The financial journey of a doctor is unique and complex. DPM Financial Services is a specialist medical financial advice firm that aims to educate doctors of Australia to make the right financial decisions and achieve their financial goals. DPM Financial Services is all about you getting the right advice that suits your personal and professional needs and making sure that you have the confidence in your financial future.
Today I’d like to welcome to the PodMD studio, Mat Tischler from DPM. Mat joined DPM in August 2011 and provides comprehensive strategic insurance solutions to meet each client’s needs and aims to help clients achieve a portfolio of protection, securing financial peace of mind. We do hope you enjoy this podcast but please remember that the information discussed here is of a general nature is not intended to serve as advice. The views and opinions expressed here in this podcast are those of DPM, not PodMD. DPM Financial Services recommends that you obtain advice concerning specific matters before making a decision. Mat, thank you very much for coming to PodMD and with speaking with us today.
Thanks Emilia, I’m happy to be here.
The topic of today’s discussion is the importance of personal insurances for medical professionals. Mat, can you please explain to us what is personal insurance?
Personal insurance is essentially a protection plan that we put in place for our clients and their families to ensure financial security in the event, something unfortunate in their life happens to them.
Okay, and so what are the different types of insurances that are available to someone?
So when we’re putting together a portfolio of insurances, we’re looking at five major types of insurances. Which ones are appropriate for each client depends on their individual circumstances, but the main insurances that we’re looking at are life insurance, trauma insurance, TPD insurance, income protection, and business expenses. So, life insurance essentially pays out a lump sum upon death or diagnosis of a terminal illness. Trauma insurance, it’s also known as critical illness insurance, will pay out upon the diagnosis of a severe critical illness such as cancer, stroke or heart attack. TPD insurance is total and permanent disability insurance, which will pay a benefit if you can’t work ever again, as a result of total and permanent disablement. Income protection is a really important one, and it essentially pays you a monthly benefit if you’re unable to work in your occupation due to injury or illness. Business expense cover is something that’s a little bit more designed for business owners or self-employed people. And it becomes important, because if you’re unable to work, you’ll continue to have ongoing business expenses, and the business expense insurance is designed to help cover those expenses while you can’t work.
Okay, and so why is insurance particularly important for medical professionals?
I suppose a really good way to answer that was, imagine you’re in a car crash or partner of yours suffers cancer, you’re going through a really emotional and difficult time. Insurance essentially provides that financial protection to you to ensure that you can continue to live life and meet your everyday living expenses, while also going through what’s otherwise a very difficult period. Insurance also provides flexibility, in the event that you do need to present a claim, it means that you don’t need a fire sale of your assets. And it means you don’t need to make decisions hastily or in an irrational frame of mind. So it gives you that little bit of freedom to ensure that the decisions that you make are appropriate to what your plans and goals are.
Why is professional advice regarding insurance important for everyone? But then obviously, why is it particularly important for medical professionals?
That’s a really good question. I think one thing that people fail to understand is that there are so many different types of insurances out there. So you’ll see on daytime advertisements, you’ll see direct insurance being advertised, or in your superfund, you may have some group insurance that you don’t even know of and then there’s personal retail insurance. People often don’t know the difference, they think that they’re all the same, but they often come with many bits of fine print that differentiates them between each other. When we talk about advice for our clients as well, we also talk about different ownership structures, find out what’s most appropriate for you. As I said, some people have got cover through their superannuation fund, and this may or may not be appropriate depending on what their goals and objectives are when it comes to retirement saving. We also look at premium structures, and this involves looking at whether or not clients are going to hold the cover for a long term or short term. Everyone’s needs are different, and so when we’re tailoring our advice to individuals, we take that into consideration. The other thing that we often find is that people don’t know the difference between insurances, people will often get total and permanent disablement and income protection, for instance, mixed up, and think that they’re doing the same thing as each other. But in actual fact, they are quite different. So what we try to do is really ensure that our clients understand the difference between the covers available. On top of that, we offer ongoing review services for our clients to make sure that what they have is appropriate going forward. So what’s right, one day might not necessarily be right the next day. So different things will trigger different needs, whether or not you start a family or buy a new property, or you may start reducing your debt, and what you need to cover may start reducing along with that. So, they’re all important things that we factor in when providing advice for our clients.
So Mat if anyone doesn’t currently have any personal insurance policy in place, or has policies in place that they probably want to review or just have a look through, how would they do that.
Contacting us is probably the first way to do that, the process of a review, we try to make it as simple as possible for our clients. Because as we said, insurance is quite complicated, there’s a fair bit involved, and fair bit that you need to consider when reviewing your insurances and what’s right for you. And so, effectively, what we do is we’ll sit down with our clients, and we’ll discuss goals, objectives, why they take the cover out, and why they need the insurance in place, we’ll have a look at the insurances that they’ve already got in place. And if what they have is appropriate, we’re certainly going to provide advice to that effect. We’ll also look to understand their personal circumstances such as their family, their assets, their liabilities, the health of other loved ones that they may need to provide support for, and the idea behind that is to help us ascertain what levels of cover our clients do need. We will also take into consideration their incomes and expenditure, and then that way, we’re able to tailor a suitable solution to our clients. Once we’ve ascertained exactly what clients do need, from a numerical point of view, we then start looking at what the appropriate product, that sits behind that advice looks like and so that’s something that we’ll start doing, after we’ve already worked out what cover they need.
So how do you help when it comes to claiming these benefits?
Yeah, so when it comes to claim time, people are often in a very emotional state, depending on what the claims for, they may have recently lost a loved one, they may have been diagnosed with a terminal illness or a critical illness, and they might not be in a fantastic frame of mind. So essentially, what we do is try and take all the concern out of the equation for them, they come to us and discuss what’s happened. And we’ll prepare the claim forms for the client, along with the insurer, we’ll talk about the process, we’ll keep clients informed, and I suppose remove any uncertainty or confusion that they may have about the process. As advisors were there to represent our clients and ensure that they get the benefits that they’re entitled to, and we represent them to the fullest degree when we’re doing that.
Right, okay, that makes a lot more sense. Well, thank you very much for giving us that info today and coming into the PodMD Studio. Can you sum up for us, and to finish us off, can you just tell us what your three key takeaway messages would be from today’s podcast on the importance of personal insurance for medical professionals?
Yes, certainly, I think it’s really important to understand what insurance you do have in place. That’s the one thing that we really do see that clients do neglect to understand exactly what cover they have, and don’t necessarily understand it. So the first thing is, understand whatever you do have. Secondly, the portfolio of insurance is different for everyone, and so often people will compare their insurances with other colleagues, which is okay, but their needs may be completely different to yours. They may be in a different stage in life, and so ensure that the portfolio of protection that you have is suited to your lifestyle and your needs. Thirdly, I suppose it’s important to remember that as advisers, we’re not just there to sell a product or to provide an initial advice. We’re actually there to provide ongoing support and education right through the time that you hold the insurance policy, as we said earlier, right through to a point of claim where, hopefully we’ll never need to claim on the policy, but in the event that we do, we’re there to support you the entire time.
Okay, fantastic. Well, thank you very much for your time today and for telling us a bit more about personal insurances and particularly for medical professionals.
No worries. Thanks for having me, Emilia.