Starting from the ground up

After 32 years in the flooring industry, self-employed carpet layer Ron Tree found that the repetitive injuries he’d sustained to his knees and neck meant he could no longer work in the physically demanding role he was used to. That’s when his financial adviser stepped in to help.


Earlier in his working life, Ron had consulted a financial adviser about how best to protect himself and his family with the right type and level of life insurance cover. As a result, Ron’s life insurance plan included income protection cover, which provides an ongoing monthly income while the insured person can’t work because of illness or injury.


But as Ron was to discover, having income protection cover gave him far more than just financial support to cover his day-to-day expenses.


With the injuries he’d sustained, Ron needed to completely rethink his career if he was to continue working. At first, things were difficult for him. ‘I felt a sense of despair, as all I had known was to work with my hands and tools,’ he admitted. ‘After my injury, I was left thinking, what could I do now to re-invent myself?’


‘Just sitting around the house was getting me down. I started to look at what I could do with my experience in the flooring trade, in roles like site supervisor, site measurer, or site estimation.’


Fortunately, Ron found a great support network in his financial adviser and his insurer’s rehabilitation team.


The rehab team not only gave Ron guidance on managing his injuries, but also helped him identify and train for a new career. He learned new skills through engaging in work trials and short courses, while continuing with physiotherapy treatment, daily stretching, swimming and bike riding.


Ron admits that the idea of a new career direction was daunting at first. ‘If you spend 30-odd years working with your hands, this makes you set in your ways. So I really had to embrace computers, note-taking and phone calls as my new set of work tools.’


‘My insurer and its rehabilitation team helped me network with some of my own employment contacts and to organise some job trials on the administrative side of my work.’


With all he’s been through recently, Ron is relieved that he followed his financial adviser’s recommendation all those years ago and took our income protection insurance. ‘My policy was a good one and I would advise anyone, especially self-employed people, to seek out the best cover they can afford.’


He also recommends that any employed person, and particularly those in physical professions, have an alternative career path in mind as they get older for a smoother transition to a new career.


‘When things are going well in your life, you never really think of what could go wrong. But when a big event happens, like a major injury, that’s when you need the right level of cover to protect all the things you’ve worked for. That’s when insurance is an absolute must.’


To learn more about income protection cover, speak to your financial adviser.


This is a case study only and its recommendations will not suit everyone. See your financial adviser for advice on your circumstances.


Important information

Suncorp Portfolio Services Limited (Trustee) (ABN 61 063 427 958, AFSL 237905, RSE Licence No L0002059) is the issuer of Suncorp WealthSmart Personal Super, Suncorp WealthSmart Pension, Suncorp WealthSmart Business Super, and Suncorp WealthSmart Term Allocated Pension. These products are part of the Suncorp Master Trust (Fund) (ABN 98 350 952 022, RSE Fund Registration No. R1056655). Unless otherwise stated, the Trustee and any other company within the Suncorp Group do not guarantee the repayment of capital or the performance of these products. This product is not a bank deposit or other liability of Suncorp Bank (Suncorp-Metway Limited ABN 66 010 831 722) (SML) and is subject to investment risk including possible delays in repayment and loss of the interest and principal invested. SML is not liable or responsible for, and does not guarantee or otherwise support, these products.