accountants and their clients across Australia and we have the experience and knowledge to provide an efficient and professional service.
Either call us directly or use our online enquiry form to make an enquiry and we look forward to discussing either yours or your clients’ Income Protection and other Personal Insurance needs shortly.
At first I didn’t even realise my condition was covered however my adviser at Life Shield assisted me with the whole process (including the paperwork!) and now I can concentrate on my health rather than wondering how I would pay the bills.
I will be recommending your company to all….
South Caulfield, Victoria.
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