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Income Protection - an adviser's story

Chris Nicolau is a financial adviser and LV= Income Protection customer. He’d previously taken out Income Protection to run alongside his Life Insurance and Critical Illness Cover, but never thought he’d make a claim.

Chris talks about his long road to recovery, the claims process, the hidden costs of illness and his advice to financial advisers.

Chris also offers his tips on how to handle common client objections, including advice for cost-conscious customers and why you can’t rely on state benefits.

Video transcript

My name’s Chris Nicolaou. I’m a Managing Director at a mortgage brokers in Hampshire.

I’m married with three children, two of them pretty much left home, one’s still hanging on in there.

I took out an Income Protection policy some years ago. I took it out really to run alongside my Life and Critical Illness policy. It seemed a good idea that if something was going to pay a lump sum to pay of the mortgage off and I still wasn’t working, it made sense to keep the income coming in – cash being king at the end of the day.

My main hobby is motorbikes. The wife hates them. But it was something I’ve done as a little kid, always have done, and done hundreds of thousands of miles on these things.

It was a normal day, out with friends. Wife funnily enough had just come home from work, she runs her own business, she’d just came home from work . So said a quick goodbye, went up the road on the bike and we went off. It was a beautiful sunny evening, on a Wednesday, just outside of Guilford and then the dreaded thing happened where you are on a position where you’ve come of the motorbike and done a lot of damage. Air ambulances and ambulance and police and everything, it was a horrendous accident. Ended up breaking both my legs. Got rushed into St George’s hospital. The trauma ward there were fantastic, absolutely brilliant but they weren’t sure if they were going to save one of my legs, which was quite worrying at the time. But they managed to put me back together. From there I went over to, that was St Georges in Tooting, from there I was transferred to Parkside private hospital in Wimbledon, where the surgeon took a look and I think he quite enjoyed the fact that this is going to take some putting back together. We had pins and new ligaments put in that they grew from stem cells and they just did a fantastic job..

I had seven operations in all, in and out of hospital really for the last eighteen months, last one was last November, sorry last September was my last operation and all being well that should be it for now apart from physio.

One thing I didn’t know was that the NHS will not help when it comes to physio and the costs of it.

The claims process was fantastic with LV=. We had a claims manager who looked after me, he told me the information that was required and we sent it in and he basically looked after me all the way through. If I had any questions he was always on the other end of the phone. It was just nice to deal with a person as apposed to a computer system that may have said yes or no.

I would advise any adviser, to talk about this more to their clients. It’s so important to actually have this policy in place. I think what we’ve done in the past is maybe looked at Critical Illness and that’s used up the budget, and because of that the Income Protection side has fallen by the wayside. But we are there to advise our clients because our clients don’t know what they don’t know. And if they need to find just a few more pounds just to put something in place, whether it be the budget or full blown IP, Income Protection plan, then we need to be talking to our clients about it and let them make the decision as to say ‘well no, I don’t want this’ as apposed to us not talking about it.

What I would say to other advisers is just run through, perhaps show them this story. Just show that things can go wrong and they go wrong really quickly – there’s no lead up of it will happen tomorrow or next week, it just happens and it happens in a flash! And all of a sudden your life is upside down, so talk to your clients about it.

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