In my spare time I coach a Men’s Soccer team here in Toowoomba. As I started planning on my fifth season as coach, I reflected on the past and one thing stuck out at me:
In my 4 years as coach I’ve seen on average 2.5 serious injuries (broken bones, ACL tears etc.) each year in our squad of 40-or-so players. So let’s say this is a 1 in 16 chance a player will suffer major injury.
For some players a major injury isn’t an issue. For others it’s going to stop you from working and earning an income. But the other cost we don’t think about is whether any of us can afford the cost of the injury, treatment & rehab.
After discussing the injuries suffered by my players, the rehab and type of cover required it became clear just how important “specific injury cover” can be. Plenty of Income Protection policies have but as it is in the ‘optional’ component most opt-out.
Imagine if your policy had this clause and your monthly benefit was $5,000. Here are some of the injuries my players have suffered in the past 4 years and the payout they may have received:
a. Injury #1 – Broken Collarbone = payout of 1 month benefit (no wait) = $5,000
b. Injury #2 – Broken Ankle & Wrist = payout of 2 months benefit (no wait) = $10,000
c. Injury #3 – Broken (lower) Leg = payout of 3 months benefit = $15,000 (this player was also off work for 4 months so he would’ve received a further 3 months benefit once his 30 day waiting period was up, so $30,000 in total.)
d. Injury #4 – Broken Foot = depending on the insurer may have got a 1 month payout (no wait) = $5,000 (maybe)
e. Injury #5 – Torn ACL & Torn Meniscus = Nothing. This player could return to work post operation but if he couldn’t work for more than 30 days he would be eligible to receive part of his monthly benefit.
So you should note, there is a catch. Specific injury is limited to bone only, and only certain bones. Each policy is different here.
Now, Football Federation Australia has a compulsory insurance cover. Of 5 claims I have helped only one was successful. His payout was $1.
My point here is the right policy could cover a lot of your costs and some of your lost income. While many of these players were eligible for a payout in the right policy, none had it. We need to spread the word on getting the right cover for people who play sport.
Income Protection cover can be expensive, until you need it – then it’s cheap.
By: Nick Rundle