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Wybrow & Associates

By Advertising Feature - 12 May 2011 8

Malcolm Wybrow

Malcolm Wybrow from Wybrow & Associates is a Financial Planner who specializes in personal insurance and he says his job is to get you “the best insurance cover for your needs.” As you read on you will discover how good insurance cover is paramount to maintaining a happy lifestyle, free from worries about the ‘what ifs’ in life.

Malcolm says that he isn’t an insurance ‘Broker’ but deals with more than 10 different insurers and recommends different providers depending upon what is most appropriate for clients and what they themselves may prefer. There have been occasions where he has advised clients to take out their insurance spread across up to 3 different insurers because whilst there was far more paperwork and form filling involved the final result was much better for the client than the alternative.

If you ever happen to meet Malcolm Wybrow, the first thing to strike you will be his genuine warmth and talent for conversation. Wybrow stresses that he is a people person and that the industry in which he works is people orientated. He is a personal insurance Financial Planner, but isn’t a scary or intimidating like a bank manager, instead he is full of analogies and quirky stories that explain his business. He told one story about driving to Mittagong to meet a client. On arrival the client threw up his hands and said he didn’t want to claim, the paperwork was too much. So Malcolm sat down with him and patiently for an hour and half helped him through it.

Malcolm himself does admit that the worst part of the job is the paperwork and one which turns a lot of people away from claiming much needed insurance. The internet has helped to make the process quicker and easier, but the insurance may become more expensive with this method and harder to claim.
Malcolm is someone who represents you for your insurance negotiations and transactions, unlike some other insurance writers who represent and/or recommend the products of one or only a few insurance companies. So he essentially provides a more personal contact with his clients, and finds the most appropriate cover for their particular needs.

Malcolm states that, “personal insurances in their various forms are aimed at helping individuals and businesses to maintain their lifestyles and dreams for the future if something unpleasant happens to them eg. death or serious accident.” Often these accidents can result in an individual being no longer being able to work, in which case it is vital to have a Plan B and invariably that is insurance. Malcolm says that “money doesn’t buy happiness, but it makes misery far more bearable.”

So what makes Wybrow’ & Associates business different to others? Malcolm claims, “We go the extra yard, and show our clients what advantages our recommendations have compared to other companies and how they provide peace of mind.” He finds that people tell you so much in the insurance business and that they really do confide and open up. It is therefore crucial to be on hand to listen and offer support, especially considering the nature of the industry ie. death and accidents. Malcolm states, “I am essentially helping people.” On occasion he has gone out to someone whose partner has died and given them a cheque. Malcolm says that, “the best insurance is one which does what the insured wants ie. pays out easily when required, costs the least after tax, and yet delivers the correct payouts after tax.

Wybrow loves the intricacies and the complexities of being a personal insurance Financial Planner. “The job requires you to use your head and keep on your toes.” He says. He claims the best part of the job is knowing that his clients have the best coverage and insurance they can get. Malcolm’s catch phrase is “maintaining lifestyle and living your dreams in case….”

What’s Your opinion?


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8 Responses to
Wybrow & Associates
Malcolm_Wybrow 5:38 pm 19 Jul 11

Firstly the PSSAp Salary Continuance (and their Life/TPD insurance) is an understandably very generous scheme offering excellent benefits at a very low price. Largely because the scheme is for all new Public Servants (a large number of individuals) the Public Service (PS) has been able to negotiate excellent premium rates with one of the commercial insurance companies. I think that the salary continuance is very good but could go even further to meet officer’s needs.

On the second part of your query, the terms ‘Salary Continuance Insurance (SCI)’ and ‘Income Protection’ are frequently used interchangeably.

More accurately Salary Continuance is ‘Income Protection’ cover held within superannuation, whereas ‘Income Protection’ is held outside of superannuation. By holding ‘Income Protection’ outside superannuation all its features are accessible to a claimant whereas this isn’t always possible with a policy within superannuation. Income Protection policies often insure (and pay out) a higher income because they can take account of allowances and external income beyond a ‘base salary’.

It is possible to hold an identical ‘Income Protection’ policy either inside or outside of superannuation. The difference however shows up at claim time whereby someone holding a policy outside superannuation (subject to a successful claim) will get a payout from an insurance company directly to them.

In the case of the same policy held in superannuation (and an identical successful claim) the insurance company will also pay the claim, but to their Superannuation Fund’s Trustee. The Superannuation Trustee is bound by SIS (Superannuation Industry Supervision Act 1993) rules (and the Superannuation Fund’s Trust deed). These regulations limit the Trustee in what can be paid directly to the insured. It can pay out salary continuance but not all the other ancillary benefits.
Regrettably whilst it may be impossible to persuade everybody entering any scheme to fully think through their current and future insurance needs at the time of joining, a number of people are likely to simply select the default coverage offered. My usual recommendation is that individuals select a waiting period of a minimum of 30 days rather than a longer waiting period. The reason for this is that whilst a ‘90 day wait’ ‘Salary Continuance’ is significantly less expensive than ‘30 day wait’ insurance it provides invaluable protection if an illness or incapacity continues for more than 30 days but less than 90 days. The counter argument of course to this is that accumulated sick leave (and perhaps holiday pay) would provide supplementary protection. However once accumulated sick leave is eroded you would be quite exposed especially with recurring ill health.

Regrettably new employees have little accumulated sick leave or holiday pay so they are quite exposed to financial embarrassment if an illness or incapacity is protracted.

My advice is for you to check what coverage you have and discuss this with the PSSAp people so that you have the coverage that you want.

Cases need to be looked at individually and decided on the basis of the full facts available, the individual’s preferences and the merits of the various options. If you wanted to extend your coverage through to retirement you would need to talk to an adviser.

The PSSAp Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) accessible via http://www.pssap.gov.au/documents/pds/PSSap_PDS.pdf which states on page 35 that the Salary Continuance policy pays out “An income stream paid monthly which covers up to 75% of your base annual salary for up to two years when you are unable to work due to disability caused by sickness or injury”. It also states on page 37 that “Income protection cover offers payment of monthly benefits based on a percentage of your base annual salary (at the time of the incident which led to your claim)”On the same page it also states that “The default waiting period is 90 days, but you can apply to change it to 30, 60, 120 or 180 days”

What flows from a reading of the PDS is that you need to determine whether
1. There is value in supplementing your cover with Income Protection through to 65 (or 70) but with a 2 year wait.
2. The waiting period you have selected with your PSSAp policy is appropriate to your individual needs or that you need to adjust it
3. you might value the additional ‘benefits (that would not be otherwise trapped in super) that a policy outside of superannuation might provide
4. the cost-effectiveness of your policy over the life of the policy vs an alternative is worth comparing
5. you are likely to voluntarily or involuntarily leave the PS and what impact that might have if you couldn’t transfer and continue your salary continuance policy with another employer.

The PDS does not specifically say that your Salary Continuance cannot be continued beyond employment in the PS whereas it specifically mentions that there is a ‘continuation option’ (see page 39) with your Life/TPD insurance. What the PDS does however say on page 39 is that “Your income protection cover will stop on the earliest of:…the date you stop being in active and continuous employment for at least 15 hours per week”

I think that it is best to contact and speak with your provider on
members@pssap.gov.au
Phone: 1300 725 171
Fax: 1300 662 406
To find out more about your situation.

I trust that this answers your question. I apologise for being so long winded but without a knowledge of you unique situation I need to set out a variety of possibilities.

After speaking to your own PSSAP people I would be delighted to talk to you about your own unique situation if you feel that there was any need to do so.

moneypenny 3:55 pm 08 Jul 11

Hi Malcolm, I have salary continuance in my PSSAp super. Is it better or worse than income protection and what is the difference.

Malcolm_Wybrow 2:03 pm 16 May 11

As to what you get vs what you pay for…absolutely

It is a bit like Seatbelts, ABS braking systems, Airbags etc

In the case of my solicitor example she currently would expect to earn $4,300,000* from now until 65 if her salary wasn’t to increase. Her Income Protection policy, if she chooses to accept it, will pay out potentially more than $3,225,000* (the claim payout would increase each year in line with inflation).* both of these figures are pre-tax.
Potentially?….. (yes if she had an accident the day after she got the policy) and was totally incapable of ever working again she would be able to claim.
It may however be that the injury or illness that incapacitated my client was going to dramatically shorten her life as well and she wouldn’t live till 65. There are even policies that will give claimants the option of taking a large payout (based on a documented formula) to use as they choose.
It wouldn’t need to be an accident as it could be a mental health condition or motor neurone disease that was incapacitating. The unexpected happens and often with devastating circumstances.
To be incapacitated for 6 months alone would rob my solicitor client of $50,000* (less government support). She would probably also be unable to continue her mortgage payments and have to sell her house on a ‘soft’ market.
I am lucky enough to have had 4 days sick leave in my working life. I will be happy to have wasted all the money that I have paid on personal insurance if I, and/or my family, never have to claim. I have also met numerous people who have received insurance claims but haven’t yet met one who wouldn’t give the money back to be restored to their original state of health.
Balanced against this are the people whose claims have been paid who have been able to hang on to their house, hold their marriage together and have a reasonable quality of life.
Personal insurance is not inexpensive but the greatest advocates are people who have claimed on it or wish they had had some in place that they could have claimed against. It is interesting how keen people who have been sidelined by an illness or accident during their working lifetime who have successfully urged their children take out insurance coverage.

Malcolm_Wybrow 1:13 pm 16 May 11

My apologies for my misinterpretation of your reference to’ based on your knowledge of the providers’ business’ My recommendations are made by reference to policy documents and any factual information that I think may impact this. Ultimately the policy document is what you need to rely on together with a consideration of the specific needs of a client.
Income protection policies are markedly different

• from a benefit period of 2 years right through until age 70.
• from a 14 day wait through to a 2 year wait before you can claim etc etc

Price also varies considerably, as typified by a case that I am working on at the moment. A 22 year old female Solicitor earning $100,000 p.a wanting a benefit period until age 65 and a 30 day waiting period.

The variation between the least cost and the highest cost was 413%.

(If you would like a copy of the raw data that I have used to do these calculations just ask to have it emailed). These variations occur across all occupations.

The list of variations goes on ad infinitum. What however is really relevant is finding a policy that suits your needs. As part of making any insurance recommendation Financial Planners are legally compelled to collect a lot of personal information so that we ‘know our client’. That said it must be additionally supplemented by good questions from the Financial Planner and good and candid answers from the client.

Your level of sick leave certainly needs to be taken account of, together with an understanding that a serious illness or accident could use it up completely. My own preference would be to overinsure myself and if I had 6 months sick leave saved up and 6 months before I retired consider then surrendering my Income Protection policy because I had sufficient protection through my sick leave to take me right through until retirement. Accumulated sick leave is a significant consideration as is the chance that an individual might change employers or be laid off and lose all their sick leave entitlements overnight.

Personal insurance is not inexpensive but the greatest advocates are people who have claimed on it or wish they had had some in place that they could have claimed against. It is interesting how keen people who have been sidelined by an illness or accident are to have their children take out insurance coverage.

LSWCHP 10:10 pm 13 May 11

georgesgenitals said :

Hi Malcolm,

Thanks for your detailed response.

I wasn’t actually suggesting that insurance is ‘bad’ or anything, simply because of someone else’s experience, but was rather curious as to whether you could make recommendations of products based on your knowledge of the providers’ business. I’m actually looking for income protection insurance at the moment, but want to make sure that the terms of the policy meet my needs. I figure that if I understand the policy properly, I should be able to get the cover I need.

I guess I am simply hoping that a client and the financial planner could have a very candid and open discussion about which company meets the needs best, without the assumption that they are all the same.

Cheers,
G

GG, I’ve investigated income protection insurance quite a lot over the last couple of months,and as far as I can tell all the products are much the same. The longer the period you specify before triggering the policy (ie if you have a lot of accrued sick leave) the lower the premiums will be. There are slight variations in price, and they all have a maximum limit on triggering the policy of 2 years (104 weeks).

Like most life and health insurance IMHO, you pay a helluva lot for not much.

Good luck.

georgesgenitals 6:29 pm 13 May 11

Hi Malcolm,

Thanks for your detailed response.

I wasn’t actually suggesting that insurance is ‘bad’ or anything, simply because of someone else’s experience, but was rather curious as to whether you could make recommendations of products based on your knowledge of the providers’ business. I’m actually looking for income protection insurance at the moment, but want to make sure that the terms of the policy meet my needs. I figure that if I understand the policy properly, I should be able to get the cover I need.

I guess I am simply hoping that a client and the financial planner could have a very candid and open discussion about which company meets the needs best, without the assumption that they are all the same.

Cheers,
G

Malcolm_Wybrow 4:56 pm 12 May 11

georgesgenitals said :

Is an insurance broker able to comment and and make recommendations about a given insurer’s payout policies? A close friend had a nasty health problem some years ago, and it took going to court to get the income protection insurer to come to the party – that is a key risk I see with such policies.

Thoughts?

Firstly I should begin by saying that I am not an ‘Insurance broker’ although that appeared against my name when you first read the article above. I speedily had this corrected.
That aside I cannot comment upon your friend’s personal situation without the facts and in this case the court has made a decision which I trust was fair. Having to resort
I wouldn’t publically tell an insurance company what I thought of its payout policies. What I would do however is expect a company to honour a contract that it signed with and individual and privately (once I had facts) go in to fight for my client.
In the time that I have dealt with insurance payouts I am only aware of one where a client has been especially unhappy with the response of an insurance company to pay their claim. This involved a client who had an early stage cancer (the rice of a rice grain) whereas the policy stated that in order to claim, the cancer had to be more advanced. This left the client without any financial compensation but secure in the knowledge that if remedial treatment for the cancer didn’t halt it, and it progressed, then they could claim. They were still disgruntled.
This at first may appear harsh but had a contract which was comprehensive enough to cover ‘any cancer’ been available, the chances are that it would have been more expensive than the one the client had.
I’ve seen payouts on a range of grief from suicide through to injury and illness. Perhaps the one that I remember best was the farmer who had open-heart surgery during the last drought who confided to me that he had contemplated suicide as a result of his illness and the payout that he received had perhaps meant the difference between staying and going in the face of being unable to work and earn money.
Insurance companies would wither on the vine if they failed to pay claims. That said your friend seems to have been failed with respect to the insurers payout approach, on the basis of the ultimate court decision. I would actually appreciate you contacting me to let me know a bit more about the case because I like to know about companies that may be difficult at claim time. It is ultimately in my clients best interests for me to be well informed.
We tend to concentrate on the bad cases especially when we have ‘first hand’ knowledge of a case.
The good news stories however rarely see the light of day. My favourite was speaking to a woman in Canberra who was going to cancel her insurance because the paperwork on two occasions was such an ordeal she had given up on her claims. I gathered the facts and got her a payout on a claim that was 6 months old together with another that was about 2 or 3 years old. My role was to represent my client and persuade the insurer to pay…and they did. It wasn’t that the insurer was being difficult but merely that an employee was being a stickler for the rules (which he as an employee was bound by). My job was however to represent my client to the best of my ability and get the result that they deserved.

georgesgenitals 10:35 am 12 May 11

Is an insurance broker able to comment and and make recommendations about a given insurer’s payout policies? A close friend had a nasty health problem some years ago, and it took going to court to get the income protection insurer to come to the party – that is a key risk I see with such policies.

Thoughts?

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