Family Protection

Over the last couple of weeks my colleagues Bob Wheatcroft and Graham Poles have covered student finance and student property, both pieces providing those of us with dreams and aspirations for the future of our children with some food for thought.

It is clear that we need to plan financially for the future, enabling our children to achieve their goals and ambitions. However, what if a tragic event such as a death or critical illness in the family means we’re not there to see these plans through or in a position to fund them?

I feel that life and critical illness assurances are both extremely important pieces of financial planning. We all tend to assume that we will live a long and fruitful life, yet do not consider the impact and consequences that our death or serious illness could have on those closest to us. Maybe in these hectic and expensive times in which we live, these are subjects that we just do not think about. Who wants to consider the consequences of not being around to support their family?

Huge financial problems could be encountered as a result of a death or illness. How to replace the primary earner’s salary, thus ensuring the family does not fall on hard times. Paying for childcare - the death of the primary childcare provider could lead to the need for considerable childcare expenses. How can school or university fees be met, either now or in the future?

Dealing with such issues provides certainty and piece of mind; knowing that in the event of misfortune your loved ones can be financially protected and avoid any financial hardship. Insurance can’t stop death or serious illness, but it can make dealing with the consequences a lot easier.

Most people may already have some form of financial protection, often in the form of mortgage protection to ensure that the mortgage is repaid in the event of death. However, it is important to consider the wider financial needs, especially if you are the main earner.

There are a number of different products currently on the market and life assurance does not need to be expensive. Over the years, with ever improving developments in medical science, life expectancy is on the increase and due to a little more competition, life assurance premiums have reduced. With the increased competition, new innovative products with more flexibility are being developed for people with different or specific needs.

In addition to life cover, and often combined in one arrangement, critical illness cover could provide a lump sum if you were diagnosed with a specified serious illness such as cancer, heart attack, or a stroke.

Even if you already have protection in place, with ever changing family and financial situations it’s even more important to review your current arrangements to ensure that your protection needs are fully covered. It may be that your situation has not been reviewed for some time, so you may be paying more than you really need to.

I strongly recommend an independent assessment of your needs by a qualified adviser who can discuss your requirements and provide recommendations to suit your circumstances.

Many of us already fully protect and insure our homes, our pets and even our fridge freezers and mobile phones – so why not fully protect and insure ourselves?

Nathan Glaister
Financial Planning Consultant

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