In Box: Income + illness

If they fall seriously ill, 45 percent of business decision makers would be unable to pay all their expenses and maintain their lifestyle just four weeks after sick leave and annual leave runs out.
This compares with 55 percent of households overall facing serious financial trouble after four weeks if the primary income earner falls ill.
New path-finding research by Horizon, conducted for the Financial Services Council, finds the incidence of serious illness, resulting in the primary earner being off work for six months or more is 2.6 times more likely than being off because of an accident. Eighty percent of earnings are covered by ACC when there is an accident. Serious illness is covered by the sickness benefit (about $341.60 week for couple with children). But it is tested on total household income, meaning about one million households, earning over $20,000 year, are not likely to get the benefit. And only 15 percent of adults have income protection insurance.

Source: Horizon Research survey of 3343 New Zealanders. Released February 18, 2013.

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