Child cover - who needs it?

11 Feb 2014

By Shadforth Financial Group

An increasing number of people are recognising the need to take out life, Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) or trauma insurance to cover themselves or their spouse. However, an often overlooked area is the need to ensure you have appropriate insurance cover in place for your children. So what would you do should the unthinkable happen to one of your children? 

Child insurance cover can help take away the financial stress if you have to take time off work to spend with your child and, most importantly, provides you with increased choice when it comes to medical care and the ongoing treatment to aid in your child's recovery.

If the following statistics don't persuade you of the need to be prepared in the event the unexpected happens, then please learn from my own personal experience. I have two sons aged in their 20's. Both have been diagnosed with illnesses that make them uninsurable. If child cover had been available when I took out my policies, I would have included them and they would now have life/trauma policies of their own. Instead, they have to rely on automatic acceptance through various superannuation funds to get any type of cover – a situation which has caused enormous emotional as well as financial stress.

Some alarming facts and figures

Of course, we would all like our children to be blessed with good health and to sail through childhood, and indeed life, without illness or injury. Unfortunately this isn't always the reality as the following facts and figures show:

  • More than 1,400,000 children aged between 0 and 14 were seen in emergency rooms in public hospitals during 2012/2013.
  • Cancer was the leading cause of death in children aged 1 – 14 in 2008-2010 - with over half of all new cases affecting boys.
  • In 2008-2010 there were 274 cancer deaths in children aged 0-14. 
  • 3.9% of Australian children aged 0-14 have a severe disability (ABS 2009 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers).
  • Vehicle accidents continue to be the primary cause of spinal cord injuries in children.
  • The highest incidence of meningococcal disease is in children under 5 years old. 

Stroke - regardless of age

Most people are also surprised to learn that strokes can occur in all age groups including newborns and teenagers. While the causes of childhood stroke are poorly understood with little published research available, what is known is that strokes are the result of a disruption to the supply of blood to the brain and often result in permanent brain damage.

Consider:

  • Stroke is among the top ten causes of death in childhood with the highest mortality in the first 12 months of life.
  • 50-85% of survivors of stroke will be left with long-term problems which may include seizures, physical disability, speech or learning difficulties.
  • 20-40% of children have recurrent strokes.
  • The burden of stroke in children is likely to be greater than in adults because children surviving stroke will have more years living with functional limitations and disability.

This is all certainly food for thought and, when you think about it, child insurance cover is a small price to pay to protect what really is one of your most precious assets.

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