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#Movember, time for action: Are you covered by critical illness and income protection insurance?

*This content is brought to you by Carrick Wealth, leaders in wealth and capital management

If you are a high net worth individual or professional with a demanding, stressful schedule, or an executive who is behind a desk 24/7, travels frequently or in wall-to-wall meetings, you realise that your health could suffer and something could go wrong at any time. So, to protect yourself, your family, your company, and your investments you go to the gym, have a good medical aid, life cover and possibly even critical illness cover and income protection cover.

A recent Rippe Health Assessment Study of Senior Executives found that senior executives have a higher risk of heart disease and are also prone to elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure, among other potential health issues. And according to Corporate Wellness Magazine an increasing number of the boards of major corporations are insisting on health clearance of their top executives with wellness programmes becoming increasingly popular in the corporate world. With good reason, as the executive lifestyle is filled with risks that can lead to serious, chronic health conditions and can have a devastating impact on both the affected individual and his or her company.

In South Africa, professionals and corporate executives are also prone to the same diseases – a number of them stress-related – that are included in the top twenty causes of death in South Africa. Among these the South African Medical Research Council lists strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, hypertensive disease, lung cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, inflammatory heart diseases, and suicide.

The Movember Foundation talks about critical illness

And it would seem men run a bigger risk than women. In fact, the Movember Foundation says men’s health is in crisis, and men experience worse longer-term health than women and die on average six years earlier. The foundation has prioritised the funding of what it views as being three of the biggest health issues faced by men – prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health. The foundation says prostate cancer rates will double in the next 15 years and testicular cancer rates have already doubled in the last 50.

Most of us probably already have life cover that takes care of things in the event of our death. But fewer people think of adding cover against critical illness caused by, for instance, heart attack, various cancers or stroke. These conditions usually come with very high medical bills not always fully covered by your medical aid.

Modern medical advances mean that more people can now survive illnesses once thought to be fatal and can continue to lead relatively normal lives after suffering such events, albeit probably with less mobility or good health than before. If you are diagnosed with one of the specified medical conditions or injuries listed in your policy, critical illness cover will pay out a cash lump sum that reduces your financial burden, helps to maintain your independence and can assist in paying for your recovery.

Critical Illness Cover vs Income Protection Cover

Many people mistakenly believe that their critical illness cover includes income protection but that is seldom the case. These are essentially two separate types of cover. It is therefore essential that you have your risk portfolio assessed by a financial adviser to make sure you enjoy optimum cover in every respect.

Income protection cover will replace and ensure you continue to receive at least part of your income, and will continue to pay out until you are able to work again. It can also ensure that your retirement planning is not affected and that your emergency savings are not eroded. It covers most illnesses that leave you unable to work and you can claim as many times as you need to during the term of the policy.

It is essential to understand that illness cover and income protection are not the same thing, and in most cases, it would require both types of cover to be able to continue maintaining your lifestyle and to take care of all the financial issues associated with or affected by unforeseen health events.

Critical Illness and Income Protection cover will provide you and your family a safety net when the unexpected happens and many things can go wrong. Your financial adviser can assess and advise you in order to give you the right amount of cover to suit your age, income, lifestyle and family composition.

You should act without delay to obtain the right type and combination of cover for yourself or in the case of a corporate entity for all your executives. If you want to find out more or whether you are adequately covered, contact us today at [email protected].

  • Carrick Wealth is a registered South African financial services provider specialising in South African and international financial planning. Carrick is also licensed in Zimbabwe and Botswana, and holds three global licences in Mauritius. Carrick at all times maintains its  independence with regard to product providers and asset managers, and provides bespoke risk assessment, financial planning and other services to high net worth individuals (HNWI). Through partnerships with industry leaders in the fields of foreign exchange, tax, international property, offshore bank accounts, trusts, wills and estate planning, Carrick is able to provide the highest levels of service for your financial planning and investment requirements, both offshore and domestic.
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