Every milestone in life brings new expectations and new responsibilities. Karen Bongers, Product Development Actuary at Sanlam, explains: “When you are a young and entering the job market, your responsibilities may be limited to paying your own bills or they may extend to financially assisting your family. At this stage, your ability to earn an income is what makes it possible for you to take on those responsibilities. So, an income protection policy is critical to ensure that should you, for instance, become disabled, you will still have a steady source of income.”
Later, when you have a family, your future is tied to that of your wife or husband and children.
At this point too, it is critical to ensure that you and your family are properly covered in the event that life surprises you with a curve ball. Life cover becomes essential, especially if you are the main income provider; and the greater the number of people who rely on you for financial help and support, the more cover you need.
Bongers says another crucial time to consider life cover is when you acquire new assets. “You want to provide funds for any outstanding debt you may have in the event of your death. Consider what you owe on your bond and your car. If there is not enough money in your estate to pay for your remaining bond debt, your family could face the possibility of losing the roof over their heads. Your spouse might also be held responsible for any personal debt you may have had – and this at a time when he or she can ill afford it.”
While many people think about death, they seldom consider the possibility of being disabled or being diagnosed with a dreaded disease. Bongers says the expenses of modifying your home if you are disabled, or paying for transport and accommodation costs at a distant treatment centre in the event of dread disease, can be an additional blow to your family if you don’t have the appropriate cover.
“So when your life changes, make sure your risk cover doesn’t lag behind. Look for products that offer you maximum protection, like Sanlam’s range of quality risk benefits. Check whether your cover level is sufficient. Top it up if your responsibilities and debt have grown and also update your Will.”
By Karen Bongers