shutterstock_204652387Recently we saw the very poignant Carrie Bickmore share her experience of losing her husband to brain cancer, in the bid to raise awareness for what is the leading cause of cancer death in young people.

At the moment I’m working with two young men and their families who have been affected by the disease. The fight they face is unimaginable. My role is to provide some financial guidance to soften the ride, and in this case it’s claiming personal insurance.

Getting young people to insure themselves is a tough sell. It’s difficult to see the value when you have good health, few financial commitments and no dependents. At this stage saving cost is the biggest priority, and this is often the motivation for consolidating superannuation.

I see it all the time – superannuation funds encouraging members to consolidate their superannuation accounts. When I first meet people they are often tell me they’re in the process of doing this, or have just done this.

Yes, tidying up your superannuation to minimise fees and make it easier to track investments makes a lot of sense. Often people will choose to consolidate their super into the account with the biggest balance – again, a logical decision.

What people – and often younger people – overlook is personal insurance within these funds.

While there are restrictions on the amount of income protection you can claim, you can claim all of your life or total and permanent disablement (TPD) insurance policies at a time you need them. Importantly, most superannuation funds will let you claim your life insurance when you are diagnosed with a terminal illness. Consolidating your superannuation is still a wise move, but replacing your personal insurance first is essential.

I feel like I’m making a real difference to the lives of my clients when I bring them some good financial news, telling them they have personal insurance that they are eligible to claim at a time they need it most. I’d prefer to be the doctor giving them good health news, but sometimes life gives you lemons. A bit of sugar makes it easier to swallow.

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