The truth be told, no-one ever expects a permanent disability, though it can happen with the blink of an eye.
Take for example Peter who was working on his holiday home. He had been brick veneering the fibro house and was cleaning the brickwork with acid when he slipped and fell off his ladder.
It wasn't the fall that was the major trouble, it was the bucket of diluted acid that followed him off the ladder and splashed into his eyes.
The ambulance took over an hour to get to him and despite Peter thoroughly flushing his eyes with water, he lost over 90% of his vision in both eyes.
Peter now has the help of a guide dog, though he can never work as a builder again but thankfully he had a significant payout from his permanent disability insurance of $500,000 which enabled him to make the adjustments in life he needed.
Permanent disability can occur through accident or injury.
The resulting disability could leave you without the ability to work, or severely impair your ability to work, resulting in significant loss in income.
Common permanent disabilities include;
- Deafness or
- Total and Permanent Loss of Use of Two Limbs
Now if these occur through work, you are likely to be covered to a certain extent through workers compensation. Though the extent of workers compensation cover is still not likely to cover your income and expenses for you and your dependents for the rest of your life.
However, a lot of injuries occur outside work hours and are non-work related.
Many people who incur a permanent disability may also have significant medical bills, can suffer from depression and can have other costly changes - like modifying their homes and transport.
You can insure yourself against these unexpected bills and inability to work in the future. But just what is the likelihood of something happening to you?
Freak accidents like Peter's example above are not the only causes of long term disabilities. Illness can also be a cause, this may be through cancer, heart attack or diabetes.
A lot causes of long term disabilities are not work-related, and therefore there will be no cover provided by workers' compensation.
In Australia, injury is the principal cause of death in people under 45 years of age, and a leading cause of mortality, morbidity and permanent disability.
So, permanent disability insurance, serious injury cover, or accident insurance and income protection should be high on the agenda for protection to complement life insurance.
These articles are provided as reference material to allow more informed decision making, but are not intended as being a complete source of information on any topic. All readers should make their own independent analysis on the topic to make sure they have considered the aspects that are important to them.