For some of us, a good proportion of our time is spent avoiding thinking about difficult or uncomfortable things.
Tax bills, medical checkups, dealing with difficult people at work are just a few, but one of the more overlooked areas in many of our lives is that of insurance cover.
We might have adequate cover for the house, the car or the cat but surprisingly few people stop to consider how they might provide for their families if they became ill or suffered an accident.
Each year this leaves many thousands of people in serious trouble when they discover they or their partner is ill and unable to work. Instead of having a financial plan, they may simply have to struggle.
Recovering from a serious illness or planning for your family’s future should be the first priority in these circumstances, but for many, struggling to survive financially has to come first.
Sadly, the thought that naturally occurs: ‘I should be protecting my family’, has to take second place to struggling to pay the mortgage.
A critical illness policy ensures that the major liabilities you have, your mortgage or children’s university education could be paid off with a tax free lump sum if you are diagnosed with a serious illness.
Being able to clear debt or afford to have your home adapted if you needed a wheelchair access or had other disability needs would be a relief in very difficult circumstances.
It is tempting, when you are younger, to simply rely on your continued good health and assume you will remain fit and healthy into the future.
This is a common mistake and it shows that human beings tend to be bad about predicting future risk.
The reason for taking out insurance in the first place is to protect against the things that are not exactly certain to happen, but that would be catastrophic if they occurred.
One of the realities of life in the 21st Century for most working people is the degree to which security has become a comparative rarity.
Jobs with generous health care packages, a relaxed and generous attitude towards sick leave and which pay enough for employees to amass enough savings to pay for long periods of ill health are rarities.
Instead, employers now expect their staff to take care of themselves if they are seriously ill, so taking care of your own future has now become an essential task.
There is a wide range of life insurance and critical illness policies available and the right package for you will depend on your own circumstances.
The number of dependents, the size of your mortgage and any other liabilities will all determine what level of cover you need.
In addition to this, your lifestyle, current health and any potentially hazardous work or leisure related activities will affect the policy you receive.
If you have decided that the time has come to be proactive about securing your future against the possibility of ill health, then it might be a good idea to get some financial advice.
Consulting a professional advisor does not commit you to taking out any policy, but it will give you a thorough understanding of the options open to you.