It’s no wonder that we invest in insurance to protect our homes. We put a lot of time and energy into making them comfortable, and we invest a lot of love in making them ours. A home is so much more than the walls that surround it and the furniture that fills it.

Of course homes are worth a lot too – both in the money we pay for them and the money we owe on them. So it stands to reason that using insurance to protect our important asset – the home – is a priority.

But there is one valuable item in our home that we often overlook when it comes to insurance. In fact, it’s one of the most under-insured items that there is. This item is crucial to our earnings, our family’s happiness and future. The most under-insured item in your home is you.

Protect yourself – you’re worth insuring

Life is not something we can easily put a price on. Perhaps that is why we find it so hard to insure ourselves. It’s also difficult – not to mention pretty unpleasant – to think through the scenarios that could lead to an insurance claim. But unfortunately life can dish up some nasty experiences, which are only made harder if you have to deal with financial stress at the same time.

If you’ve decided that it’s time to look into insurance for what is actually your most important asset – you – here’s a quick summary of the different types of cover and what they are designed to do.

Disability Income

Also known as Income Protection Cover. This insurance provides you with continuity of income for a set amount of time should you suffer from a long term illness or injury and be unable to work. The policy usually pays out a percentage of your income after a qualifying period.

Health Insurance

As with most types of personal insurance the name is pretty self-explanatory. Health Insurance covers the cost of Private Medical Treatment, such as surgical and non-surgical procedures and specialist consultations, so you have the choice to use the Public or Private health services. Different policies offer different levels of cover, from the cost of doctor’s appointments through to operations and consultations with specialists.

Trauma Insurance

Also known as Critical Illness Insurance/Crisis Insurance/Major Illness Insurance/Critical Condition Insurance. The names are a giveaway when it comes to the purpose of this insurance. If you develop one of an extensive range of medical conditions for the first time (the conditions are specified within the policy) you receive a lump sum benefit to help with your finances while you are out of work.

Total Permanent Disability Insurance

This type of insurance pays a lump sum if you become permanently disabled due to accident or illness. As with all policies, make sure you read the small print and understand what you’re signing up for – some policies require you to be unable to do any job before you receive a payment, while others may specify just the job type you are currently in.

Life Insurance

Life insurance covers your life. It pays out a sum of money in the event of your death to whoever you choose to benefit from the policy. You choose the size of the lump sum. Generally speaking, you will find the higher the policy’s value, the higher the premium you will pay.

Get some advice, before you go further

Remember, the trick to getting the right insurance for your needs is prioritising what’s important to you. Before you speak to anyone, take some time to consider the level of financial support you – and yours – would need in the event that something happened.

Of course, there are plenty of options and loads of jargon to wade through, so you might like to talk to an insurance adviser – they have the experience and know-how to help you determine the appropriate types and levels of cover for your needs.

An Adviser Disclosure Statement is available free and upon request.