Sadly another client died, but we did our job right

Working in this business can be tragic at times, the nature of the industry is that we have seen many businesses and individuals financially ruined, but at least they are alive and well, ‘your health is your wealth’ as the saying goes.

Sometimes however, our customers don’t have that either, and people die. We can’t stop that, and we can’t help make it better in any way for the people affected with the exception of the financial implications.

A client of ours passed away earlier in the month, they had two houses and two mortgages. When we were first dealing with them we stressed the importance of protecting your family from the financial impact death brings, it is the greatest wealth destroyer of all (indeed, the greatest destroyer in general).

Our clients took our advice, covering their mortgages in full and in addition to that a further lump sum on the life of the breadwinner. Taking out this cover was a selfless act, the person who has ultimately …

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Death is a certainty, so why not buy into it?

In 1911 something interesting happened, the US Supreme Court made a ruling in the Grigsby vs Russell that allowed a person to essentially ‘sell their interest’ in their own life assurance policy. The case was over a condition in an insurance policy that it shall be ‘void for non-payment of premiums’ as being only that it shall be voidable at option of the company. In other words, it wasn’t just up to the company’s (issuers) discretion. The second issue was the rule of public policy that forbids the taking out of insurance by one on the life of another in which he has no insurable interest does not apply to the assignment by the insured of a perfectly valid policy to one not having an insurable interest.

The idea of ‘insurable interest’ still stands as a central tenet in insurance, for instance, I can’t take out a life assurance policy on a stranger because I face no loss in the event of their death, in fact, if you were the beneficiary of …

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The day I mis-sold an insurance policy

About five years ago I had a couple in with me who were buying a home, I was helping them to determine their insurance needs and I realised that they had literally no protection if either of them ever fell seriously ill – not via their job/employer schemes or individually. So I suggested that they consider some serious illness cover, it would have cost them about €20 a month but they were insistent that they only wanted what was ‘cheapest and nothing more’.

As an adviser, it isn’t my job to always accept what people say they want because often, with adequate probing and understanding they actually want something entirely different, a skewed but simple way of understanding what I mean is that when saving or investing the majority of people want ‘high growth and high security’ – when in fact, these two features are normally night and day, if there ever was an asset that could deliver high growth with deposit account style security then everybody would pile in and the market would adjust accordingly, therefore you need to …

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