Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kurt Fearnley - Civic Reception

Newcastle paralympian Kurt Fearnley has just completed the Kokoda Trail which is an amazing accomplishment considering he had to crawl the entire 96 km over the last 11 days.

There will be a featured article in this Saturday's The Herald detailing the monumental effort! Which leads to me to suggesting that Newcastle City Council should host a civic reception and give Kurt the keys to the city.

Surely if we can acknowledge the achievements of our other sporting teams such as the Knights and the Jets we can formally acknowledge this fantastic individual for the courage and determination he has shown.

I would like to urge all who agree with this to contact their local member for council and/or state member or click on the NCC link and leave a comment of support.

Come on Newcastle let's get behind Kurt.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

How to Reduce Your Insurance Premiums

In these tough economic times many people start cutting back on non essentials. Unfortunately many people consider their personal insurances as being non essential and this could not be further from the truth.

Personal Insurances including life, trauma and income protection insurance provide a safety net for you and your family in times of personal crisis such as suffering a critical illness or injury. Think about it, if you had to stop working tomorrow and couldn't return to work for more than three months, how will you pay your mortgage, your car loans and day to day living expenses? I challange you to sit down and work out just how long you could financially survive!

Many think they will be covered by worker's compensation or sick leave, but what happens if your accident is out of work or you suffer an illness? How long can your boss afford to pay you?

There are many other strategies available to help reduce the cost of insurance. You can now use your superannuation to fund your premiums either from your employer guaranteed contributions or from existing funds in the account. If you make after tax contributions to your super and are entitled to a co contribution from the governement, these can be used together to pay your premiums.

Self employed people can claim a tax deduction by paying through their superannuation and they may be able to claim the government co contribution to help fund the cost of keeping their insurance.

Other ways to reduce the cost include using salary sacrifice through superannuation, approaching your employer to organise some group insurance at your place of work, paying premiums annually instead of monthly and reassessing your level of cover.

Of course you can always shop around and compare prices but not all insurance policies are created equal so it is important to get a licenced adviser to guide you through different products.

The bottom line is that illness and injury happen every day despite the state of the economy. It is important you understand all of your options and get qualified advice. Most advisers will not charge you a fee for this service so it really is important to take advantage of their expertise.

Nobody wants to get sick or injured but we have little control over these events but at least you can take back some control by protecting yourself and your family from the financial strain that often results.


PS. I am more than happy to help anyone who is struggling with paying their insurance to reassess their needs and their options.