In most first world countries it will be possible to purchase mainstream insurances such as Life, Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD), Trauma / Critical Illness and Income Protection insurances from a local financial planning organization or a bank.

However, the saying Caveat Emptor – or let the buyer beware – applies.  You must do your homework and ensure that the insurance you are purchasing (a) matches your personal requirements and (b) represents value for money.  You should also ask the insurance adviser or salesman as to how much commission he or she will receive.

Australia has a relatively strict legal framework in relation to providing advice on insurance and the disclosure of fees.  In some countries around the world – particularly emerging markets – the framework can be weak or even non-existent.  It is up to you to make sufficient inquiries to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable advisory firm and that the insurance you are paying for is issued by a solid company who is likely to be in a position to pay out if and when you make a claim.