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You probably have insurance for your home, car and other assets (like your mobile phone). However in our busy lives we often overlook personal insurance - and this brings the risk that you or your family could struggle financially if the unexpected occurred.
Our ability to earn an income is a tremendous asset, and income protection insurance takes care of it by providing an income stream usually worth around 75% of your normal wage if you can’t work because of illness or injury. The premiums are normally tax deductible, making cover more affordable.
Life cover supports your family with a lump sum payout if you die. Many Australians have some level of life cover through their superannuation fund though it’s vital to check you have enough.
It’s easy to take good health for granted yet illnesses like heart disease and cancer affect many working age Australians. Having protection can help keep your life on track financially while you deal with the process of recovery, and can help you afford access to the specialists and specialised treatments you may need.
Total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance pays a lump sum if you suffer a total and permanent disability. It’s money that can be used to pay off your mortgage, make essential renovations to your home and/or provide valuable financial support to let your family to maintain their quality of life.
Nobody wants to think about insurance until they actually need it. By then it's too late. More than 1 in 5 working age parents will become seriously ill, injured or pass away*.
It may be an uncomfortable topic to think about, but it is better to be prepared - it will make the world of difference to your family if the unexpected occurs.
*National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM), 2010.
The earlier in life you take out cover, the more competitive the premiums. Your health will impact whether your cover is approved and the cost, so it’s better to take out cover when you’re healthy!
You may not have people depending on you, but do you really want to leave a legacy of debt for your family to deal with? And unless you don’t mind couch surfing, it’s wise to have a financial safety net in case you find yourself unable to work.
Our income is critical to our lifestyle. 1 in 3 Australians would run out of money within just a few weeks if faced with a sudden job loss*. It’s better to pay out a few dollars each week to ensure money keeps coming in, than deal with the stress if your income stopped entirely.
*D&B Consumer Credit Expectations Survey, September quarter 2012
While they may want to help you, your family may not be financially able to meet your expenses as well as their own. You might need a higher level of care than your family can provide. It can place a huge strain on everyone involved. Would you really want to put your family in that position?
You may get a limited amount of sick pay from your employer if you receive a salary, but it won’t last long. Workers’ compensation is unlikely to be enough and is solely for work-related injuries. There are government payments that replace income while you’re sick, but the amounts they provide are relatively small.
There’s the cost of initial treatment then rehabilitation. Some of these might be covered by private health insurance and Medicare, but there are limits and exclusions. You are likely to need serious cash to cover the gaps which could be exceeded quickly if you suffer a serious injury or illness.
Superannuation is an investment. While setting up insurance through super can be a good strategy, you also need to be aware of the risks and limitations*. For example, super funds that offer members predetermined insurance amounts typically won’t even cover the mortgage on your family home. Also, premiums for insurance through super can substantially eat into your retirement savings over a long period of time. Regular reviews with your Financial Adviser will help you make sure you have the right plans in place.
As an example, only 2.4% of claims are knocked back by life insurers*. That’s due to three things: non-disclosure, non-payment of premiums (the policy has lapsed) or fraud. As part of our service, and at no additional cost to you, your adviser will work to ensure the process is quick, painless and the claim is assessed promptly.
*The Risk Store, www.theriskstore.com.au