How to talk to your clients about health

Supporting their clients through good times and bad, financial advisers have a unique opportunity to engage Australians with their own better health.

The nature of financial advice means building trusted relationships with clients and supporting them through some of the most important times in their life. From the great times – like buying their first home, starting a family or building a business – to the challenging times.

There’s no question financial advisers play a crucial role in the financial health of their clients, but as they support those clients through good times and bad, trusted advisers also have a unique opportunity to engage Australians more broadly with their own better health.

The World Health Organisation defines human health as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

We look at health holistically, recognising the inter-connectedness of physical health, mental health and financial health.

It’s through this lens that financial advisers can find the confidence to have meaningful conversations with their clients around health, in a way that feels relevant to the role they already play.

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A holistic view of health

Financial health is just as important to a person’s overall wellbeing as their mental and physical health. This means there’s an opportunity for financial advisers to partner with clients to drive engagement across all three of these pillars and add greater value to their customers throughout their relationship. This includes:

  1. Understanding true financial needs for any state of health. This will enable advisers to make more informed recommendations around the right decisions and products for their clients, from investments to protection, and helps the client feel confident that the product is affordable and relevant to their financial needs;
  2. Having an open dialogue with clients about their health enables a different discussion around their expectations. Should they be ill or injured for a day, a month, a year or permanently unable to work, this understanding will ensure the appropriate IP and TPD insurances are put in place; and
  3. Similarly, many clients don’t fully understand potential out-of-pocket expenses that can be associated with major health conditions such as heart attack and cancer. Discussing the possible impact of these is an important part of advising a client on whether critical illness insurance might be relevant for them.

Embracing prevention for a healthier future

Partnering with clients to support them whatever happens means advisers can enhance their clients’ health through preventative strategies. This creates an enhanced value exchange as well as personalised and targeted support during claim time.

There are three key types of prevention, and each plays its own role in contributing to the future health of all Australians:

  1. Primary prevention, or preventing conditions;
  2. Secondary prevention, or early detection of conditions; and
  3. Tertiary prevention, or management of conditions.

By understanding all of these prevention stages, advisers can have important ongoing client discussions about their health journey. This can ensure that their financial health is taken care of at every stage in their journey, not just at the application stage.

Partnering with clients to support them whatever happens means advisers can enhance their clients’ health through preventative strategies. This creates an enhanced value exchange as well as personalised and targeted support during claim time.

Supporting clients at claim time

When it comes to claim time, advisers can play a key role in supporting their clients. Post claim, a return to good work or society can be critically important to a client’s recovery from illness or injury. Studies show that it can reduce the risk of mental health conditions as well as other cardiovascular conditions that can occur through stagnation.

Drawing on the trusted role they play in their clients’ lives, financial advisers play a key role in encouraging good health – financial, mental and physical – that will deliver the greatest benefit for clients, during claim and beyond.


Dr Sally Phillips, general manager – health services, TAL

How to talk to your clients about health
Dr. Sally Phillips
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