We don’t like to think of terrible things happening but unfortunately they do – to millions of people every day of every week of every year. Take a look at the Experience section of The Guardian’s website where people recount their unusual personal stories – a woman who was on a plane that blew up, a man who swam out of a derailed train that plunged into a river, a family attacked by lions, a farmer whose arm was torn off by a tractor.
These are all unlikely scenarios but they all happened. Fortunately the narrators of these stories all survived to tell the tale but others weren’t so lucky – many passengers died in the plane that blew up and the train that sank into a river. The families left behind by the victims of these disasters will have had to deal with the fallout of losing someone they love and that fallout would not have been purely emotional. Events such as these can have huge financial repercussions.
The fact is that life is random and can throw us some pretty curved balls at times. We can’t always anticipate them but we can take steps to prepare ourselves and our families so that when they happen, the financial impact is as minimal as it can be. And we can do that by putting in place both life insurance and critical illness cover – something which I recommend as the basis of a sound financial plan for all of my clients. If you don’t have it please please put it at the top of your New Year to do list.
A friend of mine learnt the hard way the perils of putting off taking out cover. He had it all – a successful career, beautiful wife and three fabulous children. He knew he should take out insurance to protect his family if something should happen to him but he just hadn’t got around to it. And then he suffered a sudden stroke which left him paralysed in the short term and requiring intense rehabilitation over many months. Of course, he was unable to work during this time. He was fortunate enough to have savings to fall back on to cover all those costs which don’t go away just because you are not earning. However, paying the mortgage, bills, education fees and general living costs saw his savings rapidly depleting, a situation not helped by the additional costs he incurred on some of the treatment required and adapting his home to cope following his illness.
Had he taken out critical illness cover, he would have received a lump sum as soon as he suffered his stroke which could have covered all those costs and protected the savings he had. That would have enabled the family to carry on their lives as normally as possible. Instead they were forced to make sacrifices such as changing schools and remortgaging their house – all adding extra stress at an already difficult time.
Stories such as this prove to us just how fragile life can be. One random event can bring the whole house of cards tumbling round our ears. That’s why I tell all my clients that life insurance and critical illness cover are not optional extras but an integral part of a sound financial plan which can protect them and their families from financial hardship should something unthinkable happen. And as we enter 2015, I give the same advice to you – make putting these policies in place a top priority. I would be happy to chat through the possibilities with you and help you find the right cover for your individual circumstances.