Give confidence this Christmas

Advisers have a unique opportunity during this time of the year to review their clients’ needs and circumstances, and ensure the right type and level of cover is in place, ClearView’s Tony Schiavello writes.

The Christmas and New Year period is called the ‘silly season’ for a reason. It’s typically a time of over-indulgence and frivolity, with a measure of travel and adventure.

Unfortunately, that typically corresponds with a higher number of accidents, injuries and sadly deaths.

Statistics show that holidays can be one of the most dangerous times of the year.

The road accident and death toll commonly spikes over Easter and Christmas due to increased traffic volumes, congestion, fatigue and people driving in unfamiliar territory, not to mention a higher number of people driving under the influence.

The summer break is also an exceptionally busy period for ambulance services and hospital emergency rooms.


It is therefore an ideal time for advisers to talk to clients about their personal protection insurances to ensure they’re adequately covered before heading merrily into 2017.

This may seem more pertinent for clients who are planning to travel, but it’s important too for those staying home.

During the holidays, the risk of injury and death from accidents at home is heightened because people entertain more and do household chores they wouldn’t normally do, for example, clearing gutters, pruning trees, shifting furniture and painting. This type of strenuous activity may involve climbing on ladders and using dangerous tools and equipment.      

While advisers can’t stop people from renovating their home or going on holidays, they can remind them that they may be exposed to greater risk at this time of the year, which is why it’s prudent to review their insurance needs and cover.

Many people believe they are adequately covered, when in reality they’re not.

For example, industry super fund members generally only have a low level of life, income protection and total and permanent disability (TPD) cover with limited terms and conditions. Group life insurance in super usually only provides for $100,000 to $200,000 in cover but research by the Financial Services Council estimates full-time workers on average earnings (currently around $50,000 per annum) with dependents require at least $500,000 to $650,000 in cover.  

What can advisers learn from travel agents?

Travel agents tend to be diligent and proactive in encouraging customers to buy travel and medical insurance before embarking on a holiday.

They understand the benefits of insurance because they’ve seen things go wrong many times.

Similarly, advisers have a unique opportunity at this time of the year, and indeed ahead of any holiday period, to review their clients’ needs and circumstances, and ensure the right type and level of cover is in place.  

They can reaffirm the benefits of personal protection insurance.

Advisers can give clients the peace of knowing that if they get sick or injured while on holidays or unexpectedly pass away, they and their loved ones will be protected. 

Despite the cost, that confidence and certainty is priceless.

Tony Schiavello is ClearView wealth state manager for Victoria and Tasmania

Give confidence this Christmas
Tony Schiavello
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