The very first successful human to human heart transplant was performed in 1967 by a team of specialists including Heart Surgeon Dr Marius Barnard. Not only was Dr Barnard part of the team that changed medical history, but he’s also responsible for the introduction of Trauma insurance in Australia.
Dr Barnard noticed that improvements in medical care meant that many more patients were now surviving and recovering fully from their medical conditions but in doing so were suffering from financial stress and the financial burden associated with the cost of treatment and recovery, not to mention time out of work.
So in 1983 Dr Barnard launched an insurance product called “dread disease insurance” which covered four major medical conditions being heart attack, stroke, cancer and coronary artery bypass surgery, also known in the industry as the “Big Four” medical events.
Whilst the trauma insurance product has evolved significantly since 1983, the Big Four :
- heart attack
- coronary bypass surgery
Statistics show that more than $621 million was paid out in Trauma claims in Australia in 2013 *. This is likely to increase with the Cancer Council of Australia forecasting 149,990 new cases of cancer to be diagnosed in 2020, up from just 47,388 cases diagnosed in 1982.
Calculating the exact level of cover needed will be different for everyone. A trauma policy can provide funds to help prepare the unexpected. It can assist by providing funding to pursue top-level medical treatment, travel to seek medical assistance or allow a partner or spouse to take some time off work to provide care. It could also cover medical and treatment costs and out of pocket medical expenses, replace income in the event that you can’t work and go towards reducing or repaying debt.
To work out an appropriate sum insured for Trauma cover, typically a needs analysis will be required to take into consideration your own personal and financial requirements.