Whether you are a salaried employee, independent professional, business, single, couple, family or retiree, it is vital to protect your financial future with the right type of insurance. Personal insurance plays a key role in providing Australians with real financial security. Knowing your insurance covers everything you need gives you peace of mind, even in the face of unexpected events. It is important to ensure you are properly covered for your specific circumstances.
Insurance providers are all very different. They can have an extremely varied tolerance for different industries and professions which greatly impact on depth of cover and most importantly premiums. Therefore it is vital your financial planner has a broad knowledge of the insurance providers in Australia.
Many people hesitate to protect themselves with adequate personal insurance due to the perception that premium costs can be prohibitive in some cases. Where cash-flow is a concern it may be that your superannuation can cover some if not all of your insurance needs.
Premiums can also be affected by health and age considerations and often cover is compromised. Again, different insurance providers have different attitudes to these things so it is vital to work with an experienced financial planner who understands which providers to work with on your behalf as well as how to adequately communicate pre-existing conditions and any other issues to ensure the most suitable cover for you.
There are 4 categories of personal insurance cover to consider for protection:
Life insurance provides financial protection if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness or pass away. A lump sum can either be paid to your estate or nominated dependents.
Total and Permanent Disability (TPD)
Should you become permanently unable to return to work due to injury or illness TPD insurance provides you with a lump sum payout designed to clear debts, provide replacement of income and cover any ongoing medical costs or lifestyle adjustment costs. It is often used in conjunction with income protection insurance to ensure your pre injury/illness is not impacted.
Should you be unable to work due to injury or sickness, Income protection provides a replacement to your working income up to 75% for the duration of the period you are unable to work, ensuring continued cash-flow to support your lifestyle expenses and allowing a worry free recovery.
This is vital if you are dependent on your working income to support yourself, your family and your assets and liabilities.
This type of insurance is designed to give you financial security should you suffer from a traumatic medical condition such as cancer, heart attack, heart disease or paralysis. When your diagnosis is confirmed, you will be paid a lump sum to help with medical costs and debts.
This will relieve financial pressure through providing for what can be significant expenses in the recovery process.
Whether your business is structured through a partnership, company or trust, few have effective mechanisms in place for the transfer of equity and/or control if one of the owners is lost to the business due to death, disablement or a critical illness. In many cases the loss of a business owner from one of these events results in the demise of an otherwise healthy business simply because there was no succession plan and funding agreement in place. A business succession plan that incorporates insurance funding protects your investment and can help to ensure the survival of your business should one of the business owners or a key person die, become disabled or suffer a critical illness.
Owners exit a business for one of 4 main reasons:
- Death – involuntary
- Disability – involuntary
- Divorce – involuntary
- Departure– involuntary
Reasons for Business Insurance
01. Buy/Sell Agreement
Refers to the transfer of the deceased or disabled proprietor’s interest pro rata to the surviving proprietors or spouse of surviving proprietor as consideration for the shares in the business. Agreement to state how proceeds of policy to be distributed.
02. Key Person Insurance
Most businesses have one or more key persons whose skill, knowledge, experience and leadership ensures the success of the business. A key person in any business may generally be defined as one whose death, disablement or early retirement may have an adverse economic effect on the business. Key person insurance provides compensation for loss of profits caused by the death or Total Permanent Disability of key employees.
03. Business Debt Protection
Protecting an entity from potential loss due to the inability to service the debt or the forced repayment of all or some of the outstanding debt, as a result of the loss or disablement of a partner in the business.
04. Asset Protection
Asset Protection can provide your business with enough cash to preserve its asset base so it can repay debts, free up cash flow and maintain its credit standing if a business owner or loan guarantor dies or becomes disabled. It can also release personal guarantees secured by the business owner’s assets (such as the family home).
05. Revenue Protection
Revenue Protection can provide your business with cash to compensate for the loss of revenue and costs of replacing a key employee or business owner should they die or become disabled. What is Ownership Protection? Ownership Protection can provide the continuing owners or their nominees with sufficient cash for the transfer of the outgoing owner’s equity to the continuing owners should a business owner die, become disabled, or suffer a critical illness.
06. Partnership Insurance
Partnership protection insurance provides a “safety net” in the event that one of the business partners suffers a serious illness, becomes permanently disabled or passes away.
In the event of death, partnership protection insurance enables the other partner/s to buy out the deceased partner’s share of the business from whomever inherits it. In the event of a partner suffering an illness or disablement, such a policy provides the other partner/s with the funds to buy out the incapacitated partner’s share directly from them.