Published: 26 September 2016
Author: Stringer Clark WorkCover Law team

When it comes to insurance, we don't know what we don't know

I recently met a likeable man called Matt* at a family gathering in Horsham. At 55 years of age he was a pensioner, as he was injured a long time ago and was no longer able to work.

While Matt had received a WorkCover claim many years ago, I questioned whether he had been covered by his superannuation fund. He didn’t know this was possible and I encouraged him to visit my office and explained that I could look into it on his behalf.

Together we worked through the paperwork and he received a $30K insurance fund entitlement. This greatly helped my client's situation and reassured me that these small wins make a difference for many of our clients and make this work worthwhile.

The black dog of depression can destroy a livelihood

I met Will* recently when I needed to contract a local builder to have some repairs done on my home. His distressed wife explained that Will was suffering from depression and had given up work 12 months prior, and that she was struggling to support their family on her single income. I encouraged them to come and see me, and explained that a claim could potentially be lodged and paid retrospectively – and that's exactly what happened. Our ‘No Win No Fee OR Expenses’ policy helped make a tough situation more bearable for this family because with this policy we try to ensure we don’t charge anyone that we don't feel we are able to help.

What most people don't know about insurance

  • Your superannuation may cover you for permanent disability
  • The insurance industry is constantly changing and it takes expertise and experience to navigate the space with confidence to ensure a favourable outcome
  • Superannuation controlled by unions or industry funds generally provide a better rate of return and applications are more likely to be successful than private insurers
  • People tend to have a “set and forget” mentality around insurance, yet as we age our needs and the needs of our families change, which may also mean our insurance policies may also need to change
  • Compensation claims are more challenging when people have 3-4 super funds and sometimes the insurance lapses if income is no longer received in the fund
  • Making a claim can be a very long and stressful process for people who have not navigated this space before. For example, important information in the initial application must be “complete” or the insurer is required to “seek further material”.

When we help a client with insurance claims, they generally experience positive outcomes, have a smoother experience with the claim, and spend a smaller amount of money on legal fees comparative to the claim. Meanwhile, those who make their first application for insurance find themselves in a minefield of paperwork involving complex legal terms that often lasts a very long time and ends with no sense of satisfaction, confusion and further stress.

Put simply, when it comes to insurance – whether it’s purchasing a policy or making a claim – be sure to invest in your future by seeking professional help. 

*All names have been changed to protect the privacy of clients. Approval has been sought with these individuals to share their stories with the intention to ensure people are aware of the opportunities available to them.

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