I’ve been a self-employed, driving instructor, based in Warminster, Wiltshire for 18 years. As a single woman the financial risk is all mine. When I began trading, and opened my business bank account, the bank advised me that some form of income protection would be a wise investment. I have a mortgage and regular bills to pay and so if something drastic happened to me, from either illness or accident, there would be no other protection in place that could cover all my outgoings. I am self-employed and the sole income provider in my household so I knew that I needed a good policy to protect me.
I have been a member of the Wiltshire Friendly Society since 2006. A friend recommended that Alan Godfrey, the sales representative, call me for a chat. They knew I was looking for a new policy well suited to my needs. I had an existing income protection policy with my bank; but it had lots of conditions attached to it, which meant that it didn’t pay out as quickly as I wanted if I was ill.
Wiltshire Friendly’s Income Protection was a good policy and the right one for me. They don’t have a host of special conditions; such as, you have to be in hospital for a week before you can claim and I could choose to have my benefit paid immediately. I have complete peace of mind that they will pay out as long as I have the correct certification, such as a doctor’s note.
As a driving instructor, I work in a very hazardous environment and I am aware that an accident could happen any day. Recently, I had a very calamitous month. I had an accident at home for which I needed a week off work. Later that same month, during a driving lesson where we were driving along the road at 50 mph, another driver pulled out of a side road on our left. There was absolutely no time to respond and the impact was almost instant. I suffered severe bruising and whiplash, which took me out of action for another two weeks. It was terrible, and even though I have a bit of a buffer with some savings it would still take me a while to recover the loss, because being self-employed any income is not guaranteed.
During that month I had also taken a week’s holiday, which was unpaid, because I am self-employed and am only paid when I work.
So, if I didn't have my policy in place I wouldn’t have had any income at all during that month which would have made me particularly vulnerable financially. My Wiltshire Friendly plan paid me my benefit for the three weeks I was unable to work, from the two unrelated accidents.
The claiming process is very straightforward and the Society’s service has always been very good. Wiltshire Friendly has paid every claim I have ever made and in good time too.
It’s not only been a good insurance policy though, there is also the added advantage that I am saving a little pot of money as well. However, what is most important to me is that when I need to claim the team are available to ensure the claim is managed quickly and simply, so that I can pay my bills.
You might think that it won’t happen to you but I know from my own recent experiences things can go wrong, and all at once, so my income protection policy was absolutely invaluable. I was so relieved that I had it.