What happens if I become ill or am injured? Can I insure against this?

What happens if I become ill or am injured? Can I insure against this?

Your practice is reliant solely upon you to maintain a flow of income. If you are unfortunate enough to become ill or injured, and this persists for any length of time, this can present a serious problem.

You may have reached the stage where you have built up a high level of fees owed to you, ie your debtors or aged debt. This could be drawn upon in the short term. To supplement your income beyond the short term, however, you should consider taking out insurance.

There are several types of policy available, including:

  • Critical illness cover, which provides cover against being diagnosed with a serious disease, such as cancer (even though you might be able to work).
  • Income protection policies, which pay you a regular income whilst you are unable to work because of illness or injury.
  • Private medical insurance, which covers the cost of private medical care. It allows you to receive treatment quickly, or at a time of your choosing, thereby minimising the disruption to your business.

Consider, for example, an income protection policy. These only start to pay out after a deferment period, and the longer the deferment period you choose, the lower the cost of the premiums. Typically, if your debtors (or aged debt) are quite large you may choose a deferment period of between three and six months.

Care must be taken when choosing the policy to ensure that it pays out when you are unable to carry on your profession as a barrister. Many policies do not; they expect you to mitigate the loss by taking on other non-related duties.

Speak to us to discuss the level of cover and deferment period and to ensure you actually have a policy that will pay out in the unfortunate event that you have a claim.

This answer was last checked May 2017. This answer is for general guidance only. It provides an outline, and may not include points which are important in your case. You should not rely on this answer without taking individual advice based on the full facts of your case. The information given was correct at the time of release.