When you consider income protection insurance and the legal industry, it’s not always clear why the two should go hand in hand. It’s not a particularly dangerous profession. Blue-collar workers are far more likely to face injury in the workplace, so why would a white-collar role be considered potentially risky? It’s so easy to assume that the need for a financial safety net in the legal profession isn’t typically pressing. However, recent research says otherwise.

Safework Australia’s latest compensation statistics report shows some interesting trends regarding white-collar workers and their general wellbeing. We compared the proportion of serious compensation claims by nature of illness or injury made by blue-collar workers vs white-collar workers.

Naturally, blue-collar employees see a higher percentage of physical injuries than white-collar employees. For example, injuries such as fractures, traumatic joint or muscle injuries, wounds, organ damage and digestive system diseases are seen in much larger proportions by blue-collar workers. However, white-collar workers make over three times the number of claims for mental illnesses.

Similarly, while mental stress is the smallest cause of compensation claims for blue-collar workers, it’s a huge trigger for corporate employees. In terms of what kind of jobs generate the most claims, environmental agencies and biological agencies make up the two largest proportions of serious claims for white-collar workers.

What’s also interesting is that the median compensation amount paid between 2000 and 2014 was consistently higher for white-collar workers than blue-collar. Whether this indicates that mental illnesses are deemed more debilitating than physical ailments is unclear.

Safework Australia’s report emphasises that those employees working within white-collar occupations make a far higher proportion of claims for mental illness, stress and similar disorders than those with blue-collar jobs. It’s clear that this is can be a damaging consequence of some people’s jobs.

So how can income protection help?

Income protection insurance is essentially designed to replace the majority of your income in the short term if you’re unable to work as a result of an illness, injury or (in some cases) redundancy. Typically, Australian policies should provide cover for up to around 75% of your income, generally paid monthly. This can help to cover anything from credit card debt, education and mortgage repayments, to food and daily bills.

Statistically, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, over 60% of Aussies will be disabled for a period of over one month during their working life. A further 25% of these will find themselves disabled for longer than three months. Furthermore, over 2.6 million Australians under the age of 65 have suffered a physical disability. It doesn’t matter which industry you work in or what kind of ailment you experience, these statistics apply to all working Australians.

So how can you find an income protection policy for your job that’s right for you? Check online and shop around. It’s so important to make sure you compare various income protection policies so that you can get a good idea of what’s available. Often, it’s easy to just choose a policy and stick with it because it doesn’t require a lot of effort. However, you should always be on the lookout for the best policy for you, so do your research and change policies if need be.
Income protection insurance is important no matter what industry you work in and it shouldn’t be undervalued. Having the peace of mind that it provides will be a weight off your shoulders.