13 Apr 2021
Insurance advisers, or insurance brokers are used by many people to manage their insurance policies. But what do they do exactly? Can they help you get a better deal? Are they a general financial adviser? Do they help support customers with making claims and reviewing policies regularly? We take a closer look at some of the myths surrounding insurance advisers in this article and explain how an insurance adviser can help you select the best life insurance or business insurance policy for you.
Choosing the right insurance policy (whether it be a personal policy or business policy) can be complex. Your insurance needs will depend on your specific circumstances, your financial goals and future plans. In this article, we’ll focus on whole life insurance, which is insurance you may need to claim before you pass away, and business insurance. In our experience, an insurance adviser can be particularly useful when you’re overwhelmed by choice, don’t know where to start or have complex requirements.
What is an insurance adviser?
An insurance adviser or insurance broker can help you understand the range of insurance products available in market that might suit your personal or business needs, but also which insurance products best suit your needs. Some people find enormous value in an insurance adviser providing practical advice. It can save people valuable time and save them money in insurance premiums too.
Insurance advisers differ in that they can either work independently with a range of insurance providers, or can work exclusively for an insurance company to help the insurance provider’s customers understand the insurance products available to them, and the level of cover they may need.
What does an insurance adviser do?
An insurance adviser (independent or otherwise) is your go-to insurance expert. If you have questions about the details of your policy, your insurance adviser can help you navigate and understand things like
policy conditions and details
your risk level and coverage options
policy benefits, (both included benefits and additional ones)
An independent adviser will meet with you, usually in person, to fully understand your insurance needs. They may ask you questions about your income and employment status, your financial goals for the future, any dependents you may need to cover like a child, spouse or business partner. They will likely ask you about your health and families medical history too, to ensure that they can offer tailored advice. If you are chatting to your adviser about business insurance, they may also ask you about the financials of your business and risks of the job.
The Cigna insurance adviser process is very similar. A Cigna insurance adviser can help you with all these things. A Cigna insurance adviser can help you understand your policy, risks and premiums to ensure you have the right product to fit your individual or company needs. They can help you calculate your insurance premiums and will undertake annual policy reviews to ensure your policies remain relevant and fit for purpose. A Cigna insurance adviser will also be your first point of contact if you need to make a claim. Some people find it helpful to have one point of contact for all their insurance needs - from new policy advice to managing existing policies, to making claims.
The adviser process can take a little bit of time (typically 2-3 meetings) because your adviser wants to make an informed and tailored insurance recommendation for you. It’s not an intimidating process and in fact, clients tell us that it can be very reassuring to know that they are taking the guesswork out of something as important as life insurance.
By understanding your personal or business insurance needs, your insurance adviser will be able to create a recommended insurance policy for you with accurately calculated premiums, based on your unique requirements.
Are Cigna insurance advisers qualified?
Most of our advisers have a degree or qualification in a commerce-related discipline. That could include accounting, business or finance. Our advisers have regular training sessions and opportunities to share and upskill to ensure they’re across the latest Cigna products and insurance changes. Our advisers are kept up to date with the latest changes in government legislation and regulations related to insurance. These changes may include tax changes, benefit allowances, the Privacy Act and Human Rights Act.
Cigna insurance advisers are regulated by the Financial Markets Authority, so they are legally required to exercise care, diligence and skill in the advisory work they undertake with their customers.
Is an insurance adviser the same as a financial adviser?
An insurance adviser may also be a financial adviser, but they are not the same role. They abide by the same legislation, but an insurance adviser offers advice and expertise specifically on insurance. A financial adviser can provide information on a broad range of topics, from budgeting to retirement planning, investments, building a property portfolio or insurance. An insurance adviser is an expert in insurance, but both types of advisers are considered Financial Advice Providers and should be registered on the Financial Services Providers Register.
What are the benefits of speaking to an insurance adviser?
1. For life insurance
By speaking to an insurance adviser, you’ll receive tailored advice for your specific situation. You’ll be talked through the available options, understand the benefits of life insurance and have different policies explained, and understand what premiums you’re likely to pay. As a result, you’ll feel confident about the cover level that’s right for you, rather than guessing.
Rather than using an online tool to calculate your life insurance or the type of policies available, an insurance adviser is likely to be able to give you a wider range of insurance products and talk you through the benefits of each one.
There are clearly good reasons to talk to an insurance adviser before you get insurance.
2. For business insurance
All businesses need insurance, and there is a wide range of insurance products available. Outside the usual Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance that you might consider, is insurance that protects your family and any employees, should the worst happen.
If your business was to suddenly get into debt and needed to pay it off, or needed to cover core business expenses if a key person in the business was to fall seriously ill or pass away, we have insurance policies available that can support these scenarios.
Key insurance policies your insurance adviser may discuss include:
Life Cover - to help your family cope financially (immediately and in the future)
Trauma Cover - pays you a lump sum amount if you suffer from a defined serious illness or condition.
Complete Disablement Cover - pays you a lump sum amount if you become completely disabled due to illness or injury.
Business Overheads Cover - pays you a monthly amount as reimbursement of eligible business overheads or the reasonable costs of employing a locum if you are unable to work due to a disability as a result of illness or injury.
Key Person Start-Up Cover - provides an agreed monthly payment to compensate for losses the business may face if you or a key person is unable to work due to a disability as a result of an injury or illness.
Premium Cover - pays your total insurance premiums if you are disabled and unable to work.
Independent Insurance broker or Cigna insurance adviser?
The key difference between an independent insurance adviser or broker, and a Cigna insurance adviser, is that an independent adviser is more likely to spend their time comparing insurance brands, rather than products, and may not be as knowledgeable about individual insurance products. If your independent adviser hasn’t discussed Cigna as an option for you, you can always ask them to, but it may indicate that they have a strong preference or may be receiving a commission. In comparison, a Cigna insurance adviser will understand Cigna insurance products extremely well, and be able to more quickly and efficiently provide specific advice for you.
Cigna insurance advisers do not work on commission, so they’re not incentivised to push you towards a particular insurance provider or product. Their role is to support you to purchase the right insurance cover, without you spending more than you can afford on premiums, and in line with your current financial situation and financial goals.
Note: By law, anyone giving financial advice must disclose if they are receiving a commission or any kind of benefit from recommending a particular insurance provider or product. Your independent adviser should offer this information, but it's a good idea to check if you are unsure.
Remember that sound insurance and financial advice should consider your particular needs, goals and financial situation. Much like other financial matters, your insurance needs should be reviewed regularly as you, your family’s and your business’ needs can change over time.
Cigna can support you to make the right insurance decisions. Are you keen to know more about protecting your whanau? A Cigna insurance adviser can provide advice about a life insurance or business insurance policy today. Contact us to talk to an adviser or learn more about Assurance Extra and Business Insurance today.