Or critical illness, vital care, dreads disease cover, living assurance to name a few that it is called.

Trauma cover is designed to pay you a lump sum if you suffer from one of the covered traumatic condition. Basic polices may cover you for 9 conditions though to comprehensive policies covering you for over 60. You want to look at the more comprehensive end of the policy market, as the price difference does not warrant the additional risk you take with having fewer conditions covered.

Murphy’s law; if you have the basic cover you will want the comprehensive one for your claim. We have seen this situation many times over the years. Your basic policy will cover you for heart attack and heart bypass but it may not cover you for a heart valve repair or replacement, which we have seen on several occasions.

The simple fact does remain the vast majority of claims for this policy get paid for 5 key conditions

• Cancer

• Heart Attack

• Heart Bypass

• Stroke

• Kidney Failure

Yes things like paralysis, head trauma, major burns, loss of sight etc are also covered, but the number of claims in these other areas is low compared to the main 5 listed above.

Faced with the choice because of your available budget, basic or comprehensive? Take the comprehensive at a slightly lower level. For example if you had a $100,000 cover on a basic policy; a $85,000 claim under comprehensive beats $0 on the basic policy if your condition is not one that the basic policy covers.

Some things about trauma you need to be aware about:

  • A large number of conditions have a 90-day stand down from the start of the policy before you can claim, this is about any symptoms you may be having before or during this time. Any symptoms appearing in the first 90 days will mean you cannot claim on those related benefits that have the 90-day stand down.
  • Buy back options should be considered and included, this means if you have a claim you have the ability to reinstate your cover so you can have the ability to claim for another condition. The condition you originally had would now be excluded. With advances in medical technology, we are seeing more second trauma claims rather than life cover claims than we used to. A traumatic condition is not necessarily a terminal condition as many people think.
  • Children’s trauma should be looked at closely, certainly if you have children or intend to have children. This benefit covers you children up to age 19-21 (depending on provider) for the same conditions you have on your policy. The reason we say look at it closely is not all trauma policies include it. Some it’s built in at a set amount of cover, some you have to ask for it, some it’s free, some you have to pay extra for it, some it’s a % of your policy, others just don’t have the option. Do not just assume because the brochure says it is there, check the policy wording or ask your adviser to show you exactly how it works. It may surprise you.
  • Check age limits, some trauma covers you for life, some to age 70 and others only to 65.

Most importantly getting the right advice around your policies is important, because the selection of your policy will determine the quality of your claim, though this can be said for most things.

A case in point, one client we talked to had asked their previous adviser for a policy that covered them for pregnancy complications. Being 4-5 months pregnant at the time, it was an important consideration. What might surprise you is the adviser had no trouble arranging the cover. Given the client was pregnant at the time, we would expect this part of the cover to be excluded for this pregnancy. What we found on looking a bit closer, the policy this adviser selected only covered pregnancy complications between the ages of 16 and 40. What was not pointed out to the client at the time, that the insurer clearly understood, was the client being aged 41 was not covered by this benefit at all.

Trauma can do many things for you. Exploring your options and the most appropriate policy for you is a discussion best had directly with one of our advisers, get in touch, we would be glad to help you understand your options and which of the many policies on the market are most suitable for your needs and situation.