24 Jan What happens to your family when you get sick or injured?
Have you ever wondered what would happen to your family if you were sick or injured? Have you ever considered the impacts it would have not just on you, but on your spouse, children and finances? Have you ever wondered how people manage to get on if they are sick or injured?
We have found that the real-time effects on financial security, children’s health and education and family life that occurred when one parent can no longer work due to a disability are far-reaching and much more devastating than we were previously aware of, and that most Australians don’t take it into account until it happens to them.
Research conducted by Ipsos and ANZ in 2015 found some of the major impacts both short and long term on the sick/injured person and their family included:
- There was little to no warning – 46% of families had less than a week’s warning of a sickness/injury or disability event, and 33% had no warning at all
- 30% of children suffered from a mental health condition at some stage after their parent became disabled
- 1 in 4 parents stated that their children (aged 14+) took on a job due to financial pressure
- Over 1 in 4 families had to move after the disability due to financial pressures.
- 11% of those without insurance rated their finances as ‘struggling’ before the disability, after the disability began this number skyrocketed to a shocking 62%
- 75% of those without TPD or Income Protection cover agree that in hindsight a policy covering disability would have helped
In interviews of families who had been impacted by a disability of a parent some of the lived experiences are highlighted:
- “It was upsetting that my mum wasn’t like all the other mums and couldn’t participate in some important aspects of my life. I feel she has missed out on things”. Child – Family without insurance
- “For a long time my brother and I were forced to fend for ourselves. I had to get myself to school and cook and clean. This and all the added stress significantly affected my schooling. My brother and I both had to work as well”. Child – Family without insurance
- “I regret the lack of time to spend with my son because I had to increase my working hours to cover paying bills” – Parent – family without insurance
So what does the research tell us? The financial and emotional impacts are many however, of those surveyed families with insurance cover such as Income Protection (designed to replace income) and Total & Permanent Disability cover (designed to pay for the big costs of the disability and eliminate debt) felt these impacts less keenly than those with none. While all families underwent changes, families with insurance were more likely to stay in the family home and increase the amount of time they spend together, plus the carer parent was able to reduce working hours to look after their partner and children.
Sadly, many families were blindsided by an illness or injury that resulted in a parent permanently stopping work. What is clear is that with few people having the opportunity to prepare in any way, insurance can be one of the simplest ways to safeguard your family’s financial future.
It’s never too late to get your disability insurance sorted. We’re here to help you get peace of mind or have your existing cover reviewed for greater security. It’s something we’re highly passionate about and experienced in: making sure you have a safety net for when the unexpected happens, so you can concentrate on your wellbeing and that of your family in an extremely difficult time. Please contact us and we will ensure that you’re not one of these statistics.
If you would like a copy of the report conducted by Ipsos please let us know and we will be happy to email it to you.