Saturday, June 18, 2011

Self employed? You need income protection!

If you’re self employed, you’ll be very aware of what your dollars can do. You’ll also be extremely conscious of the possibilities of your income drying up on you if you’re unable to do the work. That does happen, and it’s something you can cover with income protection insurance.

The risks

Even a minor situation can put you out of the loop for contracts and new jobs. That’s the nightmare, and it’s no joke for anyone who’s self employed. Something as simple as a minor injury can take you out of your income stream quite easily. If you’re a graphic artist who’s broken something, you can be stuck with sitting around waiting for things to heal, while your bills come in regardless.

This can hit cashflow in all the wrong ways. If you don’t have any cash on hand, or more likely if your cash is tied up in your business, the lack of cashflow is potentially destructive. Equally important, your clients may be “on hold”, waiting for work while you recover. That situation can often be fixed by subcontracting or outsourcing things you’d normally do yourself- If you have the cash to do it.

Not having the cash is likely to be the sticking point in any version of these scenarios. That’s also not including the domestic expenses, which can also be caught out in the sudden drying up of the income stream. Power bills, rates, you name it, they add up to a situation where plenty of money can be going out and none coming in.

Dodging the financial bullets

These situations are all quite avoidable. A good income protection policy can cover you for your expenses and in many cases even your medical needs. That’s useful cover when you need it, and it’s also a very good way of staying clear of those interesting “surprises” when you find out how much you have to pay for these things.

The cost of the income protection cover isn’t particularly expensive. You can get something like 75% of your income covered upfront, for a small, bearable outlay. You can also get packages that include serious full coverage for things like disability and related benefits.

Important: It’s a good idea to apply directly for quotes from the insurers, and get into a dialog about your needs. There may be a range of options available to you to lock in some good cover for your issues, and this extra effort can pay off very well in terms of providing comprehensive cover when you need it most.

Take the time to really think about this:

What are the risks of suddenly losing your income stream? These things include loss of business, too, so you need to consider a worst case scenario, to fully assess the situation.

What can you afford as an outlay for insurance? Cash outlays can be a little complex for self employed people, particularly if you’re just starting out, so try to pin down a good level of cover, relative to a viable outlay that you can live with.

When you’ve figured out what you need, talking to your insurer will provide a range of options. You can get it all done in a few minutes, and have some added peace of mind.

[The above is a guest post. If you are interested in contributing a guest post to this blog, please email sgfinancialfreedom@gmail.com with your proposed article. The topic of the article should be related to personal finance.]

3 comments:

  1. Yeah I Agree with you i am also a self employed and my friend told me that i need <a href='http://www.insure4u.com.au/income-protection-insurance/">income protection insurance</a> if i dont want to wake up being broke.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The importance of having an income protection insurance cannot be stressed enough. You may resent having to pay a monthly premium but at least you know you wouldn't have to worry about financial difficulties in the event that you find yourself unable to work due to illness or injury.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Income protection insurance is indeed a safety net against uncertainties like job loss.

    ReplyDelete

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