Thu | Sep 20, 2018

Deborah Vieira | Financial protection in the event of a disability

Published:Sunday | January 7, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Deborah Vieira
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I am sure you will agree that we take a lot of things for granted on a daily basis. For example, exercising, playing a sport, preparing a meal, running an errand, driving to work, to name a few.

How would your life change if you suddenly had a critical illness, lost your vision, hearing, or ability to speak, or had to amputate any of your limbs, or lost your memory? Yes, a disability may be permanent or short lived. Either way, life becomes very challenging and difficult for you and those around you.

First of all, having a disability becomes very costly and affects your relationship with others either because you have become more dependent on others, or you have lost your source of income or both. It also leads to emotional and social issues. Seemingly simple tasks like walking, eating, or reading can become difficult or even impossible.

While these examples of disability are of the more severe type, something relatively simple such as injury to the fingers of a surgeon's hands could render him or her disabled and not able to carry out the duties for which he or she are trained and in which he or she experienced.

There are disability policies that cover these needs and would allow the insured to claim for benefits.

Think also of the cost of having to reconfigure one's home to accommodate a wheelchair or to have a ramp installed; or learning braille for someone unable to see or taking extra time to complete an assignment or exam because of a mental disability.

We all know of family or friends who have suffered from these disabilities or illnesses that cause major disruptions in their families. Family members sometimes feel guilty that they are healthy and independent while their loved one is not.

These disabilities or illnesses can be covered by insurance. With the incidence of accidents on the roads, at home or on the job, having a local and/or an overseas health insurance plan will at least assist in providing cash when you need it most. More claims are paid for a client's medication than the disability itself.

Having an income-replacement plan while you are disabled should be considered a vital part of your financial security portfolio. Most persons cannot afford to pay for a prolonged illness or accident when they cannot work.

Without being able to work, how do you plan to pay the mortgage, your credit card bills, or send your child to school? The money that you have saved for your retirement or your investments can be wiped out in a relatively short while due to a disability. In any case, why use those funds when you can pay pennies a piece for insurance dollars? Remember, insurance cannot be bought after you are disabled or have experienced a critical illness.

I want to leave you with this thought. What is your greatest asset? Most people say it is their home or their car, but is that really so? The answer is simple: your ability to work and earn an income is your greatest asset. So if you insure your home or car, then why not insure you.

- Deborah Vieira is a financial-insurance adviser at Lawe Insurance Brokers Limited. Email deborahv@laweinsurance.com