When it comes to money, many of us like to have things that are useful and valuable; a nice car to get around in, a home in a good street, a large TV to watch the game on or the latest smartphone and tablet… the list goes on.
We also see the value in protecting these things. A 2013 Massey University report stated that nine in 10 Kiwis have insurance in place to cover the things we own. After all, if you've worked hard for something then why shouldn't you be able to protect it in case something happened to it?
When people are asked, "What's the most important thing to you?" often the answer is the same - family. It's not a 'thing' as such, and certainly not something you can buy from a store. It's the backbone of who we are, the people we love and care for and a link to our ancestral past.
Often we're reluctant to think about the future of our family and what we can do to ensure that it's protected. For the main income earner, life insurance is a good way of providing for the family if financial commitments still need to be taken care of. But if that person becomes seriously ill or injured and can't earn an income, what happens then?
A good way to think about it is by calling it 'tomorrow's plan'. If something happens tomorrow, what do you have in place now that will look after your family then?
Every year many New Zealanders are unable to work due to illness or injury. There are an estimated 60,000 stroke survivors in New Zealand, many who are disabled and in need of significant daily support. For those families affected, it can place a huge burden on finances and their quality of life.
To help you protect your family's future, we've compiled a few things we think they'll thank you for. You might even thank yourself.
1. Have a plan in case you get really sick or injured and can't earn an income.
If this happens and you're the main income earner, this could have a huge effect on your family's lifestyle. Having money to see your family through tough times means you'll be able to keep paying the rent or mortgage, health expenses or day-to-day living costs. There are a range of options available, some with lump sum cover amounts which you can set and change over time. Others, such as income protection, can provide a steady source of money over a set period of time.
2. Don't leave your family with your financial commitments
No one likes to think of their own mortality, but if there's one thing that's certain to happen sooner or later, it's your own death. If your family are still reliant on you, having the right cover in place will mean you can provide the immediate financial security they'll need when you're gone.
3. Get the right advice and cover for you and your family.
Many people think sorting out personal insurance is just too hard. It's not like a car you bought and so know the value of when protecting. Some will go so far as to get themselves personal insurance, but often the amount is not enough. Talking to the right people can make this process a lot easier and give you what you need. Qualified professionals such as financial advisers can look at your situation and talk through possible scenarios that relate to you and your family's future, ensuring you've got the right cover to meet your needs and budget.
4. Review your situation each year.
It's important to keep your personal insurance cover relevant as time goes by. Everyone's situation changes and the level of cover you have now might not be right for you in the future. Make changes as you go, increasing or reducing the level of cover as you go in relation to your financial security.
Identifying the right personal insurance for the needs of you and your family should be as important as protecting your things. Making sure you've got cover in place for the unexpected means your family is protected, whatever the future might hold.