Have you ever thought about whether you might be able to support yourself, and perhaps even a family, if a sudden inability to work occurred? Yeah, me neither.
But the past month has been a bit of a wake-up call for me in regards to personal health and safety. And in particular, whether I’d be able to cope economically if I got seriously ill or injured.
Long story short I was attacked and brutally assaulted by a security guard in a bar here in Tallinn couple weeks back.
We were walking towards the elevator on our way out of the bar when suddenly a huge man jumped on me, grabbed me by my throat and by strangling me with all his might dragged me into the elevator (hitting my head on the wall in the process), all the way down, and when outside smashed me on a bench.
I sustained loads of bruises, a bump in my head and panic attacks that tormented me for about 4 days after the attack. And I still can’t shake the thought of “what if” I had had a heart condition, or any other illness that might have been fatal under such inexplicable violence.
Where I work, there are no social security systems in place that could keep me afloat if I suddenly became unable to work. And that inability doesn’t need to have anything to do with other people; it can be things like a virus or depression. What would you do if suddenly you couldn’t afford a living the way you have done before?
I researched my options a bit and came across income protection insurances. Okay, if the damage is already done, this is a moment too late for me. But that’s why I wanted to bring this issue out into the open for you guys as well. We should all make sure to be covered before the bad things happen.
Now, it’s not just about purchasing the first income protection policy you lay your eyes on. Instead one should carefully consider their options to ensure opting for the best policy for you career and requirements specifically. Here’s what I found out researching different options:
What should you look for when seeking income protection insurance?
• Level of cover – One of the most important things you need to determine is how much cover you are going to need. When it comes to income protection policies you generally have two options.
You can go for an ‘any occupation’ policy or you can go for an ‘own occupation’ policy. Most people tend to go for the latter option because it provides the highest level of cover. Also, when you lodge a claim it is more likely that it will be successful.
However, because ‘any occupation’ covers such a wide scope of paid work, you are limiting your chances of receiving a payout. After all, it is not often that an illness or injury leaves you unable to do any kind of paid work at all.
• Professional assistance – There are so many different income protection insurance policies available, as well as a wealth of factors to bear in mind. This is why I would recommend a financial advisor when looking for the best income protection insurance policy. They will assess your situation and point you in the direction of a policy they believe to be ideal for you.
• Quality provider – Last but not least, you need to ensure you take out your income insurance policy with a quality provider. Make sure the company has a wealth of experience and a leading reputation in the industry. It is worth doing a little bit of digging online.
A mere five to ten minutes of research can save you from selecting a company with a bad reputation. Read reviews that have been left by others and you will easily be able to pick up on any red flags.
After all, if someone has had a bad experience with an insurance provider you can rest assured they would have taken to the internet to express their dissatisfaction and to warn others from making the same mistake.
Are there other ways to protect your income?
Working in the financial sector at the moment, I can’t ignore the fact that another way to protect your income is to diversify it. There are many ways to do this. Of course, you can look for a second job. But, to be honest, who has the time for that? I mean, when nearing your thirties you really do not need to work the bar shift at your local pub to put some money in the bank.
Instead there are, for example, websites like Inbox Dollars whereby you can do paid surveys. You can also get paid for freelancing work online, which is something that I am seriously looking into at the moment.
I really want to point out that the whole point of this post is to point out a fact that most of us ignore until it’s too late. I did, and it could’ve meant serious economic losses for me.
Thankfully I’m healthy enough and my support network is stronger than any mentally damaged ruški puški bouncer, so this time I was able to push through. Food for thought, as it were :) xx