This August is National Road Victim Month, which is held annually to remember people that have been killed or injured on UK roads. It was set up to raise awareness of safer driving, as well as to honour those who have died or been injured in a car accident.
Tragically, on average five people a day lose their lives in traffic accidents, and 60 more are injured, often in life-changing ways.
Roadpeace holds events throughout the month in memorial of those who have been lost in car crashes, but anyone who has been affected by a road accident is encouraged to hold their own events.
As well as increasing our awareness about road safety, National Road Victim month also reminds us of the importance of protecting ourselves against the things that are out of our control. Protection policies are not just there for issues connected with illness and poor health, they are also there for unexpected events that often change our lives, or those of our loved ones, irrevocably.
After all, a road accident can affect anyone at any time, however careful a driver you might be. There is no time to plan for them or for their consequences and invariably they will turn life upside down – which is why it can really pay to plan for the unexpected in advance.
Protection optionsIf you want to make sure you and your family are financially protected in the even that your lives are changed by a road accident, or indeed any other kind of accident or illness, there are several different types of cover that you might want to consider. These include:
• Life cover: Often taken out alongside a mortgage, life cover can provide valuable peace of mind that your loved ones won’t have to worry about paying the mortgage should the worst happen. Many people take out cover to ensure other expenses will be taken care of as well as the mortgage, or to provide their family with a regular income. For example, family income benefit is a type of life cover which pays a monthly income from the point of death until the end of the plan term. It’s up to you to decide when this is, but many people time it to finish once their children become financially independent.
• Income protection: More people are injured in car accidents than die and often need to take a prolonged period away from work to recover, which is when income protection can prove invaluable. As the name suggests, income protection can replace your employment income for as long as you’re unable to work, so you won’t have to rely on statutory sick pay which is unlikely to be enough to cover all your outgoings. Even if your employer provides you with sick pay, often this will only protect you for a set period of time, and again may not be enough to cover your living expenses. It’s therefore well worth thinking about whether you should make your own provision, so you’d be able to focus on your recovery rather than worrying about bills.
• Critical illness cover: This type of cover is designed to pay out a lump sum in the event that an accident results in life-changing injuries, or if you are diagnosed with a serious illness. Having funds readily available can make your situation much easier financially if, for example, you need to move house or make renovations to make your existing one accessible, or if you need to pay for private treatment longer term. Many people wrongly assume that this type of cover only provides protection for illnesses, but it also covers any conditions that may occur as a result of accidents, such as traumatic head injury, burns or paralysis. Like other forms of protection, critical illness cover can provide you with more financial choices and options than you may otherwise have, and allow you to focus on what’s most important, recovery or adapting to a new way of life.
All types of protection often come with additional benefits to support you if your life is changed by a road accident. These benefits may include access to physiotherapy, so you can skip NHS waiting lists, counselling or other mental health support to help you come to terms with what’s happened, and 24/7 access to virtual GPs so you don’t have physically go to your local GP surgery.
These benefits can not only provide invaluable support when you make a claim, but you may also be able to use them even if you’re unable to claim. They can often be accessed by family members too, supporting them to come to terms with any changes you or your loved one are going through.
If you would like to speak to someone about the options available or reviewing cover you may already have in place, L&C offer free expert protection advice, so call us now on 0808 292 0555 to see how we can help. Lines are open from Monday to Saturday.