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Auckland risk insurance adviser Leighton Kearins on planning

Auckland risk insurance adviser Leighton Kearins emphasises the importance of planning

Getting insurance when you are younger means you will have “more robust” protection later in life, says Auckland-based risk insurance adviser Leighton Kearins.

New Zealanders have a better chance of getting insurance earlier in their lives because they usually haven’t had anything go wrong with them.

“The younger we get insurance … the more robust the insurance is going to be because we haven’t got pre-existing conditions or had things go wrong with us,” says Mr Kearins.

Speaking on the importance of planning, Leighton Kearins believes New Zealanders need to ditch the “she’ll be right attitude” and put measures in place which allow them to cover medical costs or earn income should the unexpected occur.

Failure to do so means they will come unstuck in a big way if they are unable to work due to serious illness.

“We all strive to achieve but sometimes the things which stop us achieving are the things we never plan for,” says Mr Kearins.

“The ones that generally stop us in our tracks are health related.”

The longer New Zealanders put off getting insurance, the harder and more expensive it becomes.

“Once we start to get into our late 30s and 40s, that’s when the majority of people start to think about insurances. Unfortunately things have already gone wrong most of the time before that,” says Mr Kearins.

Most New Zealanders believe they will automatically qualify for cover when they apply for insuranceafter something has happened.

That is not always the case, says Mr Kearins.

“That’s where the issue is. People go, ‘Yeah, I expect to get insurance and be fully covered’.

“It’s almost like driving a new car out of the yard, putting a ding in it and then turning up outside an insurance company and telling them you’d like to insure your car and that you want the dent to be covered as well. It’s not going to happen.”

Leighton Kearins says many New Zealanders will insure their car but will not look at protecting their greatest asset – their ability to earn.

“Here’s another way of looking at it: if I opened up an eight-shot revolver, put one bullet in it and spun the revolver, would you be prepared to pull the trigger? That’s essentially what New Zealanders do every day.

“That all come comes back to the she’ll be right attitude that exists in New Zealand. It’s only when something happens and people can no longer provide for their family that they start to take things seriously.”

Having adequate protection means there is one less thing for people and their families to worry about should life throw a curve ball in their direction.

Those who take out insurance policies are usually thankful they did when something goes wrong.

“You talk to anyone who has got a payout from an insurance company and they’ll tell you they would be happy to pay double [their premiums],” says Mr Kearins.

While New Zealanders often complain about the premiums insurance companies charge, policies don’t have to be overly expensive.

It all comes down to education, says Mr Kearins.

“It’s about sitting down with someone who is able to give you the knowledge of what insurances do and how they work so people can reach a decision about what they need.”

Any New Zealander considering getting insurance or wanting to review their existing cover should contact Auckland-based risk insurance adviser Leighton Kearins.

He’ll see you right.


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