Are you covered?

A few weeks ago I woke up with a pain in my foot. I can’t remember doing anything to it and I walked it off, bringing the dog for his walk up the mountains near my home. The next day we headed off on holidays on the ferry to France. That night in the cabin, the pain returned. It was enough to keep me awake but not enough to wake my wife about it. In the morning, I got up to use the bathroom and an excruciating pain shot up my leg. In the bathroom, I began to feel faint, so I sat down on the toilet. The next I remember, there were two strangers picking me up off the floor in a tiny bathroom in a cabin on a ferry. My wife said that all my muscles had tightened and she thought I was having a stroke. Being hours from shore, she thought that was the end of it. In the end I was fine, a bit of strapping, some nurofen and some rest and I was ok. But what if I wasn’t? I told my wife that we’d be alright financially because we had plenty of cover in place.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

This is the old E111 card. If you travel to Europe, get one of these. It allows you to get healthcare for free or at a reduced cost in the EU or European Economic Area. The card lasts 4 years and you can re-apply online (first one has to be applied for by post or in person). It takes the worry away about not being treated if something happens when on holidays.

Income Protection

If the worst had happened and I did have a stroke, it is unlikely that I would work again. Or if I did, it would be after years of rehabilitation and Bluewater Financial Planning would almost certainly be closed down. I have an income protection plan that will pay me an income until I return to work or reach age 65. The income is taxed and they can’t pay out more than 75% of my income, but I do know that there is an income coming in every month so the bills are paid and we don’t have to worry about paying the mortgage each month.

Critical Illness Cover

We also have critical illness cover. People tend to get this and income protection mixed up. Whereas income protection will pay a regular income, critical illness is paid as a once off lump sum. There is no set maximum figure, so I can take it out for multiples of my salary if I wish. The lump sum payments isn’t taxed either. This can help pay for any immediate costs that need to be met if you get a serious illness. Or we can use the money to pay the mortgage for a number of years.

The one we have is linked to our life cover, so if there is a pay out, the life cover will reduce by that amount. This is called accelerated cover. The reason we have that is if you get a critical illness and don’t survive it for 14 days, the plan won’t pay out. Also, if I get knocked down by a bus, it won’t pay out. So by linking it to the life cover plan, if I don’t survive 14 days, the life cover element will pay out instead. Also, adding the life cover element to a critical illness plan isn’t any more expensive.

Life Cover

If the worst came to the worst (anyone can have an accident at any time), both myself and my wife have life cover in place to protect each other and our children if something happened. We don’t want our family to be under financial pressure if one of us dies young, so we have a decent amount of cover. We have a separate life cover plan in place for our mortgage. As the bank just want the debt repaid if someone dies, we have a mortgage protection policy, which reduces in line with the mortgage over time.

Do you feel you and your family are covered if a disaster struck? Let me know at