It’s the middle of the night and you’re jolted awake by extreme pain in your chest. You feel like the life is being crushed out of you and immediately realise you’re having a heart attack. Your partner frantically calls 000 and as you lay clutching your chest waiting for the ambulance to arrive all you can think about is how your family will be supported if you die.
The pain intensifies.
Hopefully this will never happen to you, but what if it did?
I know from personal experience that serious illnesses can strike at any age when you least expect it. When my father was 32 he suffered a heart attack just after competing in a surfing competition at Bar Beach. 30 years later my younger brother had a heart attack at age 28. Two healthy young men struck down in the prime of their lives. Luckily for me they are both still alive today. Others aren’t so lucky.
Take a moment to think about how your family’s living expenses would be met if your income stopped tomorrow.
The average Australian household spends up to one-third of its gross income on mortgage repayments. Most of us would rely on our regular income continuing indefinitely in order to meet such an expense. And at this point we haven’t even put food on the table.
Income protection (or “salary continuance”) insurance usually provides up to 75% of your salary or business income in the event that you cannot work due to illness or injury. Of course, you might have sick leave, other compensation arrangements, or perhaps a cash reserve to rely on for a while, but what will happen when these run out?
Transfer the risk
Just like any other insurance, protecting your income is about transferring risk to someone else. By paying a monthly premium, you have the security of knowing that should anything happen – your car is stolen, your home damaged by fire, or you suffer a serious illness or accident – your financial loss will be minimised.
If you have your car fully insured but don’t have adequate (or any) personal risk cover, ask yourself this question – why is my car more precious than my life and health?
If your answer puts this into better perspective, do something about it now. Once you have appropriate insurance in place, you can get on with enjoying life, and if you do get sick or badly injured, money will be one less thing for you and your family to worry about.