Revealing the real difference of having life insurance

by NZ Adviser19 Dec 2016
Mike Dalley, director and authorised financial adviser at Certus Financial Group, shares some of his thoughts about and experience in the industry.  

Why did you get into insurance?  
I left high school in 1985 to take up an insurance cadet role with Guardian Royal Exchange. My intention was to gain a career in the finance industry, gradually working my way up the ladder to eventually settle in a niche position.

What’s one thing that insurers could do to improve the public’s perception of the insurance industry? 
I believe that insurers need to be more active in promoting the large number and the different types of claims they process each year. Use real life customer testimonials to reveal the real difference that having life insurance in place makes, to the lives of individuals and their families.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever arranged cover for?  
Being limited to life and health Insurances doesn’t give me a lot of scope for highlighting anything strange as such. However, I have seen the odd medical declaration for group health cover where the benefits of automatic cover has seen the client quite literally jump overnight to the front of the queue for private medical care.

How would you change the industry?  
I think we are about to see one or two leading insurers introduce new technology in the form of a single unified software platform. CRM, e-mail, policy alterations, [and] marketing all in one platform. This will enable insurers to generate real-time pre-populated quotations, manage changes, and view client history all in one platform. Also, as more GP practises become familiar with the systems for sharing medical information, applications will be processed more efficiently, keeping the customer regularly informed. Professional advice however still remains a bespoke feature, integral to the whole process.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?  
My father taught me at a very young age (cliché I know) to always be polite and most importantly, [to] always acknowledge any support you are given. There are many professional relationships that you can have in this industry, with providers, fellow advisers, clients, and most importantly, your staff. Treat everyone with respect and acknowledge their support without expectations, the rest will take care of itself.

Who in the business do you look up to and why? 
There are two maybe three retired advisers who I really admire for the way they have consistently delivered outstanding service to their clients, and then completed a perfectly executed succession of their business at retirement.

If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would you do?  
Play golf with Barrack Obama because you can and he’s a great guy. Visit the Starship Hospital to understand the challenges of our most vulnerable. Visit the people of Kaikoura to experience and see how making a difference when it’s needed most makes a real difference. And finally, visit Antarctica because you can and to see what’s really going on with the planet.

Union, league, soccer or other? 
Union, no questions. And by the way, it’s Football.

If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?  
Ernest Shackleton, explorer and exceptional leader. Richie McCaw as you just know that you will hear an honest account of his experiences. Elon Musk to see if he is really about to change the way that we live our lives.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in insurance, I would be… 
Pretty miserable. I met my beautiful wife in this industry and a multitude of great people, both in New Zealand and in the UK.

This article is from Insurance Business NZ by Mina Martin.

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