Pam Lavers
Co-Founder, The Tower Group

Proper Planning Means Expect the Unexpected

Within all the uncertainty and turmoil in the world, we also often see crisis close to home. Confidence comes from being as prepared as possible and a proper plan enables a more robust plan for growth. Planning for negative unexpected events certainly doesn’t just mean that we have insurance in place, it means we have thought through a contingency plan that we can follow in a time of crisis. Insurance can play a role as part of those contingency plans.

Chaos often follows crisis and it can be valuable to have a plan of action to follow in order to restore sanity to the situation and be focused on what’s in your control to deal with the situation. Many people often say they attribute much of their growth to working together with our team but we can be even more valuable in an emergency. A partner with an objective perspective and a rational approach is often key to enabling you to better handle the emotional side of a tough situation.

One way to think about all this is to see what major “What if’s?” apply to you:

  • What if we have a sudden loss of income in the household?
    • Know today’s lifestyle expenses (both your consistent monthly numbers and your annual plan) as well as your minimum possible budget…this is powerful information that represents the foundation of your financial planning
    • Develop emergency savings and maintain access to a home equity credit line
    • Establish plans B, C and D for what you would do for work and income and keep lines of communication to who you know in your industry and your network
    • Contact us to go through our Next Opportunity Planning
  • What if there is a major illness diagnosed?
    • Be open to help to speak with people who have been in the same situation, use offered resources for providing emotional support to you and your family
    • Know how your company would respond and what your group plan covers (or if self-employed work to have a self-managing company
    • Have individual coverage to protect your family from financial impact
    • Move to minimum possible budget and understand what your capacity is for major expense related to liquidity and available credit
    • Have a pro-active plan with your medical professionals, seek second opinions (also ask us about Best Doctors referral service), and know that returning to work too soon often creates significant medical setbacks
  • What if there is unexpected death in your immediate family or in your extended family?
    • Your financial planner may be important to contact early on in a situation as we have a process to follow in speaking to the funeral home, insurers and financial companies like banks and the government
    • Have adequate insurance in place at all times and of the proper type plus know what additional coverage may be relevant, such as group benefits or ancillary protection
    • Adjust the financial plan (via consultation with your financial planner) to the new reality so previous quality of life in the household can be maintained
  • What to do in the case of a vehicle accident?
    • Confirm you are ok (take time to take a breath and check yourself) and the others involved are safe and that your vehicles are moved to the side or off the road, if possible, and enable the hazard flashers of all vehicles…do not continue to stand within the scene, move away from the situation in case
    • Seek witnesses and request they remain at the scene, or at least provide contact information, especially if you are calling to request the police on scene, which you should do
    • Don’t volunteer information/opinions at this point (don’t rush to admit fault or administer blame) but do take pictures, including of their insurance and registration and drivers licence and offer the same as well as take notes (even if it’s calling your work phone to leave messages with your notes)
    • Report the situation to your insurer as soon as possible
    • What you can do before the accident is to keep a safety kit in the vehicle and ensure that you always dress for the weather conditions, especially proper footwear and winter gear
    • Keep important documents handy, such as insurance and registration plus how to contact your insurer and potentially this checklist of what to do in an accident
    • Don’t keep loose items around your vehicle, put them in the glove compartment or secured somehow so they aren’t flying around, able to cause harm
  • What if a house fire/flood occurs or some other major home repair is required?
    • Use your pre-determined emergency plan with the family for a muster point, etc (if you don’t have one then request our checklist and input) and ensure all people and pets are safe
    • Contact your insurer and use our help to properly negotiate with your adjuster and insurer and confirm proper remediation experts are used
    • Before any issue shows up, obtain a review of your coverage every 2-3 years and focus on having quality, comprehensive protection from a reputable Canadian based company, NOT just the lowest cost..for example, adequate additional living coverage and appropriate replacement valuation
    • Have proper computer backups that you keep offsite for copies of important documents and keep you important material all in one safe area in your home (consider a fire-proof safe)
    • Don’t keep anything important or valuable in an area of your home that can flood as an additional pro-active measure

There may be other situations that you want to plan for, which we can help with! Within our Wealth Creation System, we have proven methods to help you increase your level of preparedness on many topics. By following our best practices and processes, we can work together to develop contingency plans for you, your family and your business, if applicable. Plans should also be reviewed at least annually.

We have all been affected by some of these situations or know someone who has. One thing most people agree with is that change is constant and that life is a winding road; it’s not IF something bad is going to happen, it’s when…and what separates people is how they are able to manage adversity. It’s easier with a team approach!