6th September, 2014

Income protection a tradie essential

Every tradie is familiar with the challenges and threats that come with their work. Operating at heights and around heavy machinery can easily result in an accident, with these adding up to a significant drain on your resources.

While this is an important consideration, many people still aren't getting the right levels of cover for their business, with this creating a very real challenge for tradies. After all, a serious injury could easily leave workers struggling to pay the bills, especially if they need a long period of rest to recover.

To combat this, many insurance companies and brokers will offer income protection as part of their tradies insurance. This allows workers to receive up to 75 per cent of their regular income while they recover from their injury.

While this might seem like an obvious solution for tradies facing high risks, there is still a significant gap when it comes to actually taking out these policies. A study from the UK insurer Scottish Widows found that less than a quarter of the 5,000 families surveyed in 2014 have taken measures to protect their income.

This is a big change from the year before, when almost a third of those surveyed had income protection insurance in place.

Among those respondents with children, a majority believed that their savings would only last a few months if they were unable to work. Although financial commitments like mortgages are common underlying causes for taking out income protection, many of those surveyed still did not have the tools to handle these risks.

While income protection remains uncommon, the risks that workers are exposed to certainly haven't abated. In Australia, billions of dollars are lost every year through workplace injuries, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimating these costs have reached almost 6 per cent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in previous years.

SafeWork Australia reports that construction is one of the most dangerous industries to work in, with very high rates of serious injury. So far this year, only transport and agriculture have recorded higher fatality rates, according to SafeWork's statistics.

For tradies facing the daily risks that come with a busy working environment, income protection insurance is going to be a vital policy to take out. Without this level of cover, it will be very difficult to meet necessary expenses when you do experience an injury.

Author: Murray Bruce