When given a potentially terminal diagnosis, most people are concerned about the possibility of it ending their life. But the stark reality is - what if you get a diagnosis like cancer and live? – that is a concern for other reasons….
Let me explain that a bit further….
It almost seems like there is an increase in cancer nowadays, and there seems to be different theories as to why this is happening. The reality is, 1 in 3 NZ’ers will have some experience of cancer, either personally or through a relative or friend.* This can be a sensitive topic to talk about, but we see the effect of it on families that others don’t, and we felt it was important to share our experience to help others.
We have seen the diagnosis turn people’s world upside down, where they are in shock and disbelief, and then need to face the uncertainty of treatment and what it involves. The stress and emotional impact is hugely difficult for families to manage. Another avoidable pressure we see, is the financial stress at one of the most difficult times of a person’s life.
When someone goes through treatment, not only are they unable to work, but a family member usually needs to take time off to care for them as well. This can mean a significant loss of income for both the patient and the carer, and added pressure and stress when the focus needs to be on recovery.
Why am I highlighting such illness as the topic of this blog? Because we see this so many times, over and over where families are struggling at the time when they most need help and support.
As insurance brokers, we find that a lot of people are insured for life and health insurance, and sometimes not so much for income protection or critical illness cover. Some life insurance policies enable a lump sum pay out under the terminal illness benefit, and this can help with funding treatment or expensive medication in the last 12 months of an illness. That funding could be critically important to enable comfort, modifications to the house, and spending the time left, on what’s most important to you.
Whilst that is great and much needed, the terminal illness benefit is like getting your life insurance in advance, it uses the life insurance amount that was intended to pay off the mortgage, support your spouse, or help out your children for their future. And this creates a gap, so the money is used during this time, and nothing further is available to you. So what happens afterwards? Have a think about why you took out life insurance in the first place, and what you want it to do for you. This is where it’s important to make sure insurance provides you with what is important to you and your family.
We are always wanting to do what’s right by our clients, and part of that is educating people on the need for Income Protection and Trauma Cover. Some people would say you need this more than life cover – and it could possibly be the difference between accessing the best treatment, survival, and maintaining a secure financial future. It also helps to provide a safeguard for you and can pay your mortgage, provide a payout for treatment and contribute towards your income at the same time.
If you think you’re fit, healthy, and nothing will happen to you, you may well be right. But statistics show, 1 in 3 of you will have some experience of cancer, either personally or through a relative or friend. While this may not be one of the most upbeat blogs to read, this could be one of the most important for you and your family.
Consider picking up the phone and having a chat, - if you already have good cover in place, that’s great, keep it. And if not, we can give you information and help you find out more.
What IS important, is that you’re prepared and protected, and that is our wish for all kiwi families….
Ministry of Health website: http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/cancer-programme 2017