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Is your income protected?

Did you know that your income is your greatest asset? The income that you earn today — and your potential to earn an income until you retire — is key to your family’s financial future.

While most of us understand it’s important to insure our home and its contents, our cars and our jewellery, we underestimate the importance of protecting our most valuable asset – our income.

Did you know that the chances of something happening to your health, leaving you unable to work or earn an income is greater than the chances of your car being stolen or your home destroyed.

Many people also believe that Medicare, government support payments and personal savings will be enough to cover medical bills in the event of illness or injury. But what happens if you are ill for an extended period of time or require constant specialist treatment? Do you have enough to cover regular ongoing expenses like rent, mortgage payments, personal loans, school fees and groceries?

Did you know that Centrelink only pays a maximum disability pension of $695 per fortnight for singles and $524 (each) for couples? Would this be enough to cover your current lifestyle?

It won’t happen to me!

Just like most of us – Robert Innes thought he was indestructible, until the day his daughter was killed in an accident.

The self-employed accountant and father of two was prepared to take on almost everything that life dealt him. He had occupied senior accounting positions and as a tennis coach, was fit and has only taken few sick days in his working life.

“I was the kind of person everyone could rely on”, Roberts says. “A person who simply loved life.” That was until 2007, when his 14 year old daughter, Morgan was killed when a Sydney Ferries Harbour Cat collided with the pleasure cruiser she was on. To this day, Robert is still relieving the catastrophe that befell his family. “I may be asleep two nights out of seven. I’ve gone from being a very driven person to someone with no goals. The only thing that keeps me going is my son, Curtis and my wife Kim,” Robert says.

Robert puts part of his survival down to a fellow tennis player and long-time friend who happened to be an insurance broker. For years he insisted Robert be fully insured…just in case.

“Without income protection, our family would probably have broken up – the pressures are just enormous,” Robert says. “I don’t think anyone understands the depression that happens when a child is killed. When people think about trauma and accident or sickness and disability, you don’t comprehend you can be sick to the point where you can’t work. The thought of ever getting sick was just beyond me and while you have insurance, you never really expect to use it.”

Under his income protection insurance, Robert was entitled to 75 per cent of his income until age 65.


• 48,500 Australians suffer a heart attack in any one year

• 1 in 3 men and 1 in 4 women will suffer from cancer in their lifetime

• 43,000 people died from cancer in 2010

• 1 in 6 men and 1 in 4 women will suffer a disability during their working life that results in taking more than six months off work.

In the event of an illness or an accident where you are temporarily unable to work, income protection insurance may pay you up to 75 per cent of your income (up to the age of 65), enabling you to pay your mortgage, medical bills and other payments, helping you preserve your lifestyle.

Insurance is a crucial part of any financial plan — it’s a financial safety net for you and your family when something unexpected happens. By working with your Smith Wealth Partners adviser you can tailor an insurance plan to your individual needs and circumstances so you can be protected for life.


1.Complied using statistics and calculations from: a) National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council – 12 months to March 2010 b) Insurance Statistics Australia June 2010 c) Data of individual disability income insurance sold by Australian life offices, Institute of Actuaries of Australia 2002. Report of the Disability Committee. IA Aust: Sydney.
2Centrelink website. Rates are a guide only and are effective from 20 September 2010.
3Source: Money Management – 2009
4Heart Foundation, Australian Facts 2008: Heart, Strokes andVascular diseases.
5The Cancer Council Australia, April 2009.
6National Health Survey: Injuries, Australia 2001 ABS Cat No.
43840.0 – Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2003 – Based on
people aged between 35 and 65.
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