Are You Protecting Your Most Valuable Asset?

It is widely quoted that for most Australians, their ability to
earn an income is their most important asset.
As a risk insurance adviser, I find it staggering when
people are not willing to pay for income protection to
protect their most valuable asset; but on the other hand,
they are more than willing to pay for car insurance. A
car that is likely worth peanuts when compared to their

Sadly, only 31 per cent of Australians have a form of
income protection, compared to 83 per cent who have
purchased a form of car insurance. (
In a recent client meeting, while reviewing a client’s
current protection plan, we worked out that they are
currently spending more on protecting a car that is worth
$40,000, compared to his salary that is worth close to $3
million until retirement at age 65 (excluding pay rises, CPI
and super contributions).

You can imagine the client’s surprise when they looked at
it from that angle! As an experienced risk adviser, this is often a familiar
scenario when reviewing my clients’ protection plans.

Example: A 30-year-old sales manager earning $80,000,
driving a brand-new KIA Sportage valued at $40,000.
The annual car insurance premium was some $1,300.
Based on his current income, his earnings potential until
retirement is a staggering $2,759,120.

The client only had the insurance cover provided by their
employer for $5,000 per month for two years.
So, in a worst-case scenario, if the client had an injury
or illness that prevented him from working again, he
would unfortunately only receive $120,000, out of the
$2,759,120 he could potentially earn. Needless to say,
the client suddenly becomes very worried about the gap
in their protection plan.

With the client now very aware of their risk and under
insurance, we were able to help him secure income
protection insurance that would provide a replacement of
income through to age 65; protecting their ability to earn
$2,759,120 for the cost of a coffee per day.

It is important to consider that without your income, you
may not be able to maintain your current lifestyle. In this
case, the client was more than happy to use a small
portion of their income to protect this asset.

In fact, as the client pointed out they are already saving
9.5 per cent of their salary towards retirement, but if he
became unable to work, this contribution would stop.
How would you and your family manage without your
income? In 2016 there were 63,580 income protection
claims paid in Australia.

We do live in a fortunate country, but currently the
maximum Centrelink disability pension you can get is
$23,254 per year. For most of us this would simply not be
sufficient to uphold current living standards.

As we are now in a new year, make sure that a review
of your current protection plan is one of the new year
resolutions that you keep. It will provide you and your
family with peace of mind. For more information, or
to discuss your current circumstances, contact your
insurance adviser.

Endre Lloyd-Johnsen: Adviser – Risk Insurance