Saturday, July 27, 2013

Why Insurance Matters For Families.

A family unit tends to be just that. A single unit, with many individuals functioning (more or less harmoniously!) as one. Like in a small business, each person fulfills a vital role that the unit can't continue to operate without. Breadwinners go out, work and provide for the family financially, while others contribute to the household, go to school, contribute to the community or help each other out.

Next, let's think about an individual, living alone, providing for his/her own needs single-handedly with no one to take care of but themselves. Most of us are at least a little familiar with the risks of death, critical illness or disability happening to one person. If not, you can read some statistics on critical illness here. When one person is all there is to worry about, for women are facing a one in seven chance of critical illness between the ages of 30 and 60 and for men the chances are one in five (I guess women are more resilient after all!). Protecting yourself against these odds would seem like a worthwhile proposition for most even in this situation. People buy Lotto tickets every week with a one in 100,000 chance of a first division win and think its inevitable it'll happen to them one day, when the chances of a disabling illness are unfortunately hugely more likely!

Critical Illness - Unfortunately much more likely than Lotto.

Unfortunately, for families the situation is even worse. A family is a singular unit that relies on all of its members being healthy and productive for the sake of the group. If both parents for instance are working and require an income to support the family, the chances of one of the pair suffering a critical illness by the age of 60 is an unfortunate one in three. If your family or business relies on three or more incomes, the odds shoot up even further, on to and above 50%. In other words, if you're in a group that relies on the income of 3 or more members, you've got a one in two chance of having one of those members disabled by illness and unable to earn for a protracted period of time, during which regular savings may be insufficient to cover the costs of living and treatment.

So what solutions can insurance provide for families, groups or businesses?  A group medical scheme for instance can be tailored to protect a whole family, paying for any medical expenses that any of its members may need. This option can be cheaper than insuring each family member individually if the right insurer is chosen. Life, trauma and total permanent disablement insurance, through altering the policy ownership details (read more on this here), can be designed to immediately payout to the other members of the group, covering your expenses and creating an artificial income to support you and the rest of the group.

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