Most people understand the need for car insurance, home and contents insurance and probably even health insurance. But when it comes to life insurance, it’s more difficult to picture yourself actually needing cover. We just don’t want to think about something bad happening to us or to our loved ones!
Part of my job, as a financial adviser, is to help people understand the reasons why the different types of life insurance are so important and what this cover can do for you if the worst does happen.
I recently came across a story that I think perfectly illustrates why you need trauma insurance. Trauma cover pays you a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a serious illness or experience an injury. Unlike Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) insurance, you don’t have to be incapacitated to the point of being unable to go back to work. In fact, trauma cover is designed to help you get the care you need so you can go back to living your life as normal. I like to think of it as a bit like health insurance on steroids!
So, onto the story…
In 2017, Peter, aged 66, was diagnosed with Stage 3 metastatic melanoma. He underwent a procedure to remove the cancer, but, knowing there was a one in four chance of the cancer recurring, he wanted to do more.
Peter had heard about a relatively new cancer treatment, called immuno-oncology, which has been found to prevent the recurrence of melanoma. The treatment, Opdivo, was recently added to new clinical treatment guidelines developed by Cancer Council Australia and Melanoma Institute Australia. However, despite the benefits, many immuno-oncology medicines (including Opdivo) are not currently covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, making them very expensive. Peter was facing a bill of $100,000 and a difficult decision.
If Peter went ahead and paid the $100,000 for the Opdivo, he would reduce the odds that the cancer would recur to around 15%. But in order to pay for the treatment, Peter and his partner Bernie would have to eat into their personal savings and superannuation.
Peter told news.com.au that making the decision to self-fund the treatment was more stressful than being told he had cancer. He agonised over the decision for two months but eventually decided to go ahead with the treatment. “What is the point of saving as much money as I can and dying sooner than I need to?” Peter said.
This is where trauma insurance can make all the difference. Imagine not having to waste valuable time stressing over whether you can afford the best treatment available? Using AMP as an example, the average amount paid to trauma claimants in 2017 was a little over $180,000*. In Peter’s case, that would have covered his immuno-oncology treatment with plenty left over to put towards a holiday with his partner, or to cover other expenses while he recovered. Plus, Peter and Bernie would still have their personal savings and superannuation in place for their retirement.
If you want to read Peter’s full story, click here. And if you want to talk to about securing your own funds to help you in your time of need, give me a call today.