David's story - Needle stick injury & income protection in action
Real Life Stories
David, an Orthopedic surgeon, has an income protection policy with the '10 Hours Plus' definition of severe disability. When performing a routine operation suffered a needle stick injury and then had to be tested to see if he had contracted a blood borne disease as a result.
The relevant medical board policy statement required that David cease practising surgery immediately. This was also the view of the treating doctor. While David is physically able to continue to perform surgery, morally and professionally he could not continue to work until the outcome of the needle stick injury is known.
It would take three months for this issue to be completed so David is now unable to work, for at least three months, in his usual occupation, due to a simple needle stick injury.
Surgery is an important income producing duty of David’s occupation, and he was not capable of continuing to practise as a surgeon and did not have another occupation. As a result, his risk insurance company was satisfied that David has met the occupational requirements of the insurance policy definition. He received income protection benefits for 75% of this gross income whilst he waited for the results of the blood test. Fortunately, the test were returned negative and he was able to continue in his usual occupation after the final blood test results were completed three months later.
If he had received bad news from the test results, his income protection insurance would continue till age 65 (indexed to inflation increasing annually) whilst he was unable to work due to his sickness and injury.