I know this will come as a shock to many of you, but bosses tend not to pay people when they are unable to work! 

Generally speaking, our employers as private businesses will not be able to pay us in full while we are off work ill, so we would go to statutory sick pay of £94.25 weekly once you have been off work for 4 or more days consecutively. You can check out the details and facts here
 
 
Your employer would be liable to pay this for 28 weeks, but as we all know, this amount of money doesn’t stretch very far in modern life! 
 
In recent weeks I had had the unenviable task of being approached by several colleagues who have been injured or are unable to work for other reasons. Their injuries/circumstances have meant that sadly their ability to work is impaired, and as a consequence they have had questions as to whether they should have had income protection: the answer, is inevitably YES! 
 
You will notice a slightly different tone in this blog post to my usual jovial one as this is serious stuff. If you have a mortgage, or significant outgoings then this is a must have-your home, possessions and way of life can very much be at risk if you do not have appropriate protection.
 
We have all heard the stories, and these things happen in the blink of an eye: from breaking an arm to being bitten and losing part of a finger, being kicked by a horse to having a cat bite abscess causing serious consequences from spreading disease. It isn’t just the physical side of things that can be covered with the policies, as we are all aware at the moment, our roles in this profession can take a serious toll on our mental wellbeing and a policy can also include cover for time off work with stress related issues. 
 
I was lucky growing up, my old man was an independent financial advisor, meaning that we were always advised of the needs for cover. So, I have had a policy from the day I graduated. However, my needs have changed over the years so that my cover has needed to increase in value (and therefore the premiums). 
 
What is income protection? 

Income protection is an insurance policy helps support you financially if you have time off work and suffer a loss of earnings because of injury or illness.

How does it work? 

Generally speaking, income protection policies will pay you between 50-70% of your gross salary on a rolling monthly basis until you can return to work  (please note that I would recommend doing what I have done and having a policy that is specific to our chosen career, otherwise the policy may run out if you can return to any form of work).

You will have a chosen ‘lag’ period between you being injured and the payments starting, if you have more in savings and can live off them for a short period then the premiums are likely to be smaller (and thus the policy more affordable). However, if you have no savings, you can arrange for them to kick in immediately should you wish. 

I have critical illness cover though…
 
Critical illness and income protection policies are DIFFERENT-they are very ‘Ronseal’ and do what they say on the tin: Critical illness cover will pay you atax-free lump sum of money if you are diagnosed with a critical illnessduring the policy term (see individual providers for their definitions of critical illnesses). As long as you keep paying your premiums, you should be covered throughout the term. Once the policy term ends, all protection stops.
 
Why should I have my own policy?
 
Having any kind of policy and benefit from your employer is a fantastic benefit, but don’t forget, if you leave that position, that policy may not go with you and therefore you may need to take out a new one: thus meaning your premiums may become higher, whilst if you have your own policy that is yours for life! 
 
How much does it cost? 
Policy costs vary depending on a number of factors including:
1.what job you do
2.your age
3.your generally health and wellbeing (including medical history)
4.how much of your income you want to receive on a monthly basis -obviously the more you want the more it costs
5. when you want the policy to end

So there you have it. A whistle stop tour into guarding and protecting yourself should it all hit the fan and make sure that you need not worry if something bad happens and that you can still keep a roof over your head, a car on your drive and pay your bills! First world problems hey! 
 
If you have any questions, or any other topics you want to see light, quick easy to understand blogs for the Simply Locums community then please do get in touch….