Laura lives and works in a local community within country NSW. She is an architect, who has been working in and around regional NSW with clients to plan and design their dream homes. Laura loves her work and is the main income earner for her family. In her line of work, planning is key to any successful project and Laura has this same view of life. She wanted to make sure that her family was protected if something was to happen to her, such as injury or illness, and she could no longer provide for them. A friend of Laura’s referred her to Simon Little from Tribel Advisory to plan and protect her family’s future.
She didn’t know at the time, but that day would prove to be a game changer for her family in the face of some unexpected news.
Fast forward 10 years
At the age of 45, Laura was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. The symptoms start off mild and continue to change, with degeneration taking place over the space of months or years.
Obviously, this was shocking and unexpected news for Laura and her family. After processing the news and what it meant for her family, Laura contacted Simon to let him know, and to commence the claim process.
In Laura’s case she was able to continue working for another 5 years after her initial diagnosis and will now continue to receive a significant portion of her income via her income protection policy until she is 65 years old. This amounts to approximately $5500 per month until she turns 65.
Having taken out double Trauma insurance and double TPD, Laura and her family received two lump sum payments totalling $1.2 million that would cover her medical needs and care needs down the track.
The fateful day 10 years ago
When Laura first met with Simon from Tribel, she was 35. She was fit and led a healthy lifestyle. Laura oversaw the family finances and she had always had top cover for her family with health insurance and car and home insurance but had not considered life insurance and the various options involved with personal protection.
As part of Tribel’s risk management planning process, a key part of holistic financial well-being is having financial assurance for yourself, and your family, should the unexpected occur. Proactively planning contingencies to protect your whole family from events such as a critical illness, death, injury, or disability is extremely important, especially for the main income earner of the family.
At this stage of her life, Laura did not have any life insurance in place and had been somewhat confused as to the best options and right cover for her family. She really wasn’t sure which policies to take out and at what level.
Which personal insurance is the most important? (Life Insurance, Income Protection, TPD, Trauma)
Laura wanted the maximum protection she could afford based on her current financial situation. As a young family they still had significant financial commitments including a home mortgage, school fees for their two children and the ongoing operating costs of her business. In the event of her death or a serious illness or injury she didn’t want her family to be burdened by financial commitments.
For most families a combination of personal protection plans would ensure they are protected for a range of unexpected circumstances:
· Disability and Injury Protection – which protects you in the event of disability or injury that impacts your ability to work.
· Critical Illness Protection – which protects you in the event of a critical illness or trauma diagnosis.
· Life Protection – which ensures there is sufficient money to support your family in the event of death.
The right mix of cover at the right time
Like most people, thinking about death, illness or injury is not something that Laura wanted to think about too often, however she wanted the peace of mind to know that she and her family would be protected should the unexpected occur.
The following policies were recommended to make up Laura’s personal risk plan:
· Income Protection Insurance – As the main income earner, this was the most important asset to protect Laura, should she be unable to work for a certain period of time as a result of illness or injury. Given the nature of her work, her income fluctuated based on the number of projects she was working on, therefore Simon made sure that the insurable income was reflective of her average yearly income.
· Total Permanent Disability (TPD) – Given Laura’s age, health and occupation, Laura was considered low risk, therefore Simon recommended double TPD as the variance in the premium between single or double was minimal.
· Trauma Insurance – Again, given Laura’s lifestyle and nature of her work, the difference between premium for single and double trauma cover was minimal so double trauma was included. Trauma Insurance is paid as a lump sum and would ensure the family was able to pay any unexpected medical bills and expenses in the case of serious injury or illness.
· Life Insurance – Term life insurance was included as Laura wanted the peace of mind that her family was financially taken care of in the event of her death.
Laura now makes the most of her time, spending quality time with her family and friends, taking road trips, walks along the beach and long chats with her family as she slowly comes to terms with her condition and adjusts her lifestyle accordingly.
As devastating as this news was at the time, Laura was so thankful for that day 10 years ago when she made the call to formulate a personal protection plan and insure her most valuable asset – her life and her family’s wellbeing.
The unexpected may occur and adversity can be just around the corner. The next best thing to a time machine is a plan for the unexpected.