Who made new year resolutions?  Are you still on good terms with them 6 weeks or so into 2018?

During the week, I found myself wondering how many people would have made it a resolution to protect their business and their family against their death or disability.  Any takers?

Within a week of our kids going back to school, I heard of the deaths of three parents of my own approximate age.  That’s three sets of kids I know of who have lost a parent, a husband lost a wife or vice versa.

According to recent research by Aviva:

  • Only 6% of respondents said they held Income Protection insurance
  • 85% admitted they worry about the prospect of illness or injury preventing them from providing for their family
  • More than 3 in 5 said they were concerned about mental illness keeping them out of work. 

I can only imagine the emotional devastation these losses have created.  However, imagine the financial devastation. The surviving parent has to look after the kids, themselves, the home, their job, bills, education, holidays and everything else they may like to provide with a lot less time and a lot more demands on one person’s ability.

Imagine for a minute that parent was self-employed.  The business will certainly have challenges – potentially it may wind up.  Perhaps the surviving spouse will take over and may have good relationships with customers and therefore a fighting chance.  But we can’t create more time in the day or week and the hole created must be filled.

Now, let’s imagine the family and business owner had made it a resolution to put in place adequate provisions to ensure that, if anything happened to them, the financial effect of this loss or disability could be reduced or eliminated.

The loss is devastating, no doubt about it.  However, a financial cushion will help the family unit to grieve and move on without the financial stress.  A business can be given a much greater chance of survival by treating it like a child.  Without a parent, what would happen? Without a managing director, owner, what will happen to the business? If you, however, give the business the financial cushion to survive the loss, re-structure and move on, it can continue to play an active role in your family’s life and its financial security.

So, now a dilemma.  The same survey mentioned above found we are far more likely to insure our gadgets and pets than insure ourselves.  What does this say about priorities?

It may not have been a New Year Resolution, but do resolve to address these most obvious of exposures and take a Prudent look at your future.