• Nicholas Hatherly

AFRM Referral Partner Newsletter - 13 March 2019


Welcome to 'Your Life' - the AFRM Referral Partner newsletter.


If there’s one thing that is certain in the financial services sector today it is that massive change is underway and pressures on the bottom line have never been greater.


Unfortunately, for those of us that have always been focused on achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients, the “horror stories” to come out of the Hayne Royal Commission has tarnished the industry as a whole and considerable work needs to be done to win back public trust.


This latest challenge is one of many our sector faces at this time, including new remuneration requirements introduced under last year’s introduction of the Life Insurance Framework; and also, the new education and professional standards requirements for financial advisors being implemented by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA).


In the wake of the Hayne Royal Commission, last month ASIC has also announced increased scrutiny of grandfathered investment and superannuation product commissions and of life insurance commissions.


The big question for accountancy and financial advice practices is how do you step up the level of service you are providing your clients to meet the heightened societal and regulatory expectations for improved consumer outcomes across the financial services sector, while at the same time re-evaluating your cost base at a time of reduced commission earnings to improve practice efficiency?


In short, the cost to serve has increased while the ability to earn has reduced. We all need to focus on our strengths while outsourcing what may be our weaknesses.


At AFRM, we continue to believe we are part of the solution. By outsourcing your risk advice and life insurance claims management work to us, you can rest assured knowing we will ensure the best possible financial and health outcomes for your clients.


Helping people is what we do. AFRM has always held the best interests of its clients as its highest priority for the more than 20 years we have been in business.


We are proud of the fact that we stand by our clients when the time comes to make a claim.


To date, we have achieved more than $150m in client claims paid. We are passionate about helping people and ensuring our customers are always protected.


Our mission is to protect people from financial hardship when things go wrong.


Our promise to our customers is that we are “protecting your future, today.”


Please take a few moments to read the following brief case study which; we hope; demonstrates that the lines above are not mere rhetoric. At AFRM, we practice what we preach.


Until next time, live your life well!


Sincerely,

Nicholas Hatherly

Managing Director AFRM

Case Study


Imagine having a wife and young family, a demanding high-level professional career, then being diagnosed with a terminal illness and told you perhaps have only 12 months left to live.


Imagine living with that “death sentence” hanging over your head for another 16-years as you continue to strive to work to provide for your young family, your ability to work is diminished over time and you are undertaking exhausting treatments to deal with your medical condition.


That is the awful scenario that John [name changed to protect client privacy] has had to deal with since his original brain tumour diagnosis in 2003.


To make matters worse, John’s initial attempts to claim on insurance through his then financial adviser were unsuccessful.


John was not an AFRM client but people who knew what we do suggested he reach out to us - and that is exactly what he did back in 2016.


After hearing what John had been going through, we took up his case and proceeded to resume the insurance claims process on his behalf.


By July 2017, we succeeded in achieving a $998,000 Terminal Illness claim for him and by August the same year we had been successful in getting further claims approved which resulted in John ultimately receiving a total of in excess of $2.27 million in claims payments.


At the time, John kindly provided the following words to describe the service and support provided to him by AFRM:

          “When you get diagnosed with a terminal illness or a permanent disability the last thing you want to have to do is worry about an insurance claim or gathering information to make it.
           “Rob Vitnell [General Manager of AFRM Victoria] and his team took over that task for me. They kept me constantly informed and updated me as to the progress of my claims.
          “In the last week, I received notification my claims have been successful.”
          “As a result, I no longer have to worry about my family’s security, or the financial future for them, which is a great relief and something I really appreciate.”

AFRM’s, Rob Vitnell, spoke about the personal satisfaction felt after achieving the best possible outcome for someone like John:


          “When I called to tell him, he could barely speak. …just enough to thank us for our advice and hard work in fighting these insurance claims for him and his family.
          “The main take away from my conversation with John was that we had provided his family with ‘choices’; that they would now have ‘no debts’ and after all those years of continuing to work through exhausting medical treatments, there was now a chance that perhaps he wouldn’t have to work anymore. He said it was ‘a massive weight off my shoulders.’ It was powerful stuff!
          “It is immensely gratifying to know that our work makes a huge difference in people’s lives.”
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