Michele Carby explains why critical illness cover is so important as part of your financial planning. It gives you and your family choices.
Few things in life can chill the soul like sitting in a doctor’s office and hearing them say the C-word. UAE resident Nareena Mehra described herself as a ‘mum on autopilot’ when cancer derailed her life. Nareena was just 36 when doctors diagnosed with aggressive stage three breast cancer. As you can imagine, it turned her life upside down.
Nareena suffered a year of intense medical treatment, including two major surgeries. She underwent a year double mastectomy, six weeks of radiotherapy and eight months of chemotherapy. Tragically, more cancer was detected, resulting in a hysterectomy. Thankfully, Nareena survived. She still has regular three-monthly checks, but she is well and her life is back on track. However, as you can imagine, it was an intensely challenging time for Nareena and her family, all the trauma of treatment, the anxiety and the worry they all went through.
One of the things that alleviated that trauma was critical illness insurance. Fortunately, Nareena had the foresight to have a critical illness insurance policy. On diagnosis, she received a payment of US$250,000, which allowed her to travel the USA for medical treatment and to have her family with her in America to support her why she underwent surgery and recovery. The payout was enough to allow her to take three years off work to spend time with her family, get well and make a full recovery.
Nareena’s story exemplifies why I always recommend critical illness insurance to my clients. It gives you choices that would otherwise not be available. Needless to say Nareena is an equally strong advocate of this type of insurance.
A critical illness policy will pay you a tax-free lump sum on diagnosis of one of a list of specific medical conditions or injuries. Stroke, cancer and heart attack are all included. The cover provides a financial cushion to cover living expenses, pay for expensive medical treatment and enable you to recuperate without the burden of financial worries.
Friends Provident International has recently published the claims statistics from the period January 2016 to December 2018. They make interesting reading.
Less than a quarter of the working population has a critical illness policy. That leaves many people exposed to a significant risk. The average age for claims is just 45 years old while the youngest claimant was aged 30. 89% of all claims were paid, and the average payout was US£215,000. Claims were divided equally between men and women.
It is easy to put off decisions about taking out insurance. Easy that is until disaster strikes and you are not covered. Spend a little time putting yourself in Nareena’s shoes. Imagine the effect a critical illness will have on your family. Those situations are always going to be challenging to deal with emotionally don’t make it a financial problem as well.
If you would like to discuss critical illness insurance or any other aspect of financial planning please email me at [email protected] or call me direct on +971 50 618 6463.