It’s never been a better time to get in touch with your financial adviser to review your goals for the future. Inextricably linked to achieving these goals is a sound risk plan to ensure that not only are your future ambitions and dreams protected, but everything you’ve already worked so hard to achieve as well.
It’s important to understand your risks, the insurance options available to you and the cover you already have in place – so that should the time come to claim, you’re not left disappointed. Working with your financial adviser will help you adjust your financial plan where required. And with the right insurance in place, you can rest assured that achieving your goals will not be derailed by some unforeseen event.
Make informed decisions by considering these 8 key questions:
- When last did you review your insurance policy in line with any changes in your occupation, monthly income or life circumstances such as marriage, divorce or having children? For those with income protection, for example, it’s important to notify us if you have a change in occupation or a decrease in monthly earnings, as this may affect the terms and conditions of your policy and the amount you’re insured for.
- Are you only covered for death and disability, or do you have income protection in place? Income protection is designed to pay out should you get sick or injured and can’t work. Our claims stats show that 70% of our clients will have at least one injury or illness that results in an income protection claim during their working lives. In fact, a temporary injury or illness is the most likely risk any individual will face during their working career, no matter their age. Interested in discovering your risk reality? Take our quick Reality Check Quiz.
- For those with income protection, have you insured 100% of your income? And have you kept your cover up to date with any salary increases? This is important, make sure you’re not left out-of-pocket should you need to claim.
- Do you know what your waiting period is on your income protection policy? When it comes to income protection, a waiting period is the minimum period of consecutive days that you need to be unable to perform your occupation due to injury or illness, before you can claim. One of the biggest decisions that needs to be made about income protection is which waiting period to select. Selecting a longer waiting period is more affordable, but it does mean that you won’t be able to claim if the period you are unable to work for is shorter than the waiting period.
- Do you have claims escalation selected on your income protection policy? This will ensure that if you're in a long-term claim, the payments you receive will continue to increase each year to help you keep up with the cost of living.
- How long is your income protection benefit term? The benefit term relates to the maximum period you can be paid out for. On temporary income protection, the benefit term is usually for up to two years. Our extended income protection kicks in after this period and will pay out for as long as you can’t work due to illness or injury. Without extended income protection, your payments will stop when you reach the end of your temporary income protection benefit term. Remember, disability lump sum cover only pays out on permanence. And when you consider that 4 out of 10 of our claims which last longer than a year are not permanent, it’s really important not to rely solely on disability lump sum cover for long-term events.
- Do you have critical illness cover? According to the World Health Organization, heart disease, stroke and cancer remain some of the leading causes of death globally. If you don’t have any critical illness cover, or only have lump sum cover in place, it may be worth chatting to your financial adviser about our Critical Illness Income benefit. Our CI Income was developed to complement lump sum cover by paying 130% of your temporary income protection benefit for up to 12 months, regardless of whether you can work or not.
- Is your lump sum life cover adequate? Sometimes affordability dictates how much life lump sum cover you have. A cost-effective alternative is to supplement a lump sum with Life Income benefits, which provides your beneficiaries with the certainty of an income for as long as they need, without the stress of worrying about inflation or how to invest a lump sum of money. Income benefits also offer many bespoke short-term solutions to complement any lump sum cover, e.g. to pay your spouse an income while your estate is being wound up and bank accounts frozen.
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