16 Aug 2022

How my thoughts on life assurance have changed

Who should arrange your mortgage protection?

What would happen should you be unable to work due to illness or injury?

Having recently qualified to provide advice in the area of Life Assurance and Protection, I thought it would be interesting to detail how my thoughts on this have changed from the time I began my trainee role in the company, to becoming newly qualified to provide advice in the area.

I am fast approaching my first anniversary of working with Wealthwise Financial Planning and through the combination of my studies with ATU Sligo (previously IT Sligo) along with the shadowing and learning I get from our experienced financial advisors, I have gained valuable information and developed a great appreciation for Life Assurance products and the potential benefits they can provide.
Initially I must admit, my understanding of Life Assurance was limited and I was unsure of the difference between Life Assurance and general health insurance.

I feel this is because Life Assurance products such as Life Cover or Income Protection are not as frequently discussed as health insurance, but also because when you are young and still in education, these products may not seem very relevant to you.
Chances are you will only hear of such products if a family member or friend has benefitted from having such cover in place, or the opposite, where they have had an illness, injury or even bereavement and struggled due to having no cover in place. Whereas there is a much greater likelihood of having health insurance or knowing a family member or friend who has relied on health insurance at some stage.

In my early twenties, financial protection was not on my life of priorities, but circumstances change and people finish education, secure permanent jobs and start to become used to financial independence.
Think about this. What would happen should you be unable to work due to illness or injury? There may be some sick pay from your employer or through the Social Welfare, however, could you meet your bill repayments or continue to live your current lifestyle if this were to happen?

An Income Protection plan is the only product which can ensure you continue to receive a regular income. Or, another similar product is Serious Illness Cover, which is usually a less expensive plan, in which case you receive a lump sum payment instead of a regular income.
Obviously, there are certain rules and regulations to avail of these products, however it may be worth looking into, as often these plans are more affordable than people think.
These types of cover provide a level of financial assistance that allows those affected by illness or injury to focus on their recovery, rather than the financial stress they may find themselves in after an unexpected event.

At my time in Wealthwise, I have heard many stories of how policies such as these helped people on their road to recovery.
One other thing to bear in mind is that the earlier you start an income protection plan the better as the older you get the more expensive these become.
If you are like me, you may have also thought that a Life Cover policy was a form of general health insurance, however this is not the case.

Life Cover is a product which pays out to your chosen beneficiaries in the event of your death. Now I know that this is not the most exciting topic to think about, but it means that your family will be taken care of if anything happens to you.
From my experience with our clients, I have realised that nobody is invincible and everybody should put some cover in place.
I hope this article can help some people to understand the difference between the various types of protection policies and how they might be of benefit.

I would say, sit down with an advisor and put a plan in place, don’t wait until it’s too late. While the main benefits of these products come when a significant event occurs, the most important benefit they provide is the peace of mind you have in knowing that should anything happen to you, there is a plan in place to provide for you and your loved ones when it is needed most.

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