A few weeks ago I was enjoying a video chat with an old friend. I laughingly mentioned the mosquito bite I had somehow received on my forehead.

She took a closer look, and told me it might not be a mosquito bite. The conversation turned serious and she asked me to send some pictures to show to her doctor friend. Within 15 minutes I was booking a same-day appointment with my own doctor. The diagnosis: shingles.

This painful viral condition is not uncommon in people who have had chicken pox in childhood. The virus re-emerges after decades and can wreak havoc. A friend of mine spent two months in hospital with shingles. Others have been known to lose their sight from a facial flare-up – which is what I had.

What’s the lesson here? I lead an active life and have a healthy diet. Some people might say I work too hard – I respectfully disagree! But despite my healthy lifestyle, I found myself on the verge of a serious problem. Only an early diagnosis saved me from a lot of trouble. If my friend hadn’t alerted me to the seriousness of my ‘mosquito bite’ I might have been facing months off work.

The unexpected can strike at any time. You don’t want find yourself battling a health issue or losing vital income at a critical time. For peace of mind, you need to have health, disability and income protection insurance tailored to your circumstances and ready when you need it.

If you procrastinate with insurance, the result may be even more painful than a case of shingles.

Have you reviewed your insurance recently? If not, make an appointment