Like most of my Gen Y counterparts, I am fairly confident that I will live forever. I also have a sneaky suspicion that bad things only happen to other people and that I am at least partially bullet-proof (and cancer-proof, and accident-proof…)
Therefore, when I joined the finance industry, I viewed all the talk of personal insurance as important… for other people. When Chris, our Director, asked me what insurances my husband and I had in place, I answered with a typical Gen-Y aplomb, “health insurance”. Chris asked what would happen to me should my husband be unable to work. Would we still be able to afford our mortgage? The answer of course was a resounding no. What about if I got cancer tomorrow? Would we be able to afford for my husband take time off to drive me to appointments, still pay the mortgage and keep food on the table, all whilst paying for the best possible treatment? Uh… yikes.
We are all familiar with the old adage, ‘cancer doesn’t discriminate’. Despite this, it still seemed like this unlikely, far-off scenario that may affect other, unlucky people, but surely not me. Cancer? That belongs to the middle-aged, the retirees, and the elderly. People my age were strong & healthy, we played sport, traveled widely and did amazing things like climbing mountains and scuba diving. Although… I did have a friend who had torn his ACL playing footy (3 times in fact), an old work colleague had recently fallen whilst abseiling (his carabiner saved his life, but he did break both legs) and there was that girl I knew who accidentally gave herself third degree burns doing a cooking class in Thailand…
Suffice to say, it didn’t take too much digging into my youthful friendship circle to release that many people I knew were doing it tough. They hadn’t lost houses when they got injured or ill, because in most cases their families stepped in to look after them and help to pay their medical bills. But they did lose careers. Dreams of owning their own homes were put on hold for four or five years. Wedding plans were halted. The savings they had diligently scraped together were gone. And they had to live with the knowledge that their parent’s retirement funds were significantly depleted because of them. So whilst their lack of insurance hadn’t bankrupted them, it certainly had long term consequences to their life plans.
So I swallowed my pride, and got insurance.
I am now writing this as the proud owner of life, TPD, trauma and income protection insurance. My life and income protection are partially funded through my super account, which means that my cash flow was not impacted nearly as much as I feared. Whilst I vaguely understood that life insurance should allow you to pay off your debts, when working out how much coverage I needed, Chris took into account things I never would have thought of. I now know that should something happen to my husband, I could afford time off work for mourning, funeral costs, our children’s future education costs and of course, I could pay off our mortgage. Similarly, should I or my husband be permanently disabled, suffer an illness or injury, or be unable to work for a period of time, my family’s finances would not be permanently affected.
I never imagined that an immortal Gen-Y like myself would get any satisfaction from ‘being responsible’ and putting in place comprehensive insurance. But I’ll admit that the day that I got the jubilant ‘congratulations – you’re covered!’ letter from my insurer, I did feel a little more bullet-proof.
If you are also an immortal Gen Y who is not convinced of the value of insurance, please call our office on 07 4646 4970 or contact us on email@example.com for a free kick up the butt discussion.
Written by Emma Linton Doig, Practice Officer at Fortress Financial Solutions
Corporate Authorised Representative of Magnitude Group Pty Ltd ABN 54 086 266 202, AFSL 221557.
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