Typically when we think about income protection, we think about the financial coverage it provides in the event of an accident, injury or diagnosis of an illness such as cancer or cardiac issues.
Yet the wide and varied impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in people being signed off work due to mental health challenges.
Recently, insurance giant Aviva Life and Pensions revealed that psychological issues were the primary medical reason behind 25 per cent of claims for income protection among their customers.
Previously, orthopaedic issues were the primary reason for income protection claims for several years.
The insurer’s research revealed more than 42 per cent of people had suffered a substantial increase in anxiety and stress since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.
This was in addition to a recent study conducted by the Central Statistics Office in Ireland which found 15 per cent of the 1,621 participants reported feeling downhearted or depressed “all or most of the time” in the four weeks before they completed the online questionnaire, while 76.9 per cent said they were somewhat or very concerned about the impact of confinement on household stress.
How income protection can help your recovery
If you find yourself unable to work due to an accident, injury or illness, the last thing you need to worry about is how you will pay your bills.
Unfortunately that is the reality for many people without income protection insurance in Ireland each year.
Even if you are unable to work and earn an income, bills still need to be paid. Mortgage repayments, car loans and general household and family expenses do not stop along with your income; in fact, your expenses may even increase depending on your medical needs and the cost of therapy, medicines and treatment programs.
Income protection provides a safety net by paying up to 75 percent of your income in the event you can no longer work. It means you can continue to receive a component of your income and save a good deal of financial stress and anxiety that can be damaging to your recovery.
Taking care of your mental health
We are now well into the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic and even though there is light at the end of the tunnel thanks to vaccines, we still have some way to go.
That means that now more than ever, it is important to safe guard your mental health.
There are a range of steps you can take to support your mental fitness, from eating and sleeping regularly to incorporating meditation into your routine.
It might also help to start a gratitude journal, a popular option that helps you identify people, places or things that you are grateful for, and reinforce the positive influences on your life.
Importantly if you feel your anxiety and stress levels are beginning to become unmanageable, it is important to get help from your doctor or a trained counsellor, who are experienced in dealing with your situation and can provide valuable advice and treatment.
Find out how to protect your income
It is never too late to start to protect your income and enjoy peace-of-mind that should anything ever prevent you from being able to work, that you have a reliable safety net in place.
That way, regardless of the medical reason for claiming income protection, you can be sure that financial worries will not be a major cause of stress and hinder your recovery.
Your Hennelly Finance advisor can work through a range of scenarios to help you find the best income protection plan to suit you.
Get in touch with a member of our team on 091 670 123 to find out more about income protection today.