By Trudi Vossen
The new year is a time of reflection; a ready-made reminder to us all that we should perhaps take stock of what's happened and what will come next. It is a good time to ask a very simple but profound question: What could possibly happen in the coming year?
And this makes it an excellent time to evaluate our insurance policies and make sure everything is on track at the start of 2019.
One of the most important duties you have is to protect your family. Part of protecting your family is making sure they are financially secure if you were no longer able to provide for them. That’s what personal insurance can do.
Personal insurance is a range of products (life insurance, income protection, trauma cover, disability cover and health insurance) designed to protect you and your loved ones from the unexpected. If the unexpected happens, personal insurance can help you or your loved ones financially.
Two of your greatest assets are your health and your ability to earn an income. Personal insurance can help financially safeguard these two assets against disability, illness or injury, and provide support for those you look after or leave behind. Knowing you have your personal insurance policy in place can be a comfort to both you and your family.
Why do you need personal insurance?
If the worst should happen - if you died, became terminally ill, or suffered illness, injury or disability - personal insurance is vital to financially support what matters most: you and your loved ones. Depending on the cover you choose, personal insurance can provide support through a difficult time by:
Paying out a lump sum to be used to pay off the mortgage, debt, fund education
Paying out a monthly benefit to cover lost income if you are unable to work
Providing you access to private healthcare services
helping you get back to work
Reimbursement of medical expenses
What if you already have personal insurance?
Personal insurance should never be a done and dusted type thing. Too many people just put it in place and forget about it. So this is a good time of year to take your policies off the shelf and look at what you’ve got.
If you already have personal insurance, a perfect resolution would be to review your policy. Did you have any significant events over the last year that would warrant changes to be made to your policy?
If you were recently married or divorced, you should look over your policy to make sure you have the correct beneficiaries in place
Do you have a new baby in the family? Raising a family is expensive. Review your policy and coverage amounts to allow for your growing family
If you purchased a home, you will want to see if your coverage amount can pay off the mortgage
Is the ownership of the policy still relevant?
If you made positive health changes, you may want to revisit to see if you qualify for better rates
Have you paid off your mortgage
How an adviser can help?
To make sure you have insurance that suits you, it’s good to talk to an adviser. They can share their expertise and experience and help you get the right cover at the right price. Advisers can also give ongoing help on how to keep your cover relevant over time.
Just as your life is unique, your protection should be purpose built to address the areas of risk that most affect you. An adviser adds value by:
identifying your priorities
helping you balance your risks
sharing their expertise and experience
Liaising with insurers to ensure you get the best cover available for you and your family
They also help by keeping in touch – if the time comes to make a claim, you can call on your adviser for help. Their knowledge and experience can make all the difference at a stressful time.
It’s easy to put off buying personal insurance, but you never know when that day will come when you need it. Make it your resolution to check it off your list of things to do. Your family will be happy you did. Happy New Year!
Trudi Vossen is a Risk Insurance Specialist and Authorised Financial Adviser at Stewart Group, a Hawke's Bay-based, family owned and operated independent financial planning and advisory firm. Making the right choice on which health insurance policy is not always easy. The aim is to find a good balance between cover and cost. Before selecting a health insurance, you should read the contract carefully and understand all the terms and conditions that are in it. If you are unsure about any of them, ask your insurance representative for clarification or call us at 0800 878 961 to schedule a free second-opinion consultation.
The information provided, or any opinions expressed in this article, are of a general nature only and should not be construed or relied on a recommendation to a financial product or class of financial product. You should seek financial advice specific to your circumstances from an Authorised Financial Adviser before making any financial decisions. A disclosure statement can be obtained free of charge by calling 0800 878 961 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.stewartgroup.co.nz