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Do Medicare & Health Insurance fully cover cancer treatment? Not always… December 6, 2016

Posted by Meike Suggars in Personal Insurance, Trauma Insurance.
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Our Medicare system is one of the best public health systems in the world. Combined with health insurance, it means most Australians get the medical treatment they need. But not always.

Medical research is constantly advancing so new drugs are being developed all the time. Imagine if there was a drug available that might help you win your battle against cancer, but it was too new to be funded by the government. Imagine if that meant it would leave you hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket?

This is a possibility, and a reality for some Australians, as this article in the Herald Sun from 2014 explains (also available here in PDF).

There is often a large out of pocket cost for patients who want the best care, even with Medicare and Health Insurance. This gap could be funded by using up your savings, taking out an extra mortgage, borrowing from family or friends, or with a Trauma Insurance payout.

Trauma insurance can give you emergency cash if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness like cancer so you can focus on recovery without worrying about money. 

Talk to your financial adviser or contact Suggars & Associates to find out if you should have Trauma insurance.

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What is Trauma Insurance? November 3, 2016

Posted by Meike Suggars in Personal Insurance, Trauma Insurance.
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To put it simply, it’s a lump sum of emergency cash that can be paid if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness so you can focus on recovery without financial worry.

Most trauma policies cover around 40 specific medical conditions. To qualify for a payout, your diagnosis needs to meet the specific medical definition outlined in your policy for one of those conditions. The most common Trauma claims are for cancer and heart attack.

Zurich is one of Australia’s largest retail insurers[1] and in 2015 they paid $33,800,000 in trauma claims. For women, 80% of these were for cancer and 9% for heart attack with cancer accounting for 51% of claims for men and 24% for heart attack[2]. Most other Australian insurers have similar statistics.

Trauma insurance can pay a set amount (the insured benefit). Unlike health insurance which requires you to spend money and then get a rebate, trauma is paid as a lump sum and you can spend it on anything you need to deal with your medical condition. You may be eligible to claim on your trauma as well as your income protection for the same medical condition if it prevents you from working.

You don’t need to be working to apply for trauma insurance. This insurance is available from the age of 16 and your policy can remain in force until you turn 70.

What Conditions are Covered?

So, other than malignant cancer and heart attack what are some of the other conditions that are covered? Most policies also cover:

  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Motor neurone disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Major burns
  • Major head trauma
  • Organ transplant
  • Benign brain tumour
  • Blindness
  • Chronic kidney, liver and lung disease
  • Dementia
  • Advanced diabetes
  • Paraplegia
  • Occupationally or medically acquired HIV

Who should have Trauma Insurance?

If any of the following apply to you, then you could consider trauma insurance:

  • You want the best medical care, regardless of cost or what your health insurance/Medicare covers
  • You want to replace lost income while you’re not working
  • You have school-aged kids and you’re the primary carer
  • Your spouse would want to take time off work to look after you if you were diagnosed with a serious illness
  • You have a mortgage
  • You’re guarantor on someone else’s loan
  • You’re single and are solely responsible for your financial security
  • You’ve got children and would want to take time off work if they became seriously sick or injured

piggy bank.jpg

How much does Trauma Insurance cost?

Your premium is calculated based on your age, gender, whether you smoke and of course the amount of cover and features you want. Your medical history can also impact your premium.

Stepped premiums are cheaper in the short term but increase each year with age and can become expensive when you’re most likely to need protection in your 40s. Level premiums are more expensive in the short term but are generally lower in cost over the long term as they do not increase with age so your policy is more likely to remain affordable as you get older.

The following table gives a guide for illustration purposes (calculated on 20/10/2016 – assumes client has not previously suffered a medical condition or disease).

Non-smoker office worker $100,000 Premier Trauma cover with reinstatement
– stepped premium
Female Male
Age 18 $20-30/m $20-30/m
Age 30 $25-35/m $25-30/m
Age 45 $65-85/m $60-80/m
Age 55 $130-190/m $180-270/m

To find out the best way for you to get trauma cover, speak to a financial adviser as there are different options available from different insurers and some will protect you better than others. They will be able to provide you with a firm premium quote specific to your needs, which may also include other types of insurance such as term life, TPD and income protection.

The information contained in this document is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser.


[1] Source: https://www.pwc.com.au/publications/assets/insurance-facts-figures-may2016.pdf

[2] Source: https://www.zurich.com.au/content/dam/australia/life_insurance/marketing/Zurich-Australia-facts-about-zurich-claims.pdf

Your home or your mortgage? October 2, 2012

Posted by Meike Suggars in Personal Insurance, Trauma Insurance.
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Of course we’re all invincible and “it won’t happen to me”. But with statistics showing cardiovascular disease kills one Australian every 24 minutes (ABS reported ischaemic heart diseases were the cause of death for 21708 people Aust in 2010) and cancer rates at 1 in 3, it happens to someone.

Thankfully, medical advances and earlier detection mean chances of survival are also increasing.

But surviving an illness like this can be devastating both physically and emotionally, with huge changes to lifestyle often required. Perhaps a new career, or part-time hours? Or maybe even early retirement.

These changes often incur expenses in addition to the cost of medical care and rehabilitation. Getting stressed because you’re struggling to pay bills or cover mortgage repayments is hardly going to help you on your way to recovery and may even trigger a relapse. Imagine not being able to afford to survive!

Home Sweet Home

As Dr Marius Barnard said “medically you may or will survive [a traumatic illness], but FINANCIALLY you may die”.

Who’s Dr Barnard? He’s the guy that invented critical illness (aka trauma) insurance. Trauma is the link in your financial safety net that protects your financial security in an instance like this. You receive a lump sum of emergency cash to spend how you need to so you can just focus on recovery without worrying what it will cost you financially.

If you’re aged 15-63 you’re eligible for this cover and it doesn’t matter whether you’re working or not so it’s a great one for stay-at-home parents. And if you’ve got a family history of cancer or heart disease, then you should definitely find out more about trauma insurance.

Talk to your financial adviser or call Suggars & Associates to find out more.

The advice in this article is of a general nature only and does not take your personal circumstances into account. You should seek financial advice before making any investment or financial decisions.

Ladies! Life Insurance protects your highest priorities March 29, 2010

Posted by Meike Suggars in Disability Insurance (TPD), Income Protection, Life Insurance, Personal Insurance, Trauma Insurance.
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A new survey conducted by SheSpot shows career is not the number one priority for Australian women. For 74% of women, that number one priority is family, followed in second place by financial security. In fact, 62% of women surveyed are worried about money and claim it’s the number one thing making them unhappy.

I wanted to know how many women have personal insurance in place to ensure their family and financial security is protected in the event of illness or injury?

The Suggars Family 1983

The Suggars Family 1983 - the way we were

As reported by RiskInfo, it’s been revealed in the recent Lifewise/NATSEM Underinsurance Report that one in 5 working age parents will die or become seriously ill or injured, however 95% of families don’t have adequate insurance in place to protect them from the potential financial hardship that often follows such circumstances.

Are you one of them?

If you are, it’s easy for you to take control now while you’re still fit and healthy by taking out personal insurance. 

  • Income protection pays you 75% of your income if you’re unable to work for an extended period due to sickness or injury. Learn more about income protection
  • Trauma insurance pays out a lump sum if you’re diagnosed with one of over 40 illnesses including cancer, heart disease and stroke. Some policies even cover serious pregnancy complications.
  • Total & permanent disability (TPD) insurance is the only insurance to cover permanent disablement caused by mental disorder (including stress) and muscular skeletal injuries.
  • Death cover is often called Term insurance. This pays out in the event of death, and is just as important for mums as it is for dads as it can be used to pay for a nanny/house keeper who’ll iron the shirts, make sure the kids sports gear is packed on Tuesdays and that homework is done on time.

These different types of insurance can be combined to provide you with the cover you need, based on your personal circumstances. So don’t gamble with your family’s future. Contact Suggars & Associates to find out what insurance options are available to you.

The advice in this article is of a general nature only and does not take your personal circumstances into account. You should seek financial advice before making any investment or financial decisions.