13 Apr The importance of trauma cover
Over the Easter weekend, it’d be fair to say that I indulged and I don’t think I was alone in that. Easter is such a fabulous time with chocolate treats and warm hot cross buns that, of course, I wanted to partake. In hindsight, as I squeezed to do my belt up on Tuesday morning, I had to admit that I probably didn’t need all of those treats.
Insurance tends to be the opposite: nobody wants the expense, but we all tend toneed some form of cover.
Coincidentally, a young couple I have as clients, had this very conversation only weeks before some fateful events, that created havoc in their lives. Read their story here…
“A few years ago my husband came home from having had a CT scan of his brain to announce that he had a tennis-ball sized tumour located deep in his head. Prior to the scan a diagnosis of migraine headaches had been made after every functional neurological test had been passed. The scan was only a last check with no expectation of anything showing up. Little did we know the havoc it would wreck on our lives.
The first stop was surgery. It needed to happen quickly, so the ability to tap into the hospital cover we had was crucial. Following that though was the revised diagnosis: a terminal brain tumour. Our options were limited and the time left could be as short as 6 weeks. The only thing to do was to throw everything we had at it and hope for the best.
Chemotherapy and radiation were both offered and we adopted natural medicine and homeopathic approaches. The radiation treatment was provided by the state but, while the chemotherapy drug was approved by Pharmac it was not funded by them. It cost $5,000 a month for that one alone and it was made clear that if we stopped treatment we would accelerate the end of life. Some of what we tried worked, some of it didn’t – but either way, we had to cover the cost of most of it.
With a young son who had just started at school the household was in chaos. I hadn’t returned to the workforce after the birth of my son and had spent the previous year undertaking a substantial renovation on our home – which had cost far more than we anticipated (don’t they always!) and hadn’t been finished.
So how do you fund a sudden health crisis? We didn’t have income protection insurance as we had always had a few dollars in the bank to cover any gaps in employment. What we did have was a policy to cover trauma. It responded with a substantial lump sum payout. This, supplemented with some life insurance, funded every treatment that my husband chose to endure over the 18 month period that he fought the disease. Over that time we also finished the house, had holidays together and made some investments to provide ongoing financial support.
The decision to invest in the trauma cover was one of our best. We had correctly identified that at our age (mid-thirties) the diagnosis of a significant condition would create the most chaos. Income protection insurance, in this case, would not have responded to the extent we needed and would not have allowed us the freedom to make the choices we wanted to. Following the events above, I have seen the value of trauma cover and taken a policy out which I still maintain for myself and my son.”