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The Value of a Financial Adviser

Ian Hamilton has worked in the NSW Hunter Valley for 20 year with his own advice business in Singleton called Hamilton Insurance and Investment Services.

Through an existing client he met a woman who was married with two children and ran a service station in the far north west of NSW.

When her husband died she was left with what he describes as a mountain of debt and with two young children. She was declared bankrupt.

Ian says she was determined to provide some security for her children, then 4 and 8, and took out a $300,000 life insurance policy with AMP.

"It really was a sad situation at this time and as she approached me to enquire about life cover, I felt good to be able to get her the cover," he said.

She used to pay religiously at the same time every year but then after four years she stopped. Ian called her and left numerous messages with her associates, but there was no reply.

He later learned she had died from cancer after the policy had lapsed some 18 months, and that she had been travelling regularly to see specialists in Sydney from her home in the NSW north west.

He did some digging and discovered she had been diagnosed as terminally ill while she was still covered, and that a claim could be paid.

Contacting her family he was able to get records from her GP and specialist, which satisfied AMP and they paid out in full.

Ian set up an investment fund and an annuity to pay school fees upfront. This meant her daughter could attend a boarding school in Brisbane and her son was set up in a business in Byron Bay.

“All this happened five or six years ago, but if there hadn’t been an adviser attached, as opposed to a call centre, no one would have known or cared about the life insurance and the children would have got nothing,” he said.

“I’m pleased and proud that I pursued it, and was then able to invest the money for the children and give them some start in life.”

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