What would happen if you could not work?
If you were paid the average annual wage of $84,6611, you could potentially earn $10,200,000 over a 40-year working life2. You would use this money for daily living, for holidays, to accumulate assets like a house and car and to save for your retirement. Being injured or taken ill, for only a short period, could severely affect or even cancel some of these plans.
What would you do?
Your income may be replaced from a number of sources:
* If it is a work-related injury or illness, workers compensation may pay your basic wage and medical expenses until you return to work.
* You may have accumulated sick leave if you’ve been with the same employer for some years.
* You may have savings you can access.
But this may only meet nominal living expenses – you might have to continue servicing loans and pay medical expenses, some of which may not be covered by Medicare or your private health fund. How will you do that?
Insuring the risk
Income protection insurance usually pays up to 75% of your normal pay whilst you’re off work. You can tailor a policy to suit your situation. For instance,
* How long must you be off work before payments start? This can be as short as two weeks or as long as six months.
* How long will you receive the income? This can be for a short period (like two years) or until age 65.
Most policies will require you to be unable to do your own job although some include rehabilitation benefits as you gradually get back into the workforce.
Premiums are usually tax-deductible and the income is taxed in the normal way through the PAYG system.
Don’t become another statistic. Contact your licensed financial adviser to enquire about investing in an income protection policy to suit your circumstances and your current responsibilities.
You will sleep easier knowing that your lifestyle and financial plans will stay on track regardless of sickness or injury.