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Checklists

Save time. Save money. Get it right.

There's nothing like being organised to help maintain a reliable and professional image - let alone achieve an efficient and streamlined back office. Checklists are a great tool for managing multi-staged processes where you need to juggle paperwork and activities. They are a great indicator tool to your clients that you know what you're doing!

Most importantly where the client is concerned, checklists minimise the chances of missing something and wasting the client's time (which is of course a waste of time and relationship-building for you and your staff too).

They are fiddly to put together, however, and tend to grow a little haphazardly as experience grows. So because The Risk Store offers the benefit of hindsight and experience gleaned from all corners of advising, we can deliver to you a series of checklists we believe are comprehensive and tested. Some are not administrative in nature but sales-oriented - as such they could probably be regarded as an adjunct to the Advice Process Guides.

Some of the steps listed and tools referred to may not be what you use. Feel free to change the checklists to suit your own advice process model…they are yours. And as always, let us know if you have a great suggestion to share via the Contact Us page at the bottom of this webpage.

The checklists are categorised for easy location, into the stages of the advice process - just like the Advice Process Guide and the Standard Documents in the Text Library. So there may not yet be a Checklist within every Stage you see here, if not, talk to us about TouchPoint.

Looking for a complete end-to-end client & referrer communication solution including additional CHECKLISTS not featured here, workflows and threads to work with your planning software template library? Check out our TOUCHPOINT product.

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The Awesome Guide to File Notes Checklist (updated)
Welcome to our updated awesome guide to file notes - version 2. This guide has evolved over many years; some elements reflect court case outcomes and so are very relevant to 'best practice' goals. We trust these will serve the following purposes for you: 1. Give you a 'checklist' by which to assess your current methodology of file noting 2. Enhance your current note headings to enable / remind you to capture often-forgotten points that could be important 3. Or just get you started with a file note methodology if you have none right now 4. Add some standard record-keeping around the actions that you take post-file noting
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30 Things You Do - Your True Client Value Proposition Checklist
You are welcome to replicate this checklist for your business to show your clients what you do for them that they probably don't even realise you actually do. It's a great reminder for yourself too on your value of advice.
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Claims Assistance - Communication & Action Checklist After a Client Death
Many advisers feel somewhat confused about and confronted by how to handle a client’s death. Other advisers have had much experience in this and have developed their own guidelines to manage what needs to be done.
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Communicating The Claim Dispute Process Checklist
Engaging a legal firm to resolve a claim dispute should always be the last resort for your client, but with the claims management analysis work The Risk Store conducts for life insurers (retail) and industry super funds (group), we often witness the reverse. This often results in an unnecessary financial and emotional cost for the client. Use this 5-step checklist as the basis to inform and train your insured clients of the correct approach before they need to make a claim. Use this checklist as the basis for establishing your own ‘Claims Assistance Service’ process!
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Communicating the U/W Progress - Handling Declined Cases Checklist
When an insurance case is declined not only is this a sensitive issue for advisers to handle, but most importantly the client is without some or all of the cover required to protect him/her. The key to managing declines lies in the adviser understanding the sensitivities around what the advisers do or don’t and can or can’t know about the reasons for the insurer’s decision to decline. Use this checklist as your guide.
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Communicating the U/W Progress - Managing Non-Standard Terms Checklist
Many claims disputes arise out of a combination of client ignorance, poor insurer and adviser communication methods and just plain lack of 'risk management' at the underwriting stage. So how can these potential disputes or even just misunderstandings be avoided, so that the claims process when it inevitably occurs is as positive as it can possibly be? (After all, the proof of the value of your relationship with your client is at claim time!) Also read Risk Read RR Issue 021 - A $220,000 result! In our Risk Read Archive which covers this topic. This is most critical with exclusions.
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Concessional Contributions Cap Checklist 2018/2019
This essential checklist (updated in June 2018) will help you to determine how much a client can contribute as salary sacrifice or as personal deductible contributions to avoid an excess concessional contributions. A must-have checklist to be included as part of your standard advice procedures.
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Existing Insurance In Industry Super Must Use Checklist
Encountering a client with existing industry fund cover can be quite confronting for all sorts of practical reasons – unfortunately the greatest being (i) that your licensee will impose restrictions on what you can and canʼt advise on; that makes this whole area very tricky to respond to – and (ii) that (within those parameters) you will need to spend a lot more time compiling your life risk package of advice due to the necessity to allow more research time and to provide more detail within your recommendations, especially if they include a replace-the-industry-cover recommendation. Here's a checklist of what information to seek out from the industry fund, as well as brief notes on how to interpret this information and how to give advice on the important related issues.
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Initial Interviewing - Triggers to Deliver The Key ‘Need’ Message Checklist
Here is a variety of suggested question formats to communicate risk insurance concepts and to facilitate effective fact finding and subsequent needs analysis. They are not in any order as each client’s situation will drive the questions in different directions. Most of these questions will lead to identifying the dollars needed to input to the needs analysis.
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Initial Interviewing & Review - Fact-Finder for Life Risk ‘extras’
The following ‘triggers’ are for items you often won’t find on a standard fact-find template, or you may find them but are not otherwise prompted to ask the right questions about these facts. Remember to include them at review time, too.
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Initial Interviewing: Conducting The First Meeting Checklist
While conducting a first client interview an adviser should refer to a checklist to ensure all documents have been handed to client and all required information, signatures etc have been obtained to allow the insurance process to move forward. This should then be placed inside the front of the client file or scanned into your CRM.
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Managing Submission Process - App Completion Prior To Submission Checklist
Advisers need to provide some information to their staff (assuming you have staff) when handing over a new business application for submission to an insurer. This ensures that the administrator has all the details necessary to check the form/s and also inform the insurer of issues which will assist with the underwriting process.
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Pre-Empting Review Process - Managing U/W Decision Reviews Checklist
Some clients will have non-standard underwriting terms offered to them. Depending on the nature of the client’s acceptance terms, there may be an opportunity to have this underwriting decision reviewed as time passes. It should be regarded as part of an adviser’s responsibility to the client to obtain the best underwriting terms as possible at all times. Use this checklist to get there for them!
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Pre-Empting The Review Process - Possible Triggers for Change Checklist
There may not be a need to review every insurance client in person every year. The review needs can be firstly ascertained by conducting this checklist with the client, over the phone or by mail or email (less effective). If any of the items in this checklist are triggered this can reveal a need for alteration of the existing portfolio, such as: increases to cover; decreases to cover; change in policy ownership or beneficiary; new policies for new risks; reassessment of underwriting decisions; insertion of cover into superannuation; or a combination of these.
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Product Research - Issues to Check When Replacing Policies Checklist
Replacement policy advice is crucial if the regulatory requirements are to be satisfied. Many advisers feel somewhat confused about and confronted by how to assess the suitability of a potential life risk product replacement strategy, particularly when it comes to documenting this in the Statement of Advice document (SoA). This list will assist by covering many possible considerations and will therefore help to create a list for inclusion on the SoA as well.
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Your Corporate Comms Checklist – Does It Convey The Right Message?
Many financial planning practices say they provide a life risk advising service as part of their planning offering and yet convey nothing of this in their marketing material. Naturally they then wonder why the client’s engagement is difficult to obtain. The message must start from the first minute the client encounters the practice. If your ‘marketing’ material (call it a corporate brochure or website or social media channel) has not ever been reviewed critically to ‘audit’ if it is conveying the ‘right’ client value message, then this checklist is for you. It contains ‘self-audit’ questions to help you uncover if there are messages missing from the communication used in your practice for positioning and marketing.
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