In this month’s staff feature, we speak to principal lawyer Annemarie Gambera on her early life, personal and professional passions, and her efforts to promote the “forgotten” insurance that many Australians don’t realise they have access to.
Annemarie migrated to Australia from the south of Italy with her parents in the early 1960s, settling in the western suburbs of Melbourne. Like many migrant families, Annemarie’s parents worked diligently in labour intensive occupations, to provide opportunities for their family.
Today Annemarie continues to take great pride in her Italian heritage through her strong family ties and association with everything Italian, including the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, language classes, the Sicilian Association of Australia and in everything “Italianicious”.
Professionally, Annemarie’s passion is educating people around superannuation total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance – a form of insurance that is often forgotten about. As a result of the MySuper legal changes superannuation insurance is compulsory in Australia. Annemarie explains: “That means if you have superannuation, you already hold a TPD insurance policy.”
“Unfortunately, not too many people realise they can make a TPD claim if they were to experience a total or permanent disability."
"People tend to overlook TPD insurance claims because this insurance doesn’t come out of their hip pocket, the premiums are low, and there is no requirement for a health check.”
In 2010, we discovered less than half of Australians had heard of TPD insurance. Annemarie believes the TPD legal area is developing in Australia: “It's a matter of educating people about TPD insurance entitlements.”
Annemarie recently visited Spain where she spoke to a group of high-profile lawyers about this particular issue. The conference included presentations by Annemarie, as well as three former presidents of the Law Institute of Victoria.
“This is a discipline that involves trusts law, contract law, and administration law. It’s a hybrid of those areas. That’s where Slater and Gordon’s TPD practice area helps.”
It’s hardly the first time Annemarie has taken the opportunity to spread her TPD message. She often meets prospective clients, business groups and associations to encourage greater awareness of TPD claims.
“I often go out into the community to raise awareness of TPD insurance. It’s far too important an issue to be neglected.”
Annemarie recently did a guest spot on Rete Italia – Australia's Italian-speaking radio network – and plans to make this a recurring spot into the future.