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Protecting what is most precious

By Jodie Douglas, Nov 18 2015 12:34AM

When our children learn to ride a bicycle, what is the first thing we teach them? “Always wear a helmet”. We instill this message from the very start in an effort to reduce the risk of injury and minimize harm in the event of the worst case scenario. We know that riding a bike can be dangerous, but we strap on the equipment they need to stay as safe as possible and then we hope that they will never need to use it.

But what if that worst case scenario was much more serious, such as our child being diagnosed with a critical illness, suffering a serious injury or even accidental death? How could we protect our kids and ensure the best possible treatment and care should the unthinkable happen?

Would you have enough funds to pay for expensive medical treatments, specialist practitioners, lengthy hospital stays and, most costly of all, the loss of earnings incurred by leaving a job to care for a sick child? For many people, the answer is no.

When children become critically ill or injured, the three major costs facing families are:

-Travel expenses for treatment and follow-up care

-Loss of parental income

-Medical treatments (out-of-pocket expenses) [i]

In addition to this, there are unexpected costs such as temporary housing, transportation, phone calls and parking. These costs all add up and can become hugely detrimental to a family already struggling with the physical and emotional impacts of a parent’s worst nightmare.

For example, a 2012 study by the American Childhood Cancer Organization reported the following facts about the financial impact of childhood cancer:

2 out of 4 respondents reported facing considerable to severe household debt as a result of their child’s treatment.

33% of respondents reported that one member of their household stopped work completely to care for their child.

57% used loans, gifts or fundraising to pay for their child’s treatment, while 33% withdrew from their savings or retirement funds. 15% of respondents resorted to using credit cards and 9% were forced to declare bankruptcy.[ii]

Our clients tell us that the risks faced by their children is a concern to all families whether the kids are very young or much older and living away from home. You, as the main income earner, may have all the insurances in the world, but if the event doesn't happen to you then they won't offer you a cent. This is why it is so important to consider your dependants in your financial risk plan.

If the kids are included in your Financial Risk strategy, the burden would be reduced, allowing the whole family to cope without the added financial pressure.

As a mother I recognise that one of the biggest financial risks in my life is in fact my children. If anything happened to either of my boys I know that both my husband and I would stop everything to be there with them. We could do this as we have planned our financial risk strategy for such events, knowing the risks of raising children and our awareness of the tragedies that can occur so easily.

You may not be aware that there is such a thing as Child Cover from the early age of 2 years old. Such cover provides you with a lump sum payment in the event the child suffers a permanent disability, a critical or terminal illness or passes away. Importantly, this is the only insurance cover that will protect your family financially if such an event occurred to one of your children. And it costs from only $4.00 per week.

Depending on the product you choose, it can automatically convert to Life, TPD and Trauma cover for the child when they turn 18 or 21, without the need for medical, occupational or pastime assessment. This can ensure they are comprehensively covered when they need it the most. What a gift!

Have you arranged for your 18 year old to speak with your trusted financial adviser before they leave the nest?

What about your adult children who are now having kids of their own and probably haven't thought about the ‘what if's’ yet?

If you have a family, recognise that the kids may be your biggest liability and make it your choice to cover them first!

Speak to us about your Financial Risk strategy and how we can include cover for your greatest and most precious assets: the ones you love.

[i] Current Oncology 2008 August, 15 (4): 173-178 The Impact on Families When a Child is Diagnosed with Cancer


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