Claiming On Income Protection – My Personal Experience
Income Protection like any insurance is a product you need, but hope you’ll never have to use. I have now hit my 40th birthday and am celebrating with a rather large party. It’s causing me to think back to my last significant birthday, I was thirty and in the middle of a rather serious bout of glandular fever.
I found out I had glandular fever almost by accident, I was having a blood test done for something quite unrelated and the doctor asked if I had been feeling tired recently. We’d just come back from a trip to New Zealand where we did some hiking and I’d been feeling really rather good, and fitter than I had for a long time. I was feeling a little run down but I just put it down to trying to catch up with work. I rang work to let them know I might have Friday off and give myself a longer weekend to catch up on some rest but I’d see them on Monday. Little did I know I wouldn’t step foot in the door for another four and a half months.
It seemed to hit me like a freight train, even the act of going through the shower seemed to wipe me out for an hour and I could no more make it into the city than I could fly to the moon. I played the good patient at first but as days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months I became increasing frustrated and frightened.
I had a great job that I loved and I was good at it. I liked my colleagues and my bosses. I wanted to go back to work but my body, and my mind was just so tired all the time.
I was fortunate to have a supportive partner and close family. My mum owned her own business locally and was able to come around every day just to sit with me while I laughed and cried and occasionally she’d take me out for an outing to the local green grocer or somewhere else exotic, after which I was done for the day and would head home and sleep for the next couple of hours.
I was also very lucky to have a supportive and understand employer, they allowed me to not only take the sick leave I was owed but go into debit on next years as well. They allowed me use my annual leave and then when that ran out I moved into unpaid leave. No more money coming in.
Illness is a nerve racking time, tired from the illness itself, separated from the day-to-day distractions and the social aspects of work, wondering at times whether you will truly ever feel well again? What will this do to your career? What will this do to your relationships? And what about your finances?
I was fortunate that I had an income protection policy in place, while I still spent hours wondering whether I would ever get back to work, knowing that there would be an income there for me when my leave payments ran out meant that I didn’t have the added stress of wondering how I was going to pay the bills. Insurance is a funny thing, it’s something that you buy in the hope you will never have to use it.
My personal experience has led me to hold onto my policy through thick and thin. Even when things have been tight financially, during redundancy or maternity leave, its one of the last things I would give up. Its benefits flow far beyond the time I needed to use it, even now it gives me peace of mind to know that in our darkest hour, money is the last thing we need to worry about.