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Wiser In HindSight

It has been the theme for TV commercials, movies and books. It applies to all of us in some respect of some aspect of life.

"If we had the chance to do something again - would we do it differently?"

The thought hits us for a range of different reasons - for some the consequences of their actions weren't apparent at the time, others the situation has escalated way beyond their control and others they didn't think it could happen to them.

I bring this line of thought up because in the past week I have had three calls from dentists who have wanted to increase their insurance cover or establish a policy after an unexpected event.

One, had time off work and received a disability / income protection claim now realizes that he is under insured. The cost of maintaining his practice and his personal income were higher than previously thought.

Another, with a family member requiring tests and possible ongoing hospital treatment, thought medical insurance would be a good idea.

The last, having required CT and MRI scans as part of an emergency procedure decided to revisit his insurance covers.

In all instances the value of insurance suddenly became clearer. While all three are in the process of applying for additional covers their recent medical history will have a bearing on the policy put in place. It may be they are subject to a premium loading, an exclusion for a particular ailment, or having the policy deferred until such time as their health has stabilised.

Insurance is a very simple concept - it will provide a sum of money at the time of an unexpected event. The premium charged is in relation to the likelihood of that event. In respect of all three mentioned above the possibility of a claim has risen and the event is now not so unexpected.

A comparison can be drawn with the house owner who phones the insurance company while watching his house burn down. By that stage it is too late to insure the property.

As for life and disability insurance, it is important not only to have the right amount but to establish it at a time when you are capable of buying it. This is when you are in good health. It is a little bit like a bank loan "you have to prove you don't need it to get it".

Now is always the best time to determine your cover needs. The worst thing for me to tell anyone is "I'm sorry I can't do anything for you". Don't wait until your health is on fire before providing for the things that really matter to you - family and business.

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