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More than nice to have

No one likes talking about the worst-case scenarios in life. Your own sense of health, mortality and the wellbeing of your loved ones are areas for discussion that require a degree of sensitivity

While investment products and savings vehicles are often seen as the ‘nice to haves’ amongst financial matters, protection is seen as the essential foundation – the safe pair of hands that will keep you supported in time of need. Life insurance is a great starting point and it’s wise to look at the vast range of options as early as possible. Leaving it until ‘later’ might inadvertently be leaving it too late altogether.

Consider your options

Protection policies can be for a specific term or what is referred to as ‘whole of life’. The former group might include level or decreasing term, which will alter the amounts paid out depending on the point of claim and how far into the policy term that claim sits. The premiums will vary according to the amount of cover, obviously, as well as age and other factors.

Family income benefit, rather than paying out a lump sum on death, will see your family receiving a regular income until the policy expires. Again, the point of claim will determine how much benefit is paid out to your beneficiaries. Just to complicate things further, policies can be written to cover a single life, joint life (paying out on either first or second death) or on the ‘life of another’ - your adviser will explain the different options.

Critical illness cover

Often illness, rather than death in the family, is as hard to handle. Critical illness cover pays out if you contract a specified medical condition or injury. This particular sector is going through a great deal of evolution as advancements in medical care and technology allows an earlier diagnosis of many critical illnesses.

While we can’t stop you from getting ill or dying, decent cover can significantly ease the financial burden, giving you one less thing to worry about when times are tough, and it’s a far easier discussion to have sooner rather than later. If you leave it until you think it’s potentially more relevant it might not only be too late, but trying to alleviate the financial stress when there are far more emotive factors at play could prove rather difficult.