Insurance pay-out takes 712 days

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The value in advice is in what you do, how you position yourself and how you make people’s lives better.

FPA Community Service Best Practice Award winner Jeremy Gillman-Wells from Bravien Financial stands by those words, and his two-year fight over $36,000 is proof of the point.

Gillman-Wells and his team do pro-bono work for the Cancer Council and that is how he met Dale. Dale and his wife Megan came to the planning practice after he was diagnosed with leukaemia and they were struggling to get his insurance payment from his industry fund.

He was entitled to a superannuation accumulation benefit of about $68,000, and according to statements, $47,000 of death and TPD but reducing cover, as per a standard industry fund.

“There was absolutely terrible communication from the trustees and from the industry fund,” says Gillman-Wells. “All that happened after the claim got processed was $77,000 turned up in their bank account. Clearly 68,000 plus 47,000 hopefully doesn’t equal 77,000 in anyone’s book.”

The team dug, and found – without communication – that about two years prior, the trustee had changed the underlying insurer. Gillman-Wells says that there is no doubt the trustee tried to do the right thing because the new insurer was a better deal and cheaper cover, but according to fine print, on the day the new insurer took over, Dale had to be at work performing daily duties.

Although he was at work and receiving full pay, he was only working three days a week and the insurer said he didn’t qualify.

“It took us a long time to find that out again because of terrible communication with the industry-type fund,” says Gillman-Wells.


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