Fully covered?

Mandi Smallhorne
2013-10-28 09:11
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Pretoria - When you purchase a home, the terms of your bond will ensure that you take out life insurance, if you don’t have adequate cover already. But is that all you’ll need?

Every day, between 30 and 35 South Africans are killed on our roads. But in the same 24-hour time period, about 140 or more of us are disabled. If you were in an accident on the road or at work and landed up in the spinal unit of a major hospital, with the prospect of months in rehabilitation and a disability thereafter, would you retain your job?

Would you need to retrain to do something else? And what if you weren’t able to work at all?

When you’ve been through a major, life-changing experience like this, the last thing you need is to be turfed out of your home. But if you were unable to earn, or earn the same kind of salary as you were accustomed to, one of the very first things you’d be forced to do is put your home on the market.

Yet very few South Africans have disability cover or income replacement insurance.

And it doesn’t even have to be a permanent disability to turn your world upside down. Many more people suffer a temporary disability which leaves them unable to work for extended periods – which is why disability cover usually includes temporary disability.

So it’s a very good idea to budget for disability cover, and/or income replacement, when you’re figuring out if you can afford to buy a new home.

One more thought about covering yourself: have you considered gap cover for medical expenses? If you were in an accident where you required hospitalisation and surgery or other treatment, or if you suddenly had to have a heart bypass, or if you were diagnosed with cancer, your medical aid would cover much of the costs.

But not all.

Campaigning for Cancer says that in a case study on breast cancer developed by BrightRock, it was clear that individuals with breast cancer might have to self-fund for as much as R150 000 (or even more) because their medical aid was likely only to cover up to about R450 000 for treatment.

It might be worth investigating an affordable policy to cover that gap; very few of us can find a couple of hundred thousand rand without seriously compromising our lifestyles and perhaps risking our homes.

 - Fin24

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