We all know that people purchase insurance to provide financial support in the event of a major event, such as an emergency, illness, property damage or injury. The insurance helps by providing a lump sum payment or a series of payments to help offset the costs incurred due to the major event. There are various types of insurance, including home, car, travel, electronics, health and life insurance.
Typically, the type of home, car, electronic and travel insurance you obtain is based on specific set of circumstances, such as if you have a car or a house. However, the type of health and life insurance obtained is usually based on the different stages of life.
Health insurance is purchased to help offset medical expenses that go above and beyond what the free medical care offered by the government pays. Typically, younger people maintain just the basic cover, but families may consider purchasing more insurance to protect their family. It is important to note that many health insurance policies may not cover all pre-existing conditions. Therefore, while waiting to obtain health insurance until you are older may seem like a good idea, you may find that you are not qualified for some service if you wait too long.
Life insurance is used to help provide financial support if you become ill or injured, or in the event of your death. Some employers offer life cover insurance as part of their employment package, but it can also be obtained as a separate policy. There are four basic benefits that may be included in a life insurance policy, including life cover, TPD (Total and Permanent Disability), trauma and income protection. Below is a closer look at these life insurance benefits.
- Life Cover. Life cover provides a lump sum payment to your designated beneficiary in the event of your death. The amount of the policy depends on your specific needs, but most people typically increase their premium with age.
- TPD Cover. Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) cover provides payments to you and your family in the event that you become permanently disabled and are unable to continue working. This payment can help offset additional medical expenses, as well as current and future living expenses.
- Trauma. Trauma cover provides a pre-determined lump sum payment in the event you have a serious illness, such as some cancers, stroke, or heart attack. These payments can be used to cover any additional expenses you may incur during you illness.
- Income Protection. Income protection will pay a portion of your standard salary if you become injured or ill and are not able to work for several days, weeks or months. This benefit typically covers about 75 per cent of usually salary on a regular basis.
Different Life Stages
The type of life insurance you need to protect your financial future, and that of your family, depends greatly on what stage of life you are currently in. There are four basic life stages that need to be considered, including young and single, just starting a family, middle stage of life, and retirement. Below is a closer look at these four stages of life and things to consider at each stage.
- Young and Single. When you are young and single, you are typically in fairly good health and do not have dependents to worry about. This does not, however, mean that you do not need to worry about purchasing life insurance. While you may just need the basic life cover insurance, you should certainly consider purchasing income protection. This will keep you financially stable if you have an illness or injury. You may also want to consider purchasing TPD and Trauma Cover as an added protection.
- Just Starting a Family. Once you start a family, you have more to worry about than just yourself. You now have a spouse and maybe children and you need to make sure that you have enough protection to provide support for them in case of an emergency, illness or injury. You need to have enough life insurance to cover any funeral expenses and provide enough to provide for you family. You should also have income protection to help cover your household expenses if you cannot work due to an injury or illness. Trauma and TPD will also help to protect your family in the event of something more serious.
- Middle Stage of Life. As you reach the middle stage of your life, you are likely to have a lot of things that you have worked hard to obtain. It is vital that at this point in your life that you have enough insurance to make sure you do not lose everything you worked so hard to obtain in the event of a major event. You want to have enough life cover that will help your family pay off any large outstanding debts, such as your home mortgage, and cover your funeral expenses.
- Retirement. Once you enter into your retirement years, the type of cover you need changes quite a bit. You will want to maintain the life cover you have, or possibly lower it slightly if you have already paid your home and all major debts off. Income protection will not be something you need to worry about since you are longer receiving a regular payment. You also may have trouble getting trauma and TPD insurance cover at this stage in your life, unless you already have it.
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