Life happens, which is why you need insurance

In a media interview this weekend, Joost van der Westhuizen said that once he was diagnosed with a degenerative form of motor neurone disease, the first thing he did was check his insurance policies would take care of his children.

Fortunately for him, he had policies. It is a good reminder of why we pay those premiums every month.

To be honest whenever I go over my budget those premiums feel like a grudge purchase, especially when I calculate how they could boost my savings. And every year those premiums get higher.

But Joost’s experience really puts it into perspective — he is my age and he has three years to live. Earlier this year a close friend was diagnosed with a very form of aggressive cancer and had her arm amputated. She is a year younger than me.

Life happens, so I view my insurance as one of those things I hope I will never need, yet which will be invaluable if I do.

Most people only start taking risk cover seriously once they have children — it tends to focus the mind. But even without dependants, not being able to work and earn a salary could be a fate worse than death.

Disability or income protection is often included as part of ones employee benefits — so it is worth finding out if you are covered.

As a parent, if you have a child who is studying or just about to start work, the biggest risk to you is that you may have to support them for the rest of their lives.

Cover is relatively inexpensive for younger people, so it is probably worth taking out a policy to cover them so if anything ever happens, you can focus on caring for them and not worrying about how you will afford it.

Read more news, blogs, tips and Q&As in our Smart Money section. Post questions on the site for independent and researched information

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Maya Fisher French
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