Every week 50 Victorian construction workers are severely injured because of work site incidences. There is no doubt that construction is high-risk work but it also pays highly well. That is why so many people are willing to take the risk. Perhaps you’re in mining and you only have to work a couple of years to save up a hefty bundle. Maybe you work longer and you could be sorted for retirement.
But the question is, what happens when something happens to you? Or more precisely, is your income protected should the worst happen?
Income Protection Insurance: What is exactly?
And how do you know if you need it? Income protection insurance for construction workers is designed specifically for people who work in the construction line, taking into account the high-risk and high-income nature of the job. If you are in one or more of the following areas of work, you would probably benefit from this sort of insurance: Welder, machinist, project manager, site engineer, electrical engineer, maintenance manager, contracts manager, health and safety manager, mining.
Income protection insurance protects your income should you no longer be able to work due to illness or injury. It doesn’t protect your income if you are made redundant, it is purely for incidences of illness and injury which are very real factors in the construction line.
As a professional who works in construction, you will be exposed to a variety of hazards such as electrical and machinery accidents or toxic chemical exposure such as asbestos poisoning. Yes, you can claim Work Cover, maybe even file law suits but these things take time and you never know when you will actually receive your funds. Having income protection insurance means you can be assured of regular income even when you are not going in to work.
Why get income protection insurance?
Protect against risk
The obvious reason is because of the high-risk nature of the job. You’ve chosen a line where the risk of injury is high. But with income protection insurance you can be sure that you can cover your daily and recurring costs of living, as well as the quality of life you have grown accustomed to. If you are insured for the appropriate amount you won’t have to worry about mortgages, or debt and bills being unpaid in the event that you are unable to work. In certain circumstances you may even recover more than that. But the most important thing is that your dependents and loved ones will not be left out on a lurch and you can continue providing for them while you recover.
Work Cover may not be enough
Work Cover is a federal government insurance initiative which your employer takes out with the government. The trouble is, it only covers you for illness or injury that happens during working hours and on the job. It doesn’t cover you if you’re sick or get injured outside the work environment.
The other issue is, and many claimants seem to face this, there are often delays in payment while your level of disablement is being determined. Whether you eventually get a lump-sum entitlement or regular weekly payments, it may be some time before you actually get the cash in hand. In the mean time, you will still have to service your housing loans, car loans and daily living expenses.
Peace of mind during your recovery
One of the best things income protection insurance offers is peace of mind. Worrying about your mortgage and bills and your family expenses is the last thing you want to think about when you’re injured or in pain. Having an income protection plan lets you focus completely on your recovery.
After all the most important thing is your health and in your line, the faster you can get back on your feet, the quicker you can get back to earning money and enjoying life.
Things to ask your insurance agent
What is the waiting period for getting your claims?
You can choose a variety of waiting periods. But generally, the shorter your waiting period, the higher your premiums. Many people try to find a reasonable balance as they would have a buffer in hand for times of emergency.
How much coverage will you get?
In general, you can get up to 75% of your regular income but the exact amount would depend on your insurance company and the type of insurance you get.
How long will you be covered for?
Again, the options are variable. It is best to discuss with your agent and make sure you are covered for the period when you will be at risk.
How much will it cost?
There is no easy answer to this as every individual is different and many factors are at play. It depends on the insurance company you go with, the level of insurance you get, the type of insurance you opt for and the coverage period. At the end of the day, you will have to weigh out all the different factors and decide what is best for you.
To get or not get?
Income protection insurance only covers your income when you are ill or injured. It doesn’t cover you if you are made redundant or have opted to take time off work. Work Cover provides you with a reasonable safety net when you are actually working but income protection insurance goes far beyond that.
It takes into account the risky nature of your business and understands the fact that if you are unable to work you stand to lose a substantial amount of income. More importantly, you will lose the quality of life you would have been accustomed to. As a high-earning individual, a lot of your family investments and lifestyle choices depend on you. Having income protection insurance enables you to have the peace of mind that you and your family are protected even if you are injured outside the work place.