The Most Precious Thing

We all recognise the well-known adage that “the most precious thing we have is our health”. Just ask anyone who has lost theirs.

Yet the concept is rather flippantly bandied about when we’re younger and in good health – we don’t value it because we haven’t experienced what it is to NOT have it. As Joni Mitchell sang “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” (Big Yellow Taxi, 1970)

Both the immediate and the long-term effects of a serious illness can be devastating – the loss of mobility, the loss of a pain-free existence, the loss of a general ability to enjoy life’s pleasures. Life changes and will probably never be the same again. This is known as a ‘Poor Health Position’ or PHP. PHPs refer to both the chronic conditions with limited treatment options (such as ‘cardiac cripple’), as well as to the more commonly occurring acute, curable events.  

All these events are foreseeable, but unpredictable – we know what COULD happen (it’s foreseeable), but we don’t know WHEN (or even IF in the event of, say, cancer) it will occur (it’s unpredictable).

Most people, however, don’t, or choose not to, anticipate such an event. They suffer from The Bullet-Proof Delusion: “it won’t happen to ME!”  and so fail to put even the most rudimentary arrangements in place, while they are still fit and so still able to acquire coverage.

In fact, most weeks, you don’t need to look too hard to find a story in a newspaper or magazine sympathising with the plight of someone who’s lost their good health and is forced to survive on the goodwill of family, friends and the (not overly generous) government assistance. This financial misery is compounded with all the miserable effects of the illness.

It’s not difficult to calculate the significant financial cost that such an event will incur. Armed with that knowledge, it’s a simple matter to put some planning in place.

For most people the most cost-effective solution is a personalised insurance plan. Insurance can’t prevent the onset of illness but the money it provides will mitigate the just-as-nasty financial effects.

So, in fact, all personal insurance is HEALTH insurance – it will provide ready cash if your Good Health is threatened or damaged, or even destroyed.

Let’s look at the PHP circumstances that can arise and how your insurance can respond.

The ultimate PHP – you’re dead. ‘Life’ (really, death) insurance delivers cash to those who, without you and your support, need it – your surviving dependants…and your Banker.

PHP 2 – you’re NOT dead, but you MAY AS WELL BE because you’ll never work again (total & permanent disability – TPD). TPD insurance delivers cash needed to secure your future – however long that may be – by clearing debt & supporting yourself and your surviving dependants. Good Health is probably gone for good.

PHP 3 – you’re NOT dead, but you MAY SOON BE. This is when serious illness strikes. ‘Trauma’ insurance delivers cash to you to do with as you wish – take a time off to optimise treatment and recovery, or just take a long-anticipated luxury holiday. You may even get back to Good Health, and the insurance pay-out money will likely have had a lot to do with that.

PHP 4 – you’re NOT dead but you are disabled, though only temporarily. How long will your resources (like sick leave & savings) last? Income Protection insurance delivers cash so your lifestyle isn’t devastated, while you get back to Good Health.

PHP 5 – you’re NOT dead but you need to get something fixed, and soon! You find the State system won’t do it soon, or maybe won’t ever do it, because it doesn’t qualify under their triage process, the Points System. Private Medical cover will provide the cash to get your problem seen to and get you back to Good Health.

Take Advice!

You can build your own Insurance Plan by examining these five things and working out a ‘number’ to be applied…but you would be much better to use a recognised Risk Adviser to work with you. The cost of it is always going to be less than the cost of a DIY insurance plan that doesn’t deliver when you need it to.

My Disclosure Statement is available for free and on request.

Original Article - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/most-precious-thing-mike-king?trk=prof-post

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