I have been in my role as a Financial Consultant for over 20 years and wouldn’t even hazard a guess as to how many clients I have advised in that time. However, it is always the clients and their stories of life changing events that will stick with me forever.
I often repeat back to new and existing clients these stories as a way of illustrating what if this happens either in their business or personal life?
The purpose of this article is not to frighten or shock anyone but more as a reminder that the world is not always fair and that yes, it can happen to you and if it does, there is something you can do to plan for it.
I often will get a client that will say, “it’s impossible to insure against everything” and of course that is true, but to give some perspective the average cost for Comprehensive Car Insurance in the UK is £484 per year. In my experience the average family client spends far less on protecting their family against the ‘What if?’ question.
As I previously mentioned, I will often tell real life stories to illustrate the points I am trying to make. I have one such story below:
Mrs C – Diagnosed with bowel cancer
When Mrs C was diagnosed with a life changing illness at the age of 32, her immediate thought was for her family. As a mother of two she had bought a Critical Illness policy to protect her family, but never imagined she would need to claim.
The diagnosis came as a shock because it was only picked up by another routine operation. She remembers that she was suffering no ill effects prior to diagnosis so to be told she had cancer left her completely numb.
She said, “One minute I’m having a routine minor operation and the next, you get this shocking news and it’s just devastating. It changes your whole perspective on life and what’s important in life.”
“I’m only 32, and I don’t fit the criteria for having bowel cancer, it doesn’t run in my family, there’s no history of it. So it was a total shock. I did keep thinking ‘I’m only 32 this isn’t fair’. I have two children, I feel guilty about the effects on them and the impact on their lives – it’s been a shock to them too.”
Mrs C is a client of mine and took out the policy to cover the home mortgage. “We took the policy out so if something did happen, then we didn’t have to worry about our financial situation. We wanted to protect the children more than anything, but you don’t take a policy out thinking that you’re actually going to have to need it. It is a ‘just in case’ scenario, you never believe you’re going to claim on it.”
On the claims process Mrs C said “I thought the process would be much more difficult than it was. It was very simple, you just ring up. You think you have to go through everything and send lots of documentation off and it’ll be very complex, but it wasn’t at all.”
The claim payment was used to clear the mortgage and helped Mrs C to get her life back on track “I work full time and I am on sick leave at the moment, I get sick pay for six months and Income Protection after that, but it is the fact that I know I can take as long off as I need now because of the policy. I haven’t got to worry about finance, I haven’t got to worry about work; there’s no pressure, it’s taken all of that pressure off.”
The diagnosis story above and ones like it are unfortunately not unusual. Of course the policy that was in place didn’t make everything ok. What it did achieve was to take all the financial pressure off and allow Mrs C to concentrate on making a full recovery.
In my role it gives me great satisfaction to know that I have helped so many individuals and families over the years. Furthermore, we are completely independent at AG, this means we can not only deliver the best advice, but also at the best cost across the whole market.