Having an emergency plan is important for everyone but it’s particularly important when you are single.
Without a partner to fall back on, it is vital that you have the resources in place to help you navigate a crisis or life-changing event, such as losing a job or becoming ill.
Here CashLady looks at what to do in an emergency when you’re single, focusing on putting plans in place that will help you cope both financially and practically should the worst happen.
Creating an emergency plan when you’re single
With some simple preparation, you can save yourself a lot of worries and potential financial hardship in the event of an emergency.
It’s hard to imagine a change in circumstances when you are fit and healthy but The Money Saving Advice Service has reported that each year close to a million people in the UK finds themselves unable to work due to a serious illness or injury.
Whatever your age it pays to think about what you would do in the event of physical or mental illness.
How would you make ends meet if it impacted your ability to work and bring home your regular salary?
Income protection insurance for single people
If you are single and live alone then you won’t have a partner’s income to help support you if, for whatever reason, you can no longer work.
Taking out income protection insurance, also known as permanent health insurance or disability insurance, will pay you a replacement income in the event that you lose yours.
The cover is available for a wide range of illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and mental illnesses.
This is Money recommends that you speak to an independent financial adviser before choosing your policy because they vary widely in terms of what they exclude and cover and the policy you select should be based on your personal financial situation.
The importance of the ICE program
Devised by a paramedic, ICE (in case of emergency) information, includes vital details that medical staff or police can easily access if you are unable to tell them yourself.
It used to be stored as a contact in your phone but now that most mobile phones are password protected you should research how to enter your ICE information depending on your device.
The ICE app for iPhone, for example, lets you put your emergency information on your lock screen, including your next of kin’s number, plus information about medications you take, your blood type, allergies and other medical conditions.
Power of attorney
When you are single, it’s not immediately obvious who you would want to make decisions for you in the event of illness or accident, if it’s not already in writing.
Appointing someone to manage your affairs if you can’t manage them yourself, could help you assert some control on events even if you are no longer able to do so yourself, making it crucial for any emergency plan.
Lasting power of attorney is a legal document that lets you appoint one or more people to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.
This gives you more of a say in what happens should you have an accident or an illness that impairs your mental capacity.
You must be over 18 and have the ability to make your own decisions when you appoint your attorneys, and you can choose trusted family members or friends, a solicitor, or even a bank, although there is usually a charge for this.
An emergency support network for single people
An emergency support network is important whatever your relationship status but particularly when you’re single and in the process of creating your emergency plan.
Appointing someone (or a couple of people) from your friends or family group as your emergency contact is an important first step, along with letting them know that you have done so.
Have a proper discussion with them and prepare some notes so that they are fully prepared to help look after your home or provide access to others, should you be involved in an accident.
Give them a set of your house keys, a note of your doctor’s name, and instructions on how to care for pets and plants.
You may also want to provide a trusted person with your online passwords and limited financial information so that they can pay your bills if you become ill.