In the perfect world we would have both, because they do very different jobs.

Trauma insurance is designed to pay out a lump sum in the event of you suffering a specific major health trauma such as heart attack, cancer or stroke.

The event has to be serious and whilst not needing to be life threatening, it will generally be something that may be with you for the rest of your life. Unlike Income Protection insurance, you do not need to be unable to work to trigger a claim. We have had significant claims including head trauma, heart attacks and aggressive cancers, whereby the claim has been paid and the client is living a pretty much normal life.

Medical Insurance is designed to enable you to choose when and where you have any substantial medical treatment. This is a product that tends to be a matter of when you will use it rather than if you will use it.

The short-comings of our health system are quite common in the media, and perhaps sometimes unfairly at times.

So what about the family on a tight budget who cannot afford both products and must choose one.

One of our Advisers had an interesting case several years ago, whereby the family he was dealing with had to choose either Trauma or Medical insurance based on budget. They chose Medical insurance. A year or two later the client was diagnosed with detached retina which meant he lost more than 70% of his vision and was unable to continue his then manual occupation. His medical treatment was taken care of by the public health system because his condition was serious, so he had no need to call on his medical insurance. The family subsequently had significantly less income coming into the household, and had to let their medical insurance lapse.

His condition would have triggered a Trauma claim and a one-off lump sum would have been most helpful in reducing or clearing their mortgage to make their lifestyle more affordable.

In this case it would appear that Trauma would have been a better option, but we all have 20/20 vision in hind sight (no pun intended)

It is not for your Adviser to say which product should take priority, because there will be stories that demonstrate the reverse option to be better. What is important is that you discuss each option with a professional Adviser who can help clarify ­your priorities and build the right cover scenario to suit your situation.