Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Peace Of Mind If Your Child Becomes Ill

We are in uncertain financial times.  We don't like to think about it, but what would happen if you or your partner needed to take long-term time off work to care for a child who was ill?

Many of us quite sensibly take out insurance to make sure our mortgage and bills are covered if we lose our job through redundancy or as a result of an accident ourselves, but as parents we may also need to take extended periods of time off work if a child becomes seriously ill as a result of an accident or illness.

I know several friends who have had to face this and the impact it's had on family life has been far-reaching.  It's bad enough having to cope with the stress and anguish of having your child in hospital. The endless worries as they face operations and tests.  The impact it has on siblings whose life has to continue as normally as possible.  The added expense of travelling to hospital on a daily basis, the parking fees, the overnight stays... it goes on and on.  But add to that the financial worry of not being able to afford to take unpaid leave to care for your child and it can become unbearable.  Imagine the main breadwinner not being able to spend that precious time with their poorly son or daughter because they have to bring home the wage packet...

I spoke to some of my friends whose children have been ill, to see how that impacted financially on the family:

Laura from Tired Mummy of Two told me:

"When Elizabeth was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia our life turned upside down. Not only did we have to learn to cope with her diagnosis but I was a self-employed childminder so immediately we went down to a one income household. After the first two weeks of compassionate leave, Adam had to return to work otherwise he wouldn't have been paid anymore. We knew that eventually she would be entitled to benefits but that would take at least three months and in the meantime we had higher expenditure due to staying in hospital and no way to make ends meet. We ended up having to sell our car as it was cheaper to rely on buses than to pay the insurance and running costs. Money was a real worry and I cancelled all direct debits for our bills apart from our rent and just hoped for the best, luckily the companies were very understanding and once we were able to claim benefits we had a large amount of debt that had built up to our utility companies. If we had insurance to cover us for this then our life would have been a whole lot easier and we wouldnt have had to make the sacrifices that we did in a time when our sole focus should have been our daughter"

Cat from Parent Blogger News also experienced financial worry when her daughter became ill:

"Verity's diagnosis at 8 months old was a huge shock, not least because it soon became clear that the close monitoring she would need meant I wouldn't be able to return to work as we had planned. Losing my income with little warning really added to the pressure at a very stressful time."

Emma from Emma and Three also had to seek time off work to deal with her daughter's disability:

"I had to take a year off work with 10 days notice before my third child underwent multiple surgeries. I thought I'd have to hand my notice in as a Head of Dept at a secondary school but thankfully the Governors gave me a sabbatical year. Suddenly we lost an income and our costs increased as I had to buy special equipment for her. It was expensive and lonely as I needed to find ways to entertain her when she was not able to go to nursery."

The new insurance product InsureWithMax seeks to address these issues. Bourne from personal experience, InsureWithMax ChildMax will pay up to 12 months salary for you to take unpaid leave from your job if your child becomes seriously ill*.  From less than £50 a year, you can make that one-off payment and relax, knowing that you're covered. You are not tied in to continue with the policy year after year. The policy covers a number of illnesses and disabilities from an accident - check for details.

ChildMax is the brain child of Max Robinson, who is driven by a need to keep premiums low to assist working families because he wants them to financially carry on as normal, while restoring their child’s health.   The product comes from Max's personal family experience when in the 1990's his half-sister became seriously ill with a rare condition.  She required 24/7 care and Max's father had to battle both financially and medically to get the best for her.  Max's father became her full-time carer and his step-mother became the main breadwinner but it had a huge financial impact on the whole family.

Max is a professionally qualified insurance underwriter with 29 years’ experience. This included twenty successful years at a large European insurer which gave him the confidence to develop a new insurance product for working families. It needed to be affordable and protect them from financial hardship caused by salary loss when caring for a child with a major illness or a severe accident.
With a UK call centre and supporting claims team InsureWithMax.com is operated by the Kent based Questor Insurance Services Limited, an independent privately owned insurance intermediary that is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Questor Insurance has been trading since 2007 and has sold over 1 million policies.

Just thinking about my own personal circumstances, I know if god-forbid my daughter became seriously ill or injured in an accident, we couldn't afford for her father to take long-term unpaid leave.  We wouldn't be able to cover our mortgage and bills and I know that would cause emotional problems if he wasn't able to be there for her.  I think this is such a brilliant idea and could be such a massive help to lots and lots of families.

There'll be a Twitter chat about Child Max and protecting your family's future on Friday 1st July at 11.15-midday. Come and join in for an upbeat discussion about how Child Max can help and there'll be prizes on offer too! #ChildMax

*As with all policies, certain exclusions apply.  Please see InsureWithMax for further details.

Collaborative post.


  1. Great post Liz, don't forget the twitter chat Friday as well! Let's get this topic well and truly open! :-)

  2. It is important to have this sort of protection if you have an ill child and would suffer financially if one of you couldn't work.

  3. And that's is just a small pinch of the people who have been affected. Will look forward to chatting with you on Friday at the Twitter talk xx

  4. Great post, it would definitely provide peace of mind x

  5. Illness is such an emotional time anyway and having to worry about financial issues is exactly what you don't need. we have NN insurance but i am not convince that they will cover for times like this. i should really check.

  6. This is a really interesting idea. I will certainly look in to it. I know just how much debt we got in to when I was unwell and would hate that added to the stress of looking after a child. Unfortunately my two both have pre-existing conditions which would rule them out.

  7. I'm pretty sure that we have cover in place but I am certainly going to check. It is such an important topic, so it is great that you are raising awareness as I can imagine that a lot of people don't have any cover

  8. I really need to sit down and look at all the policies we have as you make some really good points here and I don't think we'd be covered if something happened.

  9. What a great idea, the thought of a child or loved one being seriously ill is a real worry

  10. I will pop by the twitter chat tomorrow as I am really interested in this, we really need to look at taking out some insurances x

  11. It's a very good point, and not one I'd considered. As well as having to take time off, there are so many expenses too, even car parking charges add up!

  12. Definitely need to look into this more, it's not something I've thought about much before!