A Matter of Life and Protection

Fully aware of the time restrictions, our little girly catch-up lunch was turning out to be like a speed dating session. With full-speed motor mouths, the three of us – who hadn’t seen each other in almost a year – launched straight into the nitty gritty of the latest happenings in our lives.

One girl was now pregnant. There was me, the new-ish mum. But it was M’s story that needed our utmost, undivided attention.

She cut right to the chase, without a moment to catch her breath. Racing through the story, I did my best to pick up on all the vital words that were integral to the crushing ordeal her family had just recently been through.

“Saturday night…”
“Possible aneurysm…”
“Brain hemorrhage…”

Throughout the entire discussion, I was amazed how calm she was.

Thankfully, M’s husband survived the brain hemorrhage, but even after spending weeks in hospital, doctors had strictly advised him to take another 6 months to rest and recover.

My amazingly strong friend continued to describe the stress in suddenly finding herself as the bread winner. She became the sole provider for their little 4 year old boy. She had to pay all the bills as well as the mortgage of their recently bought home.

Wondering about the toll it took on her, I couldn’t help but ask: “How are you coping ? I mean, financially?”

Matter-of-factly, she replied: “Income protection”

At this particular moment, I stopped to reassess my own circumstances.

I constantly tease Mr Surfer for his over-protective nature, saying if he could bubble wrap his family for an eternity, he would.

All jokes aside, I realised he planned out the next best thing for us. He’s protected me and the boys with life insurance. God forbid we should EVER have to use it, but we take comfort knowing that we have, at least, a financial safety net.

However, while Australians insure their homes, cars and holidays, we tend to forget about our lives.

A 2008 joint survey conducted by the Australian Institute of Superannuations Trustees (AIST) and Industry Funds Forum (IFF) found that:
1. 1 in 2 industry fund members were underinsured by $100,000 or more.
2. More than 50% of respondents were underinsured for death cover by $100,000.
3. For Total and Permanent Disability cover, 74% are underinsured by $100,000 or more.
4. For Income Protection cover, 45% are underinsured by $1,00 or more a month.

Working out an insurance plan for you and your family doesn’t need to be overwhelming, consumed with confusing jargon or biased information.

But we shouldn’t be scared to face what the future might have in store for us, either.

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month.

The Australian Life Insurance Movement has been created to increase awareness about the severe problem of underinsurance in Australia.

To check whether your family’s existing insurance arrangements are adequate, visit the life insurance calculator from Life Insurance Finder and then compare life insurance plans to find the right option for you.

It won’t take long. And it could possibly change your fate.

Disclaimer:  I am participating in the LIFE Awareness campaign.  I received a VISA gift card for this post courtesy of Life Insurance Finder via Digital Parents Collective. I am also in the running to win an iPad3.  As always, all opininions are purely my own.

Joining Jess for IBOT.

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    • mamagrace71 says

      We’ve had a few instances where I was left to wonder…”what would happen if…” And seriously, knowing that we had life insurance, did leave me with a sense of reassurance.

    • mamagrace71 says

      It’s a yucky subject but one I think important to face and deal with. If it wasn’t for Mr Surfer, I would not be organised on this at all! xxx

    • mamagrace71 says

      It’s so important, Rhianna. I guess we just prefer to avoid thinking about it. And it can be overwhelming. Hope the link to the calculator helps. x

    • mamagrace71 says

      Yeah, that’s the issue, isn’t it, Ai. Do we have adequate insurance? We just recently had to reassess our arrangements because we found out our previous insurance was not enough. It’s always good to go back every once in a while and see if you need to make changes because let’s face it, life changes too. x

  1. says

    Here here. Having worked in the life insurance and superannuation industry, I was always surprised at how hard it was to convince people of how necessary they are. But I guess you don’t really want to think about needing it, do you?
    Emily recently posted..I don’t have a whipMy Profile

    • mamagrace71 says

      Yes, it’s scary how people just don’t see its importance. And yes, it’s just easier to avoid dealing with it all.

    • mamagrace71 says

      Thanks, Yvette. Just spoke to her the other day. They’re doing okay, her husband still hasn’t returned to work but again, she mentioned how fortunate they were to have income protection.

    • mamagrace71 says

      So true, Rita! Life can change just like that! And while we can’t fully prepare ourselves for it, we can at least make some safety nets.

    • mamagrace71 says

      Yeah, it’s one of those topics that come and go. It took us a little while to get it all sorted out. You’ll get there.

    • mamagrace71 says

      My friend’s doing okay. She still is so grateful for their income protection as her husband is still out of work.
      I can only begin to imagine how tough your situation is, Jane. If you can, do look into it. I think the link to the calculator will be a good start. xxx

  2. says

    We all need to wake up to the fact we could be left with not only the loss of our loved one, but everything around us. It does happen and your friends story is the perfect example. It was only after working in a bank that we decided to get income protection. I saw too many people loose all they had worked for just because they couldn’t go back to work as quick as they thought.
    Prue x
    Prue recently posted..Car’s And The Ocean Do Not MixMy Profile

    • mamagrace71 says

      Yes, you hear about so many terrible, unfortunate situations, don’t you?
      Glad that you got income protection as a result.

    • mamagrace71 says

      That’s exactly, right,B! People go straight to thinking about the cost without realising that it’s nothing compared to what can happen.

  3. Lisa says

    Hi Grace. A similar thing happened to my friends husband. They did not have income protection insurance personally. He was partially covered for income from his workers compensation but for only 5 years post the incident occurring. She is now the bread winner with 2 toddlers, a mortgage and a carer’s pension. Once she goes back to work full time: goodbye pension or assistance. He will never work again. Get income protection insurance people!
    Lisa recently posted..10 Tips for Dads with Newborn BabiesMy Profile

    • mamagrace71 says

      Oh, Lisa! That’s terrible to hear! I hope your friend and her family will have some better fortune come their way soon x

    • mamagrace71 says

      Salz, just start with the link to the calculator. Just start thinking and having a chat with your husband. Insurance shouldn’t cost the earth and besides, the price you pay is nothing in comparison to having peace of mind if anything (touch wood) should happen.

  4. says

    Boatman as a financial planner is huge on life insurance and income protection. They are such important things to have, and your friends situation highlights that perfectly. So glad they had cover.
    jess recently posted..When Dull is GoodMy Profile

    • mamagrace71 says

      Yes, have a look into it, Kylie. The link to the calculator will be a great start!
      My friend is doing ok, still very grateful that they were covered.

  5. says

    The sad truth is, most Americans have either health or life insurance but very rarely both. My husband and I are among the 70 percent of Americans who don’t have health insurance because the chances of using it are iffy. But we’ll definitely depart someday so we opted for Life. Should it come sooner than expected, the survivor won’t have to sell our first born, at least.
    Nami recently posted..Just A Tippy Tappy MoreMy Profile

    • mamagrace71 says

      Nami, do you think Obama’s Health care reforms will help the current situation in the States? From my limited understanding, it was tough for it to get through and it seems like such a complicated issue…

  6. says

    Really makes you stop and think (or stop and panic, in my case). We’re very lucky that #1Hubby’s employers have comprehensive income protection and life insurance plans. Plus he has an enormous amount of sick leave that he’s never taken. I can’t imagine how stressful it must be for your friend. I’m not sure I’d be able to “do it all” myself.
    Parental Parody recently posted..FFS!? Friday: Junkies, peanut butter and shed wordsMy Profile

  7. says

    I think life insurance only makes sense if you have children who are young. For people with no children, life insuranc is not critical . Life insurance industry has done a fantastic marketing job on convincing those who don’t really need it. What is always important is that one saves enough money and never bets on the death of a loved one to provide “income protection”.

    What is more useful is disability insurance..which is a greater probability for all of us..as we age and become frail.
    Jean recently posted..Asia in My Dreams: Romanticizing the EastMy Profile

  8. says

    She is so lucky she had that to fall back on. It is a good reminder for people without adequate insurance or god forbid without any income protection insurance at all.

    Personally I’m broke with no dependents so don’t have or need life insurance personally. I’m still living with my parents for goodness sake but it certainly is a good reminder for others. Great post!

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