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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Hatherly

AFRM Referral Partner Newsletter - 5 April 2019

In last month’s update we suggested that if you chose to outsource all your risk advice and life insurance claims management work to us, you can achieve improved business efficiencies while simultaneously being confident that we will ensure the best possible financial and health outcomes for your clients.

Never a company to rest on our laurels, this month we wanted to share with you details of continuous improvement work we are doing to make our advice practices even more robust.

AFRM is undertaking this procedural improvement work to ensure when we undertake a risk review, we are undertaking every line of inquiry possible to ensure the client’s best interests are protected. This work is being informed by a range of factors including past ASIC reports and new financial adviser educational requirements, which we believe requires all advisers to have a broader width of knowledge than ever before. This can only be a good thing for our mutual clients. For example, the upcoming industry adviser examination is not a tailored exam to each advice specialty, such as risk advisers, retirement planners and wealth managers etc. All advisers will be expected to know a broad range of information so that when a client comes to see you, they are looked at holistically and not solely through the lens of the advice specialist, with no regard to the client’s circumstances outside of the advice being provided. Accordingly, we are already widening the scope of our client questioning and provision of advice. For example, if we consider the industry more generally, perhaps in the past the attitude may have been that it is up to the client to decide how much money to put into their insurances and our responsibility is simply to give them the information to make that decision. However, today this information gathering goes further and our advice responsibility goes further to capture peripheral ‒ but relevant ‒ client circumstances into our advice piece, such as cash flow & affordability as well as the longer-term impact of premiums on superannuation. This is not to say we are expanding our range of advice services beyond just Risk. What it means is that we have improved our review processes to ensure consistency in ensuring that:

  1. we are aware of a broader range of factors which may influence the client’s individual circumstances

  2. that we have recorded a broader range of factors which may influence the client’s individual circumstances, and;

  3. we have highlighted all relevant and potential issues to the client; as well as acted to encourage the client to seek additional specialised advice on any specific outlying matter identified.

All of this potentially means more referrals for matters we identify as relevant, but cannot provide advice on; such as Estate Planning, Taxation, Retirement & Wealth Creation advice etc… Feel free to reach out to us if you would like to learn more or have any suggestions to contribute. Please take a moment to read the Case Study which illustrates how taking the time to dig a little deeper can change your clients’ lives for the better.

Until next time, live your life well!


Nicholas Hatherly

Managing Director AFRM


Case Study

Recently we had a client, William [name changed to protect client privacy], approach his AFRM adviser, Rob Vitnell, General Manager of AFRM Victoria, to conduct a review of his insurances because he was concerned that premiums were increasing and becoming financially out of reach.

William and Rob then met for their regular review meeting, during which AFRM’s Rob took the time to ask William how he was going generally? Had he been well? What was happening in his life? Had anything changed in his life circumstances since his last review?

In short, Rob took the time to renew the personal relationship and to check on William’s general well-being rather than simply focussing on the initial concern raised – that of increasing insurance premiums.

Through the course of this discussion William disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes earlier this year and is now being treated with insulin injections four times per day.

Accordingly, AFRM advised William he had a claim against the very cover he was seeking to reduce. William simply did not realise his current circumstances merited a claim.

If Rob had not taken that extra time “to go the extra mile” and ensure a thorough review process included those important discussions around current state of health; really digging deeper to assess whether it would be wise to reduce cover; William would likely have never made a claim because he was unaware that his policy included a diabetes Trauma benefit.

To say William is grateful to Rob and AFRM is an understatement. In fact, he has thanked Rob numerous times for his advice and for AFRM’s quality of service.

Soon after the Trauma claim money had been deposited into his bank account, William called Rob and said:

“I paid off my mortgage yesterday and it feels great, thank you.”

William then went on to again thank us for our advice, the thoroughness of our review process and the level of service we provide.

Rob noted that it was such a simple gesture but incredibly powerful at the same time.

“We really do make a difference in people’s lives. Even for someone like William that is very confident and successful, you can clearly see that this insurance claim experience and the outcome we have achieved for him has had a profound and positive impact on his and his family’s lives,” Rob said.
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