The current flood emergencies unfolding around Australia, as with the Victorian bushfires in recent history, bring into sharp focus the vulnerability of our communities to the effects of nature and the unknown. The news coverage also seems to highlight the all-too-common situation of those who have lost everything with no form of protection for even the most basic family need, the need for shelter.
For the medical specialist, insurance in the form of Professional Indemnity is a necessary cost of doing business and providing a health service. At MEDIQ we view personal insurance as a necessary cost of having a family and a responsibility to those you love. When presented with a simple set of images such as this, there is often a disconnect with what people feel is most important to them, and their insurance cover.
Of these images most people would suggest their familyand their home are the 2 top priorities, income and motor vehicles come in 3rd and 4th. Yet when it comes to insurances most people can say with absolute confidence that the home and car are covered, yet their income and their family is left exposed. When it comes to personal insurances most people say they have ‘it’ covered, but when asked, very few know how much cover they have and what it actually covers them for. Even fewer know what it’s costing them.
Many medical professionals are the sole income earner in a family unit, therefore achieving the goals of the family relies on this steady and consistent income. Such things as lifestyle, education for the children and retirement aspirations all flow back to the lifeblood of wealth creation, income.
There are broadly 4 main types of insurance to be mindful of,
Life Cover – Lump sum on death
Total and Permanent Disability – Lump sum on suffering a total and permanent disablement
Trauma Cover – Lump sum payment following certain events
Income Protection – ongoing payment of income if unable to work due to illness or injury
An extra one the medical professional should consider is Needlestick or Blood Borne Disease.
The options available to a medical professional, when it comes to structuring these different covers, are extensive. Much like the practice of medicine, every option has a knock on effect that must be understood and quantified to ensure that in the event of a claim you actually achieve the outcome you had planned to.
Further to this, the insurance industry is a highly competitive market place with products evolving constantly, it is important to periodically review your insurance covers to determine exactly what circumstances are in fact covered and to also ensure there are no overlaps in your cover. After all, what use is an insurance policy that doesn’t pay when it comes time to claim.