WA Super News

Protecting you and your family - do you have the right insurance?

23/05/2014

Retirement is about enjoying the rewards earned through hard work and sacrifice. You have spent years building assets to provide your family with a comfortable life and years planning to create a comfortable retirement for yourself.  

Many of us discover in life that sometimes even the best planning can be quickly unravelled if we are faced with an unforeseen event.  We can’t always predict or prevent these events, but we can be prepared and have measures in place to ease the potential financial stress that they may cause. 

Even if your family is grown up, it doesn’t mean you can no longer protect them.  There are ways you can help them protect their financial futures or simply guide them in the right direction.

Could it happen to you?

“I’m invincible” “It’ll never happen to me” “I’ll be fine”

Who wants to believe that they’re ever going to be so affected by an illness or injury, they might never work again? Very few. In fact many of us prefer to believe we’re invincible, and nothing bad will ever happen.

We recently had a chance to catch up with one of our members, Peter Green, who never thought he would need to make an insurance claim for health reasons. In fact prior to claiming, Peter wasn’t aware he even had cover through his superannuation policy.

At 49, Peter’s focus was more on enjoying life with his wife and two kids, rather than the chance of being unable to support them financially. 

But after struggling with swollen joints and limited motion, Peter was diagnosed with severe rheumatoid arthritis. Peter also suffered from Antiphosolipid Syndrome, an autoimmune disease which creates blood clots in both arteries and veins. To cope with the combination of these illnesses, Peter has undergone several operations including wrist reconstructions and metal plate insertions.

Peter’s illness unfortunately became so debilitating he quickly exhausted his entire sick and annual leave benefits. But at this point, he didn’t realise he had Income Protection (IP) or Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance, so made an attempt to claim Centrelink benefits.

Unable to claim a government benefit, Peter’s concerns turned from himself to his family. How would he and his wife maintain their general living expenses, let alone their mortgage repayments, if he couldn’t earn any money?

His employer suggested he make enquiries with his super fund, WA Super, to see if he had any insurance through his superannuation policy. Peter was pleased to discover that through his WA Super policy, he had been allocated the default level of IP cover. While the default payment covered just 50% of his income for a two year period, this was the difference between Peter keeping his family home, or having to sell.

Peter also had cover for TPD, so when the combination of his illnesses left him unable to ever work again, he was able to make a further claim. Peter’s TPD claim for $79,000 was recently approved, and has made the world of difference to Peter and his family. 

Now a firm advocate for insurance, Peter wished he’d known more about the availability of the cover through his superannuation. Had he been more aware, Peter feels he would have chosen to increase his default cover, securing a higher percentage of his income. He would also have chosen to reduce the waiting time before he was eligible to claim. 

How can we help?

Designing an insurance plan tailored to your personal situation is extremely important. Members of WA Super have access to top-quality, full service financial planning on a fee-for-service basis. They can provide high quality financial advice and help you design an insurance plan that suits you. Our staff are salaried employees and therefore do not receive commissions. 

Contact us and book your appointment now, initial consultation is free.

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