DIY SOS: The Big Build … It could be you!

Posted by & filed under Finance, House Hunting, Lifestyle, Moving Experience, Protection Insurance.

Protecion LandscapeThe BBC’s ‘DIY SOS: The Big Build’ programme helps families from across the UK who find themselves in challenging circumstances, by transforming their homes in to places that are suited to their particular set of circumstances.

Last night, the family involved had suffered a major and traumatic event, whilst on a holiday to visit relatives and introduce their new baby. The young dad, Jason, who was at the time fit and well, and (along with his wife) caring for others in his job in a hospital, suffered a motorbike accident. The injuries he sustained resulted in an 18 day coma, and long term brain damage. Both his communication and functional abilities have been inhibited, and the family now faces a long, challenging and emotional recovery time.

The couple and their 2 young children now found that they were living in a home that was proving to be completely incompatible with the level of care that dad now required, and an unsuitable place for a person with his lack of mobility, making daily routines and quality family time very difficult. The DIY SOS team, and their fantastic team of volunteers, did a brilliant job of tailoring the home to the needs of the family. Alterations made to the property to make it more accessible and to provide a level of independence and dignity for dad will also relieve the pressure on his wife and children.

Similar stories are brought in to the public consciousness each week through this programme, and last night it really did make me stop and think – This could happen to anybody, and it could be you!

Being so passionate (bordering on evangelical) about the ‘protection’ element of my business can sometimes generate a few quizzical looks from clients. There’s even an occasional roll of the eyes from my Networking friends when we meet to ‘talk business’ at breakfast meetings! This morning was different though I think. I’d found an example to which everyone could relate, following the broadcast of this popular and heart-warming programme that many in the room had seen. DIY SOS demonstrates exactly why Protection cover exists. Critical Illness covers, and Income Protection policies, are there to help you and your family in exactly this sort of unexpected situation.

Now, obviously I don’t know the details of the financial situation of the couple featured in the programme yesterday. It’s possible that they had cover in place, but the money was needed to pay medical bills and to return Jason from The Philippines where they were on holiday and he had the accident. Perhaps they didn’t have cover, which unfortunately isn’t all that unusual.

There are several common misunderstandings I feel the need to quickly address:

  • ‘I don’t need cover, I don’t have a mortgage’ – Your landlord still needs rent.
  • ‘The insurer pays my mortgage company’ – Any benefit payable will usually come to you and your family. You can then spend the money on the things you need: Do you need a more accessible house, like Jason? Would installing a chairlift help? What about fitting a downstairs bathroom?
  • ‘My family will help’ – In most cases they won’t have enough to pay their own bills and yours, and to support you all over a sustained period of time.

I believe that everybody should (at the very least) investigate their options, and have some form of protection cover in place. As a nation the UK is hugely under-insured in this area. There’s no disputing the fact that people do become unwell, and accidents can and do happen to all sorts of people, and the impact can be huge. Not being able to work doesn’t just mean having no money to pay the usual bills; it can also cause a new set of previously unknown bills to arise, including modifications to property, additional care / support, and new transport needs.

So, when you hear me banging on about protecting yourself and your family, perhaps you too can now relate to why it can be so important to sort it out. DIY SOS, in this instance, was able to help the affected family, but the team can’t help everyone. Protection cover could alleviate a chunk of family stress, in what are likely to be already difficult times. Is the cover expensive? I don’t believe it is, especially since (in the long run) it could actually cost you much less than the alternative.

Matt Colley – Moving Experience – 19/09/2014

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