Accidents will happen

29 January 2018



Yesterday I witnessed an accident between a small family car and a huge lorry making deliveries in the city centre.

Luckily everyone walked away, shaken but physically uninjured and I’m sure thanking their lucky stars that the outcome wasn’t considerably worse.  Certainly, when you saw the comparative size of the two vehicles involved, the outcome could have been very different.

The accident itself was quite frightening, and possibly the first where I actually witnessed the impact. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen too many accidents where the emergency services are working at the scene. But the shock of witnessing this accident got me thinking – no-one wakes up in the morning with plans to be involved in an accident that day.

It’ll never happen to me

I think we all like to believe we’re a good driver, safe behind the wheel and able to transport our passengers about without harm coming to them. But the truth of it is that there were an estimated 176,500 road casualties in the year ending June 20171.  This doesn’t include the minor ‘prangs’ where the driver is shaken by a dented bumper, but represents physical injuries caused by road users.

It’s a scary statistic, but what if you stop and think about that number for a moment?  This figure represents 176,500 people whose own lives were changed (by varying degrees) because of a road accident. Add to that the number of loved ones and families whose lives are impacted, and that number grows significantly bigger.

Protecting those we love

My husband’s a fireman and sees first-hand the real fragility of life.  A hard day for me working in marketing, perhaps chasing a campaign deadline, really doesn’t come close to his hardest days.  Working in the professions we do, I think we appreciate that bad things could happen to any one of us at any time and, as a result, we’re a pretty risk-averse family. All that said, we don’t live our lives wrapped in cotton wool, we’re just very prepared.  We’re the family with extra blankets in the car at the first sign of snow and the comprehensive first aid kit at the campsite. We know bad stuff happens, and sometimes you just can’t stop it, but by having a back-up plan we hope to reduce the impact.

It makes me feel better knowing that I have something to fall back on when we’re out and about but I’m not so naïve to think that a plaster and a kiss on the forehead will fix every scrape my kids get into. Life will have things in store for them I just can’t predict.

When our first child arrived, my husband and I revisited our protection plans. We knew we’d been sensible by taking out sufficient cover to protect each other, but what about our son?

Being the ever-prepared couple we are, we wanted to make sure that we had enough life cover to help someone with the cost of bringing up our son if we were to both die. Let’s face it, kids cost a lot of money. We also increased our critical illness cover by a little bit, knowing that our household spend was about to increase.  Nursery fees and nappies don’t stop just because you’re very ill.

It was then we realised the significance of children’s critical illness cover being included in our plan. Even though it had always been there, we’d had no need to consider its importance.  However, once the baby arrived, we appreciated the fact that if anything were to happen to him, we’d have a small financial cushion that might allow us to take time off work, or buy specialist equipment to make our lives easier. We were prepared without even realising!

Royal London can help

Royal London’s most recent improvement to our Critical Illness Cover allows individuals to be as prepared as their needs and budgets allow. When your clients take out our Critical Illness Cover, they can now choose the level of Children’s Critical Illness Cover they need.

People with no children, or with children who have perhaps left home, can choose Critical Illness Cover with no Children’s Critical Illness Cover added - the cheapest option.  Those on a tight budget, or perhaps with older children, can add Standard Children’s Critical Illness Cover. And, clients who have children, or who are planning to start a family, and want our most comprehensive cover, can add our Enhanced Children’s Critical Illness Cover.

This change in approach means that individuals can be as prepared as they feel comfortable, or their budget allows.  

Sources – 1 – Department for Transport, Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: quarterly provisional estimates year ending June 2017.

About the author

Sarah Scott

Sarah has worked within communications and marketing in financial services since 2003. She enjoys writing and is interested in the influence of social media in marketing.

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