The holidays are fast approaching. It’s a good thing to be positive in life, but are you and your family well prepared if something unforeseen happens? Financial shortfalls don't come announced.
‘Adulting’ isn’t easy- if you are starting a career, a family, owning a car, having a go at a business, or buying a house, most likely, you will be making big financial decisions for yourself now and for your future needs. You may be thinking- “Do I need insurance” or “When is the right time to get insurance?”
Is there a need?
While we usually can't prevent the unexpected from happening, sometimes we can get some protection. Insurance is meant to safeguard us, at least financially, should certain things happen. It is a solution to fix a need- the need is the access to liquidity or cash to meet financial holes created by a change in your health that affects your and your family’s ability to pay your bills.
Though there is no right age to get insurance, you should ask yourself the following questions:
• Do you have a mortgage?
• Are there people- family or employees who rely on you?
• Do you have consistent bills to pay?
• Is there any hereditary illness in your family?
• Do you categorize your job as risky for your health?
If you answer yes to any of these needs, it is important to have a conversation about insuring your life and your ability to earn an income.
When is the right time?
A common question is- when is the right time to get insurance? Obviously the answer is the best time to get it is a day before an event or a change in health occurs.
You never know when your health may change which suggests that there is no right time. There is definitely a wrong time, which is after a significant health event.
Your health has always been great, you’ve never had anything worse than a seasonal cold and as a result, you don’t see a need to make payments on premiums for a policy you’ll never use. That thinking is fine, but the last few years have taught us that life is very unpredictable, and one should always be prepared for the unforeseen. Unexpected things can happen to us or our family at any time. According to the health survey by the Ministry of Health NZ, it shows that New Zealand Health Insurers have been paying almost $350 million a year in claims to under 45 years olds and that accounts for 25% of all claims paid each year.
While you are young…
If you have a need, the younger you are, the healthier you are, the easier it is to get the insurance you require. A key reason to consider insurance while young and healthy is a lack of pre-existing conditions. The longer you wait, the greater the chance of developing a health problem that may be uninsurable down the track, or lead to comparatively higher insurance premiums. If you take out cover when you are young, any medical conditions you may develop later in life will be covered (as long as you keep the policy, of course).
Life insurance rates throughout your twenties and thirties will increase gradually, but not by much. However, once you hit your forties, it’s common to see a spike, and the cost of Life Insurance can significantly increase year on year from there on in. The longer you wait, the more you expose yourself to conditions.
Getting your peace of mind
Young Kiwis often assume ACC is a catch-all option if our health somehow prevents us from working. But ACC doesn't cover everything — only accidental injuries. This means, that if you must take time off work for things like illness, mental health, or an injury that develops over time, your income will not be protected. It’s important to understand your options for making sure you’re covered in all instances of something unfortunate happening.
Having a good insurance plan at a young age can help you meet your lifestyle needs and prepare for any emergencies that may come your way. As owning an insurance plan is a long-term commitment, it is best to do your research and speak to a financial advisor to ensure you are making the right decisions to cater to your future needs.
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