Insurance is an essential part of our everyday lives. We insure our cars, homes and contents, but often we neglect to properly insure our most important assets – ourselves. Personal insurances come in different forms, and Walshs can assist in determining the right level of cover and the right insurer.
There are two main requirements to becoming financially independent – wealth creation and wealth protection: it is not enough to have lots of assets if they are at risk of being lost due to illness or injury.
This type of insurance is designed to replace the majority of your income in the event that you are unable to work through accident or illness. Income protection will help you avoid the financial stress of drawing down on your assets or taking on more debt if something unexpected were to happen. These payments may be treated almost as if they were your regular pay cheque and used to pay your rent or mortgage payments, day-to-day living expenses and medical expenses.
The benefit period is the maximum period of time you will be eligible to be paid under the policy. The benefit period commences at the end of the waiting period, once benefits become payable. Often we choose a benefit period to age 65 to provide a minimum guaranteed income until retirement.
Unlike a Private Health Insurance waiting period, the waiting period on Income Protection is the minimum period of time that must elapse before you qualify for any benefits to become payable under the policy, for example if set at 30 days you need to be out of work due to an injury or illness for 30 days before being eligible for payments.
Trauma or Critical Illness Insurance pays you a benefit if you were to suffer a specified medical event, such as cancer, stroke or heart attack. The funds which Trauma Insurance provides can alleviate the financial strain of major medical treatment and ongoing management expenses and may also allow you to obtain additional or superior medical treatment. Trauma payouts can also provide funds to allow your partner to take unpaid leave from work in the event you were diagnosed with a life-altering condition listed in the policy documents.
Blood Borne Illness / Needle Stick
Needlestick insurance provides medical professionals with cover for occupationally acquired HIV, Hepatitis B & Hepatitis C. This insurance is only for injuries sustained whilst in the course of usual work – things outside normal occupation tasks are not included. This cover is especially relevant for any procedural-focused or exposed medical practitioners, and those who may come into contact with HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C positive patients. Given the low incidence of transmission the insurance is very cost effective. If you do not feel like you have exposure risk to HIV or Hepatitis B or C, you are able to opt out of this cover.
Total and Permanent Disability
Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD) insurance pays a benefit if you become totally and permanently disabled – essentially never able to work again. It may assist you with medical and rehabilitation costs and provide you and your family with financial security. It can be written as ‘own’ occupation or ‘any’ occupation, which have significant differences: Own occupation definition will provide a payout if it is unlikely you will ever work again in your own occupation, for instance a surgeon who loses function in his fingers, wrist or hand may be able to claim on an ‘own’ occupation definition. Under an ‘any’ occupation definition however, you will need to satisfy that it is unlikely you will ever work again in ANY occupation that is reasonable based on education or experience – a very different scenario. To use the Surgeon example above, the surgeon may still be able to work as a normal doctor without doing surgery and may not be eligible for a payout under an Any occupation definition.
Death or Term Life Insurance pays a benefit in the event of your death or on diagnosis of a terminal illness. Death cover can help cover your family for financial obligations such as debt on properties (whether investment or not), child rearing expenses, required funds for retirement, and/or funds to ensure the surviving family is able to continue without financial stress.
Every person’s needs are distinct and will constantly shift throughout the different stages of life and careers – our team at Walshs are able to assist in the initial recommendations to setup cover and ongoing reviews to ensure your wealth will be protected.