By COURTNEY PURL

RISK INSURANCE MANAGER, WEALTH ADVISORY | ADELAIDE

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What is it and why would I need it? “I’m only young”………

When we are younger we often think that nothing serious will happen to us in regards to our health. Right? We are generally looking forward to things ahead of us (whether it be planning for a holiday, the next job opportunity, getting married, having a family, etc.), not even considering anything that could get in our way.

I often have young people say to me “why would I need trauma cover”, “Can’t I just get it later when something might be more likely to happen to me”, “I have no family history of cancer”. The unfortunate thing for all of us is none of us are immune from cancer (or any other trauma condition for that matter). There are things we can try and do to reduce our risk such as not smoking, eating more vegetables/fruit/whole grains, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, minimising sun exposure and minimising stress.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t get cancer if we ‘do the right things’. A prime example of this is my 28 year old colleague who has recently been diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. She couldn’t be much healthier in my eyes- doesn’t smoke, drinks minimal amounts of alcohol, is vegan, fit and healthy, uses natural/organic products, is a care free person with minimal stress and no family history. Go figure!

Some interesting facts:

  • Less than 10% of breast cancers are due to a family history
  • 95% of bowel cancers start from polyps
  • Diabetics have 2-3 times more chance of getting cancer
  • All of our bodies produce 20 cancer cells a day
  • Stress reduces our immunity and increases our chance of cancer as it can prevent our bodies from fighting those cancer cells
  • 50% of cancer sufferers will have mental health consequences

A lot of us will know about Life cover and TPD cover but not many people know about Trauma cover. It is a lump sum payment that you insure for and is payable upon diagnosis of many different critical illness such as cancer, heart attack, stroke, MS, head traumas, severe diabetes, and many more. The money can then be used to help with those out of pocket medical expenses, give you choice of treatment, provide money to allow your partner to take time off of work to care for you and also help supplement your time off work. It’s worth thinking about what you would do personally if you were to suffer a critical illness and how this would affect your own personal/family situation.

The purpose of insurance is to help keep life as ‘normal’ as possible when these situations are thrown at us. I know in my personal situation I took out trauma cover years ago as I didn’t want my parents to sell assets in order to pay for any treatment/medication should I be diagnosed with something like cancer.

I think a lot of people don’t realise the out of pocket cost of having cancer (any medical condition really) which isn’t necessarily picked up by Medicare or private health cover. Let alone the cost of lost household income and the cost to have a choice for what treatment and doctors you would like to use. To give you an idea, the average out of pocket costs of some cancers are as follows: Melanoma (approx. $20,000), Breast Cancer (approx. $35,000), Prostate (approx. $35,000), Ovarian/Uterine/Cervical ($45,000), Leukaemia (approx. $125,000) with brain cancer being the highest at around $180,000. This out of pocket cost can escalate even further when you look at the level of care you want.

A minority of cancer patients can require treatment that is not supported by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and the public health system. Our experience suggests that the costs of non-PBS drugs and other associated treatment can be in the order of $50,000 per year. If treatment is successful, it can be required for number of years.

If you ever need to chat to anyone about trauma cover (or any other life insurance for that matter), please don’t hesitate to contact me


Courtney is a Senior Advisor for Risk Insurance at William Buck, helping her clients protect their most valuable asset, themselves. She always goes the extra mile to assist, especially in times of need. Courtney has just returned from maternity leave and has a new baby boy. 

 

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