Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I'm covered. Are you?

The other day I put my name down to be a part of the LIFE Awareness Campaign through the Digital Parents Collective. To be honest, when I saw 'Life Awareness' I thought it would be something to do with mental health. I think after last week's R U OK? Day posts and the fact that mental health issues are a big part of my life, my brain is skewed that way when thinking about life.

When the email came through from the Digital Parents Collective that I'd been one of the bloggers selected to participate in the Life Awareness Campaign I was stoked to discover that it was actually about life insurance and to raise the issue that Aussies are currently massively under insured. 

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. According to this survey, we're pretty good at insuring our things like our homes, cars and holidays but when it comes to our lives we're pretty hopeless and that needs to change.

Why was I stoked to be chosen to write my very first sponsored post on something as seemingly boring as life insurance? Because Noo and I are very much personally affected by insurance and I know how important it is to have adequate insurance cover: 

Insurance is what feeds us, clothes us and pays our bills 

As my loyal readers will know I am a long time sufferer of chronic depression and anxiety as well as post-traumatic stress disorder after I was a victim of a violent assault in 2007. When I had my first break down, not long after the assault, I was hospitalised and had a lot of time off work. 

I initially took about seven weeks off, returning to work in a fairly high pressured role. I worked my guts out for five months using work as a distraction from what had happened to me. But I was not well. I was not OK. I quickly went downhill and had to spend several months in hospital. 

At the time I was working for a large corporation and, very luckily for me, included as part of my salary package was salary continuance insurance. I didn't even know I had it until a year later when I was back in hospital and very, very unwell. I had been away from work for months and was really freaking out about losing my job and not being able to pay my bills which was adding an enormous amount of stress and anxiety on my already frazzled existence. 

I was in contact with my employers when I could and when it became apparent that I would not be able to return to work for a long time I was told that I could make a claim under the company's group salary continuance insurance policy.

Relief is what I felt. I could focus my mind on my recovery and not on the bills that kept coming in no matter what my health was like.

The insurance company which pays me a proportion of my salary has been awesome; incredibly understanding and patient. From the claims staff to the rehabilitation co-ordinators they have been kind and knowledgeable. 

To be honest, I don't know where I'd be now if I hadn't had my insurance cover which has given me the breathing space to heal, and learn a new way to manage life and its ups and downs, which I'm still doing. That's why I'm writing this post. Before my breakdown I'd always worked ever since I left school. I've always paid my rent, my bills and fed myself. Despite the odd bout of tonsillitis or a chest infection, I've always been pretty healthy. 

You never know when dark clouds may appear

I never would have thought that I'd be unable to support myself due to illness. I especially would never have imagined I'd be unwell and unfit to work for such a long time. Nobody plans for this sort of stuff to happen. But it did happen to me. And now I have a child to look after it is more important than ever that I am able to support him despite my illness.

Based on my own experience, I cannot stress enough how important it is to insure your life and your income - for yourself and your family. 

That is why have participated in this LIFE Awareness Campaign: to help increase awareness of the severe issue of under insurance in Australia and to inspire any of you out there who feel you might need to increase your level of cover to visit the life insurance calculator from Life Insurance Finder and then compare life insurance plans to find the right option for you.

Go on, do it. I know it sounds morbid, but seriously, you have no idea what is around the corner. 

Give yourself the peace of mind to breathe.


Disclaimer: I am participating in the LIFE Awareness Campaign. I received a VISA gift card for this post courtesy of Life Insurance Finder via Digital Parents Collective. I am also in the running to win an iPad3. As always, all opinions are purely my own.


Mumabulous said...

I also participated in this campaign but this post is considerably more sensible and convincing than mine. I'm glad you had financial stability during that incredibly fraught time of your life.
Love Mumabulous
PS: I think there could be an iPad heading your way in the future.

Grace said...

Oh, Vanessa. What a journey you've been on. I can feel your emotion and heartache in this post. Good on you for telling your story with such raw honesty. I'm with Mumabulous...I think an iPad is heading your way too xxx

Grace said...

Oh, Vanessa. What a journey! I can feel your emotion and heartache in this post. Good on you for telling your story with such raw honesty. I think an iPad is headed your way too.

The Babbling Bandit said...

Hi Grace, thanks for commenting. Fingers crossed on the iPad!

The Babbling Bandit said...

Thanks Mumabulous! I was very lucky to have this insurance available to me. Thanks for commenting.

Silly Mummy said...

I'm not good with stress, so insurance is a definite. Thanks for sharing your story, I don't think we realise the true need of having that financial support.

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