Daniel Smithwood Titirangi local insurance advisor

FAQs for insurance advice


Frequently asked questions about insurance!

How will Covid-19 affect my policies?

Your benefits on policies that are already in place are valid with no changes due to Covid-19.
New policies with any provider are attracting additional questions and exclusions due to Covid-19 and two major providers are no longer accepting new applications for redundancy cover.
Life insurance policies are valid for death due to Covid-19 or any other reason excepting suicide in the first 13 months of a policy being taken out where there was no previous cover in place.
Permanent Disablement benefits are unlikely to be claimed on due to Covid-19, but Trauma benefits would respond to a claim that met the definitions in the wording if caused by Covid-19. For example, a trauma claim due to being in a coma for three days or in intensive care for five days or intubated for ventilation for 3-5 days (depending on provider).
Income/Mortgage Protection benefits will pay only if you personally are unable to work due to illness (eg. Covid-19) or injury, for longer than your stand-down period (4, 8 or 13 weeks).
Redundancy benefits will only pay if you are formally made redundant and the benefit has been in place for more than six months. You'll need to wait out the four week stand-down plus any redundancy pay out from your employer (eg. two weeks pay out from work would mean a total of six weeks stand-down) before the money comes through, during which time you have to be looking for work and not finding any.
Health insurance - if you have to seek any urgent medical care it will be via the public system so it is unlikely you would access your health insurance cover due to Covid-19.
The government is providing support to employers to pay staff and/or to receive funds as a sole-trader/small business without staff. Here are the links to the application forms (very easy to complete): Employer with staff or Self-employed no staff

Daniel Smithwood Titirangi localWhy should I use an advisor?

An insurance advisor is, above all else, your advocate. They are independent of whichever provider your insurance may be held with, which allows them to act in your best interests without conflict.

An  experienced advisor (we recommend at least ten years of industry experience) is an expert in their field. They’ll not only save you the trouble of going from company to company, trying to work out what will suit you best, but can also can provide you with formal written advice, tailored to your particular circumstances.

In the event of a claim, an advisor will be there for you ensuring you are supported through the claim process. Make sure you use a good advisor who is recommended not only by their clients, but also by other professionals. 

Book an appointment 

My bank does insurance, should I just go with them?

Your bank will usually only offer one product suite. For example Westpac has Westpac Life, BNZ has BNZ Life, ANZ has OnePath and ASB has Sovereign. This means you’re restricted to one company’s products and prices. While round pegs tend to fit in round holes, square pegs often don’t. Typically your particular circumstances (job, age, family or business situation etc) will, to a greater or lesser extent, influence where your insurance is best placed and it is always better to be able to make an informed choice.

Moreover, bank insurance is often either priced low but with matching quality, or market priced but with inferior wordings and inclusions. Of most importance though, is that at claim time, if you have bank insurance, who is advocating for you and can they be said to be doing so independently? The very entity from which you are expecting potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars is the entity you need to call for help. The conflict of interest here is obvious.

Contact us if you currently have bank cover and would like to consider alternative options.

Which provider is the best?

In New Zealand there are currently nine major life and health insurers. Depending on your individual circumstances, some providers may be better suited to your needs than others. Cost is only one consideration, other factors to be taken into account include:

  • Customer service including turnaround times, claims handling, ease of use and communication
  • Benefit quality - definitions of conditions and disability wordings
  • Claims payment performance
  • Financial strength rating

If you’re insured with a major provider, with a quality advisor in your corner, the question of which provider is best is answered best by whether your current insurance plan suits your needs.

Contact us  to arrange an assessment of your current insurances.

I’ve used a broker before and never heard from them again. How are you different?

At IronOak we take service seriously and our mission is to provide an insurance experience second to none. We are readily contactable, will catch up with you for an annual review and send quarterly newsletters. We are big enough to look after you the way you deserve, and small enough so your voice isn’t lost in the crowd.

In our experience, a broker may not stay in touch because they’ve left the industry or moved to a new company, leaving their clients behind. They may have oversold their clients, burdening them with unnecessary cost and fear reductions or cancellations, or may have too many clients  and inadequate resources to look after them properly.

IronOak offer comprehensive, expert advice yet allow for the reality of budget constraints. We have excellent support staff, significant industry experience and will be around for decades to come. 

How much should I be spending on insurance?

As a general rule of thumb, you should allocate 3-6% of gross income towards your personal insurance budget; more if you need to include business insurances as well. This should be considered separate to your house, car and contents insurance costs.

Based on our many years of experience, some people are okay with no insurance at all (which is fine, until it’s not!), some want all the insurance they possibly can, and most of us tend to fall somewhere in between. How much you end up spending will ultimately depend on a number of factors including income, children, home ownership, debt levels, self-employment, marital status and budget flexibility.

Contact us if you would like to discuss your premiums.

 IronOak Financial Services are West Auckland based, with clients New Zealand wide.

Our small but dedicated team of advisors and support staff bring experience, passion and impartiality to insurance advice. We draw from our expertise in the areas of personal and business insurances to advise and support our clients to make well-informed decisions.

Call Daniel Smithwood -  0225305034

Shareholder Protection-business insurance advice-IronOak

Do you have an insurance question? 



As a small business owner there are always expenses to cut down on so I was thinking about canceling my income protection. Daniel told me not to and I'm so glad I took his advice. I hurt my knee on the job not long after that and ended up being off work for almost 6 months. Daniel helped me with both my income protection claim and my ACC claim. Thanks to him, I was able to claim from them both. Having Daniel there to advise, liaise and advocate for me made a huge difference at a very stressful time. It is entirely likely I would have lost both my business and my house otherwise. Jeremy Cox, JDC Builders