A Matter of Life and Protection

by mamagrace71 on September 18, 2012

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.

“Husband…”
“Saturday night…”
“Collapsed…”
“Ambulance…”
“Emergency…”
“Hospital…”
“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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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Bachelormum September 18, 2012 at 6:53 am

Mmm not a bad job grace on a topic that most of us yawn about. It’s true though, I did the same when my poppet was about three. It’s just reassurance. Good luck with the iPad! x
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mamagrace71 September 19, 2012 at 9:30 pm

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.

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carmen September 18, 2012 at 7:01 am

Sometimes we need a little nudge to organise the “important” stuff in life. Hopefully many will learn this before it’s too late. Thanks for talking about an often avoided subject. xxXOoo
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mamagrace71 September 19, 2012 at 9:31 pm

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

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Rhianna September 18, 2012 at 7:27 am

Gosh Grace. So much here I didn’t think about. Great post. Hope your friend’s hubby continues to make a speedy recovery
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mamagrace71 September 19, 2012 at 9:33 pm

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

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Ai Sakura September 18, 2012 at 8:54 am

I think getting insurance is pretty impt too, because you never know what bad shit might happen *touch wood*. Hubby has us all insured but thing is, I have no idea what we are insured for and where the papers are! we really need to et organized :p
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mamagrace71 September 19, 2012 at 9:35 pm

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

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Emily September 18, 2012 at 9:27 am

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?
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mamagrace71 September 19, 2012 at 9:36 pm

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

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Yvette @ DTlilsquirts September 18, 2012 at 9:29 am

I keep hounding my husband about insurance… I must look at it again and get him to sign!!

Hope your friend is still coping.. a smile, a chat, a home cooked meal always helps!

#teamIBOT was here to say hello!
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mamagrace71 September 19, 2012 at 9:37 pm

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.

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Catherine Rodie Blagg @CoTaaB September 18, 2012 at 10:09 am

Good reminder Grace. Hope your friend is doing ok x
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mamagrace71 September 19, 2012 at 9:40 pm

She’s getting there, C. Still mentions how fortunate they are to have been covered. x

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Rita September 18, 2012 at 10:23 am

I wish all the best to your friend and her husband. Life can change so quickly in matter of seconds… A friend was planning a beautiful trip to Europe when he had a stroke… Reminds us that life is short and unpredictable…
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mamagrace71 September 19, 2012 at 9:42 pm

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.

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Rachel @ The Kids Are All Right September 18, 2012 at 12:46 pm

This is a timely reminder. It’s been a topic of discussion around here of late.
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mamagrace71 September 19, 2012 at 9:43 pm

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.

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Java Jane September 18, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Such a wake up call for me, as a single parent I really should be insured for the sake of myself and for Darby!

I definately will check this out!! Thanks for the reminder and a great post! Hope your friends husband is ok and on the road to recovery!!
xxx
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mamagrace71 September 19, 2012 at 9:49 pm

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

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Prue September 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm

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
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mamagrace71 September 19, 2012 at 10:36 pm

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

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Bridget September 18, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Good for you for participating in this. Most people don’t have life insurance – sad considering how little it really costs to protect your family in a disaster.
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mamagrace71 September 19, 2012 at 10:34 pm

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

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Lisa September 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm

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!
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mamagrace71 September 19, 2012 at 10:33 pm

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

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Salz September 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm

We don’t have any kind of insurance at all and I have no idea of where to start and what’s a good price. I don’t even know if we can afford it.
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mamagrace71 September 19, 2012 at 10:32 pm

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.

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jess September 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm

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.
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mamagrace71 September 19, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Sounds like you’ve got yourself a good egg there, Jess! Glad to hear he has it all covered.

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Kylez...aka...Mrs.P September 18, 2012 at 10:41 pm

This is something I have been meaning to sort out for Dave and I. I don’t know what we would do if we lost Dave’s income so this is an excellent reminder. I hope you’re friend is doing ok.
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mamagrace71 September 19, 2012 at 10:29 pm

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.

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Vanessa @ Babbling Bandit September 19, 2012 at 8:00 am

Hi Grace. I’ve also participated in this campaign. It is such an important issue. Ned and I couldn’t survive without my income protection insurance. Good luck on the iPad!
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mamagrace71 September 19, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Loved your post, Vanessa. Very honest and emotive. Good luck to you too!

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Nami September 19, 2012 at 10:31 am

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.
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mamagrace71 September 19, 2012 at 10:28 pm

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…

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Parental Parody September 21, 2012 at 8:57 am

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.
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JulieM September 21, 2012 at 11:48 am

How scarey for your friend. They are so lucky to have income protection insurance, it’s something you never think about until something dreadful like this happens.

Good luck with the iPad :)
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Rachel from Redcliffe Style September 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Thanks for getting me thinking. I don’t know if we are covered. I had better get onto it. Rachel xx
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Jean September 21, 2012 at 2:24 pm

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.
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Joey Thomas September 21, 2012 at 10:33 pm

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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iphone pictures November 22, 2012 at 6:12 pm

I’m glad i came across http://www.withsomegrace.com
[url=http://pinterest.com/sandracoleman/apple-iphone-5-pictures/]iphone 5[/url]

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