The worst thing about New Zealand (aside from our property market, which is FUBAR) is how unemployment works.
If you’re over 65, you get superannuation. It’s not means tested. Everyone can receive it.
If you’re employed, you pay ACC levies as part of your taxes. If you get hurt and can’t work, then ACC covers part of your wages, based on your earnings.
If you’ve been working but lose your job, unless you’re basically destitute, you won’t be able to get unemployment (or Jobseeker Support, as I believe it’s now called) if you live with a partner who is employed. Even though you’ve been working and paying taxes.
I work with a lot of Brits and local life insurance agents, one of whom once voiced surprise at how common it is to have income protection insurance in New Zealand. The reason is pretty simple: it’s necessary.
I now have insurance that will cover 45% of my income for awhile if I’m not working. I have some trauma insurance, which provides a lump sum if I get seriously ill. And I also have a bit of life insurance, which probably isn’t technically needed just yet but hey, it’s a cheap addition.
For this peace of mind I will be forking out about $800 a year, which is more than car insurance but less than house insurance or contents insurance.
I got these insurances through an insurance broker, who was in turn referred to me by my mortgage broker. Insurance is definitely a grudge purchase, but I wouldn’t be without it, particularly now with a mortgage.
Am I a grown up yet?