I was always the sensible one in our family. I did a sensible degree, I have a sensible job and have settled down very sensibly with husband and two lovely boys. Oh, I like a plan. And yet. Life can throw you a curve ball at any point and it doesn’t matter how sensible you are, you still don’t expect it.
I have had my own particular curve ball in the form of Early Onset Parkinson’s. My life plans went out the window, then got hauled back and are currently in limbo due to redundancy threats. Why flag this now? Well, I was recently asked to blog about my employer’s position on income protection policies (see the note at the bottom of this post) . Funnily enough it’s something I’ve already thought about and badgered them on. Reader, I signed up. Hence this blog.
My employer is rated as one of the best in the country. At the moment if I get sick I get full salary for the first 8 weeks’ absence. Sounds pretty good but after that it slides away until after a year it’s zero. If you have a diagnosis like mine you can choose to reduce your hours but of course that means a reduced income.
I’m sensible. What’s my back up plan? Well, I had critical illness insurance which helps but nothing else. It never even occurred to me to discuss back up plans with my employer. Why would you? Bad things happen to other people, right? yes, I used to think that too.
I did discuss income protection with my HR department. What surprised me was how they hadn’t appreciated how you focus on how to maintain the status quo when you are given a life changing diagnosis. I like normality these days. Including my salary.
Anyway, we are getting income protection from next year apparently. Being commercial, its a lot more competitive to your employer than offering a self funded incapacity scheme and my company have recognised this. Fantastic news but possibly too late for me.
Have you planned for your curve ball? Income protection is but one option but I think it’s a pretty good one if you can get your employer to buy into it. Worth a shot, right? I’d say so. But then I would do, wouldn’t I?
Here’s the small print….
I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network, a group of parent bloggers picked by Mumsnet to review products, services, events and brands. I have been asked by Mumsnet and Unum to blog about income protection. I have received a voucher for this blog post but I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity”.