It’s a matter of life & death

What’s with all the life insurance ads on TV at the moment? You can’t go a day without seeing an advert for life insurance. Do they all know something we don’t? Is there something big coming that us, Joe Public, have no idea about? Or maybe, just maybe, they do know something we don’t – that Australian’s currently under insure. We value our cars, our homes and our possessions but most Australians don’t value their own lives enough to insure themselves.

We recently had a major health scare in our family and it made me seriously think about my own mortality. What would happen to hubby & Miss K if I was to die suddenly? What would happen to all the bills? the house? general everyday expenses? We have mortgage insurance, private health insurance, house & contents and car insurance but not life insurance.

Why? Honestly, it’s because we think we can’t really afford it. We are a low income family and things can be tough at times. But when you look at it, if one of us were to pass away it would probably get tougher. And like about 50% of Australians we had difficulty understanding all the terms or getting unbiased information. All companies are going to tell you their insurance is the best/cheapest/offers the best cover.

Did you know that 1/3 of super fund members are unaware that their fund offers insurance cover? Does yours? I checked hubby’s super and his does – he didn’t even know!

According to a 2008 joint survey* conducted by the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) and Industry Funds Forum (IFF)

* 1 in 2 industry fund members were underinsured by $100,000 or more
* More than 50% of respondents were under-insured for death cover by $100,000
* For Total and Permanent Disability cover, 74% are underinsured by $100,000 or more
* For Income Protection cover, 45% are underinsured by $1000 or more a month

The only exception was under 32s without dependents. This group was found to be over-insured in many cases.

Why am I sharing this with you all? September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. The Australian Life Insurance Movement, inspired by a similar movement in the USA, has been created as part of Life Insurance Awareness Month to increase an awareness about the problem of underinsurance in Australia.

Out of interest I visited the Life Insurance Finder to get a rough idea of what it would cost us to get life insurance for me. I’m a 34yo, female, non smoker (and based on the calculator on site) chose $300,000 cover. The result – I could get life insurance for as little as $18 a month. When you look at it, that’s not really a lot – $4.50 a week! The average take away coffee is $4.50!! So you could have your coffee at home and spend your $4.50 on insuring your life. Your children will thank you.

Visit the life insurance calculator from Life Insurance Finder and then compare life insurance plans to find the right option for you.

Disclaimer – I am participating in the LIFE Awareness campaign. I received a VISA gift card for this post courtesy of Life Insurance Finder via Digital Parents Collective. I am also in the running to win an iPad3. As always, all opinions are purely my own.

*Source – http://www.aist.asn.au/media/2358/aist_2008.06.03_media_Underinsured.pdf

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