Insurance

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Life is full of unforeseen circumstances which can affect your plans.

Insurance may help you to meet your financial goals and obligations if you lose your ability to earn an income. Insurance forms a critical part of the financial planning process, providing financial security for you and your family.

A sound financial plan will encompass both wealth creation and wealth protection. Insurance shifts the financial burden from you to the insurance provider who can afford to protect you because of the pooled premiums paid by their customers. Put simply, insurance is there to provide you with protection against the financial impact of an event such as death, disablement, serious illness or injury.

Types of Insurance

There are a range of insurance options available that can be tailored to suit your needs and personal situation. The most common types of insurance include:

Income protection

If you are unable to work due to illness or injury, income protection provides you with a monthly benefit. This is paid for an agreed period while you are unable to return to the workforce. The premiums that you will pay for this type of policy are generally tax deductible. If you hold your insurance within super, the superannuation fund can claim a tax deduction on income protection insurance premiums which can reduce the cost of the cover.

Life

Life insurance helps alleviate the financial burden your family may be left with after your death.

Usually paid as a lump sum, your dependants may use this money to assist with medical costs, funeral expenses or help secure their financial future.

The cost depends on the amount of cover (age, gender and smoking status are also determining factors) you choose. The level of cover you have should be reviewed regularly to ensure it remains suitable.

To decide on how much cover you require, you should consider the following:

  1. your children’s school fees
  2. services you would require if you were unable to care for your children, such as a nanny
  3. how much your dependants would require to meet their day-to‑day living expenses, and
  4. current liabilities, such as your mortgage.
Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD)

This is generally taken as an optional extra within a life insurance policy, but can also be arranged as a stand‑alone policy. In broad terms, it provides a lump sum in the event of a permanent disability that prevents you from returning to work. This lump sum can be used at your discretion to provide for your dependants, to compensate for the loss of your income, repay your debts or cover capital gains tax liabilities.

There are certain conditions that need to be met to receive a TPD benefit payment; these vary significantly between insurance providers. Before taking out TPD insurance it is important that you understand the conditions under which the insurance company will pay a claim.

Trauma

Trauma insurance is generally paid as a lump sum upon diagnosis of an eligible condition (e.g. cancer, heart disease), and the funds can be used at your discretion. You can use it to pay for additional medical care or to pay off the mortgage and relieve the financial pressure on your family

This benefit is paid to you when you are diagnosed with an eligible condition. This will ensure that you and your family have a lump sum to cover rehabilitation, carer costs or just day ‑ to‑day expenses when you most need it.

Business

Running a successful business takes time, money and lots of hard work. Insuring your business should be top of your mind when you’re thinking about what might happen if you were totally and permanently disabled and couldn’t work.

No one wants to think about the what ifs but if you are a partner in a successful business, the ‘what if’s’ can’t be ignored.

Perhaps you started your business with a group of friends and built your dream together?

Perhaps you bought into the business, or inherited it from your family?

Whatever your situation, the relationship you have with the key people in your business probably extends beyond your work.

You’ve shared the highs and lows of building and running a business as well as your personal ups and downs. You’ve probably shared social occasions and know each other’s spouse and children. In many ways, your lives are probably entwined.

  1. What if something happened to you or another partner in your business?
  2. What would happen to your business or family assets if you were to die or become permanently disabled?
  3. If you died, would your business partners be able to pay out your family/estate for your share of the business?
  4. Would your estate be liable for your business guarantees if you were to die or become permanently disabled?
  5. What would happen to your family if you were no longer bringing in an income?
  6. How would the business survive the loss of one of the partners?

Now is the time to discuss the ‘what ifs’. It’s also the time to put plans in place to decide what would happen if you or another business partner suddenly left the business or who would take over and how the business would be valued.

Business insurance is not just about securing the future of your business… it’s also about securing the future of those you care about and who rely on you for financial support.

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