Photo: Bloomberg.

JOHANNESBURG – Most young, working professionals take out insurance on valuables such as cars, smartphones and property. 

Why then would you hesitate to insure your most dependable asset – your ability to work and earn an income?

This is a question Jaco Gouws, Protection Product Head at Old Mutual Personal Finance believes more people need to ask themselves. 

“49% of all Greenlight Disability Income claims were for people under the age of 45. This just proves that anyone, regardless of age, can become disabled.”

“For some reason, we find it easier to imagine the risk of losing a material possession than the risk of losing our ability to work, which is alarming considering just how valuable our earning ability is and how easily it can be taken away.”

“Often when people think of a disability, they think of a physical injury; but there are many other factors that can cause a disability. According to the 2017 Old Mutual Disability Monitor, 70% of the respondents said that a poor lifestyle is the main cause of disabilities in the workplace. In comparison, only 30% said that workplace disabilities are a result of physical injuries.”

No matter how unlikely you think you are of being in an accident, it’s important to have disability cover. Anyone can get disabled, in many different ways, and while there’s nothing we can do to fully prepare for a disability, having sufficient cover in place will at least provide peace of mind that you will be able to cope financially.

The thing about disability cover, adds Gouws, is that it financially safeguards not only the policyholder but their dependents too.

It will replace your income during the period in which you are unable to work so that you and your family can continue to see to your financial responsibilities and afford any equipment that you need to adjust to the disability.

Having to live with a disability brings a host of other challenges, says Gouws. “A disability impacts every aspect of your life, not only financially, but also emotionally and socially.”

“A positive trend has been the shift in the global conversation toward more inclusivity and representation for people living with disabilities. Apart from a growing global culture of acceptance, more and more organisations, products and services are adapting to accommodate disabled individuals. This ties in with the theme of this year’s International Day for Persons with Disabilities: transformation towards a sustainable and resilient society for all, which aims to promote the rights and perspectives of persons with disabilities around the world,” Gouws concludes.

PERSONAL FINANCE