Life insurance crucial during danger decade

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A high proportion of Aussies let their trauma insurance lapse just before they are statistically most likely to need it – in their forties.

The average age people let their insurance cover lapse is 44, and the average age of a person making a claim is 49 years, new research from Asteron Life shows.

In what the life insurance company terms “the dangerous decade”, once a person hits their forties the likelihood for traumatic illnesses rises significantly.

More than two thirds of trauma insurance claims – 68% – are from people aged in their forties compared with just 5% of people in their thirties, 2% in their fifties and 23% in their sixties.

“Our research revealed that Aussies typically begin to develop chronic medical conditions in their forties. These include the middle-age onset of serious diseases like cancers, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and multiple sclerosis,” Asteron Life executive manager Mark Vilo said.

 “Generally people in their 40s also have a high level of financial responsibility, such as mortgages, kids and aging parents. Such heavy financial commitments are difficult to maintain if you’re also battling a critical illness – emotionally, physically and financially.”

Another trend that could cause financial difficulty is the number of babies born to 40-plus mums has doubled in the last decade – meaning the financial drain of kids is only just beginning at that age.

Vilo urged Australians to have insurance protection, particularly during the ‘danger decade’.

“Fighting a serious disease is one thing, but not having a financial plan to maintain your lifestyle while you recover is another. Imagine losing your income for a long period of time while trying to cope with a traumatic illness, or not having any insurance to fill that gap.”