Running a Business when your Child isn’t Well.

It’s always really tough when our children are ill and we’re trying to run a business. Most of us are self employed because it allows us to be there for our children, but when they’re ill it can impact on our ability to earn money.

Last month I took my 3 year old to the farm while my 6 year old was at school. She’d complained that her tummy hurt before breakfast but I just thought she was hungry. While we were at the farm, she was clearly unhappy and her tummy ache was getting worse so we decided to go home. In the car she began to cry with the pain, I had no idea what was wrong and because I was driving I couldn’t even comfort her. It was a scary drive but once we made it home and I was able to give her a hug she calmed down. I made an appointment to see the doctor and she diagnosed inflamed stomach glands as the result of a virus, apparently quite common in small children.

img_4167It took two weeks for my poor little girl to recover, the pain wasn’t constant after the first few days but carried on occurring regularly and she was exhausted because it kept her (and me) awake at night. Like most children when they are unwell, she wanted me near all the time. Even though all she could manage was laying on the sofa watching TV, she wanted me to be next to her and that meant my business had to take a back seat for a little while. Thank goodness, after two weeks she was back to her usual self, creating chaos and tormenting her big brother. I know that if she had a more serious condition my priority would be to be there for her just like I was for those two weeks and that would mean I was no longer generating income from my business.

I first became aware of Insure with Max at the Mum and Working Awards where they were sponsoring the franchisor of the year category (won by the fantastic Baby Sensory). They are the creators of ChildMax, an insurance policy that pays your take-home salary for a year if you need to take unpaid leave to care for your child in the event of serious accident or illness. It covers a range of different conditions including blindness or deafness, paralysis, bacterial meningitis and cancer. While these aren’t things that any of us like to think about and aren’t, thank goodness, common, they do sometimes happen, and being self employed can make them even more challenging.

Two things really surprised me about the ChildMax insurance. The first is the cost, while individual quotes depend on what your take-home salary is and how many children you have the minimum premium is just £49.50 a year and for a parent with two young children earning £1800 a month the premium would be around £106.48. The biggest surprise though was that it’s available for self-employed parents, unlike so many insurance policies. Being self-employed means there are no company benefits to help you out so insurance like this can give you security in the event of the worst happening.

img_4164I have to say that until I’d heard of this product I hadn’t really thought about what would happen to my business if I was unable to work. As well as this blog, I run baby and children’s nearly new sales and they certainly wouldn’t bring in any money without me working on them daily. I know from the experience of friends that when one of your children is unwell it’s all consuming and I know I wouldn’t be able to run my business while being there for my child. This is particularly the case for me because I have two children and even if one was unwell life would have to carry on for the other, so school runs and making dinner would have to fit in around hospital visits, leaving no time for work.

The flexibility ChildMax is ideal for someone self employed, you can insure your salary between £1000 and £5000 a month and the payment is tax free. You can even go back to work on a part-time or flexible basis and ChildMax will pay the top up to your full take-home pay. For a blogger like me this would mean I could keep my blog ticking over until I was able to get back to work full time. For my nearly new sales the insurance payments would mean I could pay someone to run my sales on a freelance basis until I was able to run them again myself. For me that would be the difference between having a business to come back to and having to start again from scratch.

Have any of you used insurance like this? I’d love to hear your experiences.

This is a collaborative post with Insure with Max but all views are my own