Oh, our brilliant nurses, I don’t know where half of us would be without you wonderful bunch.
Since you are the backbone of the medical world, it’s surprising how tight our government is when it comes to paying you what you’re worth – but we won’t delve into that too deeply right now because if I start, I don’t reckon I’ll be able to stop myself.
I can’t pay you more or swindle you a rock-star salary deal but what I can do is make sure you get paid if you get sick.
Since you spend your life caring for the sick, I’m sure you forget all about yourselves.
What do you do if you get sick?
Who looks after you?
What would happen if you couldn’t work long term (think years)
It’s a fecking scary thought, especially if you have no backup plan.
I’m sure you’d like a safety net should you be the one who ends up in a hospital bed.
As of right now, not a single bloody one of us is entitled to even one lowly day of paid sick leave.
Yup, that’s right. Not one. Although, there are some sound employers out there who say ‘eff that!’ And give their employees paid sick leave—a round of applause for those decent men and women.
However, come September 2022, the government are making it a legal requirement for everyone to receive three statutory paid sick days with a possible increase to 5 days in 2024 and 10 in 2026.
I mean, where do they even pull these numbers from?
If you get hit with a nasty bout of the flu or the ‘rona, you will be down and out for more than three days.
A long-term illness or a nasty accident will take you out of the workforce for many months, years or forever.
But, I digress, back to our wonderful nurses.
If you work for the HSE, your standard sick pay is three months of full pay and three months of half pay.
If you’re out for longer than six months, you will get illness benefit of just €203 per week.
Could you survive on less than a quarter of that?
If you’re a nurse in the private sector, you should check the T&Cs of your employment but don’t be surprised to find you have no sick pay entitlements.
You spend most of your days, nights, Christmas’, New Year’s, and god knows what else running yourself ragged.
Before too long, your mental health takes a dive or your back pain curls you up in a sweaty ball on the floor, and you can’t continue working as a nurse.
This is where income protection insurance comes to the rescue.
Like a shiny white knight on a blinding white mare, salary protection helps pay all your big bad bills.
Because those people with their hands out don’t care what your situation is, they want to get paid.
Mortgage, electric, food, gas, oil, petrol, doctor’s bills, medication, gluten-free kibble for Princess the Cockapoo (she has a sensitive stomach, you see). The list is damn near endless. It won’t go away, even if you find yourself having to take long term illness-related leave from work.
You need to ensure income continuance to keep up with these bills.
An income protection policy is just the thing.
But what on earth is income protection? And how much wonga can you get?
Firstly, you’ve probably noticed how I’m using income and salary protection interchangeably. Don’t worry; it’s the same thing, just a different name.
Can I let you in on a secret? Google likes me to use lots of different variations of the same term so lovely people like yourself can actually find me when you search.
Hello Google 👋
Hi Nick 🔎
Let’s get into it. What do you need to know about income protection?
Income protection is easy enough to get your mitts on.
If you want to save some time and get the best deal, you can use a specialist protection advisor like those legends at lion.ie
They’ve got their finger on the insurance world’s buzz button, understand every little piece of jargon there is to know, and have your best interests at heart.
Go check them out!
You could do it all yourself, but I feel we’d be great pals, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on the friendship of a lifetime, right?
All you need to do is give me some details on this here questionnaire, not dissimilar to the info you use for your Tinder profile.
Your name, your age, your social habits, your medical history. OK, so that last one, you’re unlikely to tell a potential beau, but your potential income protection insurance provider wants to know all that.
This medical questionnaire helps me figure out how much your premiums are going to be and as tempted as you may be, I highly advise against telling any porky pies here.
Oooh, this is the fun bit.
Let’s go back to the nurse earning €44,401 – we’ll call her Average Annie.
Hello Annie. 👋
OK, with the niceties out of the way, let’s see what Annie gets from her income protection policy if she cannot do her job for over six months.
She can guarantee a replacement income (including state illness benefit) of up to 75% of her salary, meaning she will get €10,816 from the government and the rest from her income protection provider.
You want cold hard numbers, I hear you; these ones are just out of the freezer
€44,401 x 75% = €33,000 is Annie’s maximum income from the state and her income protection.
The State illness benefit is €10,816
Income protection = €33,000 – €10,816 = €22,186
So after six months, Annie will get €22,186 annually from her insurer until she is ready to go back to work.
She will continue to get €22,186 until age 65 if she can’t get back TO NURSING.
In caps because this is UBER important. If Annie was well enough to get back to some job but chose not to, that’s her choice, and the insurer will continue to pay her. Clearly, if she is well enough to get back to work as a nurse but decides not to, well, then the insurer will stop paying her claim. The providers are fair, but they’re insurers, not a charity.
Income protection is a gem because it covers ANY illness or accident that stops you from doing your job.
See how that could help you, my nursing friend.
Hello Annie 👋
Yeah, Nick, what now?
😬 Jaysus, I better not ask Annie her age so let’s say she’s 38 and a non-smoker:
Quote Type: Income Protection
First Person: Non-Smoker, born on 18/01/1984
Cover Amount: €22,485 per year until age 65.
Occupation Class: Nurse (Hospital) (Class 3)
Deferred Period: 26 weeks
after tax relief: €47
So Annie will pay €79 per month and claim tax relief annually, giving a net cost of €47 per month.
Less than €50 per month to insure €22,485 per year.
That seems more than fair.
The younger you jump on the salary protection bandwagon, the cheaper your premium will be.
So, if you’re younger than Annie, your premiums will be lower. If you’re older than Annie, you’ll pay more – but you’ll pay even more next year if you put it off.
If you smoke, quit those bad boys! Because smokers pay extra and die younger, a pretty shit combination.
If you’re overweight, you’ll pay more I’m afraid – if your BMI is 34 and you can get it down to 31, you’ll save a fortune.
Extending the deferral period is another way of reducing your income protection premiums.
“What the hell are they” I hear you cry.
In plain English, a deferral is a period from when you can’t work to when the income protection payments kick in.
The longer you hold out, the cheaper your premium will be.
Finally, your job title affects how much you will pay.
A nurse in a hospital or a psychiatric nurse is a Class 3 risk.
If you are a Clinical Nurse Specialist or a Clinical Nurse Manager (CNM 2 or 3), you will pay less than Annie as those occupations fall into a lower risk class 2.
I’m not too fond of the word cheap so let’s look at the best value or most affordable income protection.
That would be Wage Protector from Aviva.
The SIPTU scheme charges 2.45% (but does include some life insurance), so Annie would pay 2.45% x €44,401 = €90 compared to €79 through one of our insurers.
You can fix our price. The group scheme price will increase as your income increase.
You can take your personal policy with you to your new job if you leave nursing. So even if you have to leave nursing due to a specific health issue, that issue will still be covered in your new job – by your old policy.
The minute you leave nursing, the group scheme policy will end, so you’ll have to reapply and disclose any new health issues making it harder to get income protection.
New Ireland underwrites the SIPTU scheme.
Should you go for a personal policy, you can choose from Aviva, Irish Life, New Ireland, Royal London or Zurich Life.
This is especially important if you have a health issue that may be underwritten more favourably at a different insurer to avoid exclusion for that condition.
Aviva has retraining and rehabilitation benefits that are unmatched in the market, making them our preferred income protection provider.
Here’s how we compare income protection providers.
That was a humdinger of a blog; I hope there’s a lot of useful info there for you.
Income protection is a must-have for everyone. It is the foundation of any solid financial plan.
It’s more important than life insurance, savings, and even your pension because if your income stops, you won’t be able to pay for any of those.
Imagine what it will be like to know you can pay the mortgage no matter what happens to your health in the future.
So if you are not average Annie and would like to see what your quote will look like, complete this questionnaire.
I’m here, just twiddling our thumbs, waiting for it to arrive in my inbox so I can save you a boatload of time and money and give future you the peace of mind you deserve.
Thanks for reading
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