"Expect the Unexpected...
Am I pleased that I took on board one old cliché my old man never stopped telling my brothers and I, along with all his grand children, was that we should 'always expect the unexpected' in life and isn’t that too true.
The major example of that proving correct in my life, was when I was told last May that I had a fairly aggressive form of prostate cancer. Luckily for me I had taken on board the old man’s advice and taken out trauma insurance as well as my private health cover. I also have life insurance. I went straight into Warringal Private Hospital, after selecting my urologist/ surgeon and had a radical prostatectomy.
Fortunately, for me all seems to have turned out alright.I am a 63 year old self employed picture framer working in Eltham, Victoria. I took out my insurances about 20 years ago, through Nick Tunbridge, when my four children were much younger than today. As I work for myself I didn’t have anyone else to fall back on. It’s not like I worked for a large company or the public service that would not miss me if I fell ill and would continue to pay me during my illness as well. If I stop work, I don’t get paid. It's as simple as that and I have always said that I am as only as good as the next frame I make for someone. Apart from total loss of income, the business and personal bills keep flowing in.In my case I elected to take out Trauma cover along with my Life insurance.
Knowing damn well that it would it have to be something very major or life threatening to prevent me from working. Prior to this, I hadn’t had a day off sick in 25 years. I also work 6 days a week. Both these plans have been reviewed by Nick and Lauren on a regular basis to update the policy benefits with the best terms and conditions.I am now glad, for my situation, that I had trauma cover as opposed to income protection because I got one lump payout instead of just being paid whilst I was recovering during the month I had off.
The lump sum has allowed me more time off before returning to full time work and to be able to cover the additional medical costs associated with my illness. Lauren Topp from AON was terrific in helping me with my claim through Tower and a short time after I was more than pleased to receive a cheque in the mail for $259,000. It has come in very handy indeed for a person at my age, especially after the global financial crisis, now seriously planning retirement.
I would also like to point out, that many a time, particularly in recent years, that I was very tempted to save the monthly bank deductions and cancel the policy. I thought I have gone this long in business, surely I will see it all the way through to retirement without any health issues.
Well, may I say now that I am now very glad that I didn’t succumb to the temptation and cancel my policy and also that I took heed of the ramblings of my father and EXPECTED THE UNEXPECTED."
Leo J Scott
Leo J Scott
"I'm Paul Hicks and Nick Tunbridge & Lauren Topp have been my agent and advisor for insurance for many years.I was a father of two adult children when, at the age of nearly 52, I became a father again. I contacted Nick to talk over my changed circumstances. I had assumed that the type of extra cover I had taken out when my grown childrenwere little and was still using would, with some slight modifications, be adequate. Nick, however, gave me a quick reality check. He reminded me that I would be supporting my son into my seventies. He then laid out the statistical probabilities of critical medical conditions such as cancers and heart attack for a man in his fifties and sixties. He showed me that odds of me having one of these conditions was too high not to consider when thinking about raising a child over the next 20 odd years.
Nick recommended a life insurance policy which included a trauma benefit. This would give me a lump sum payout if I was diagnosed with any of a long list of such conditions. The logic was undeniable, but the immediate disincentive was the size of the premiums. Nick pointed out that I was no longer in my early thirties with a life expectancy of a further fifty odd years and so my days of cheap cover were over.I told Nick that Id get back to him. Now, Nick is not in the least a pushy salesman. However, in this instance he regularly called and would point out that this was the cover I really should have. It took some time but I eventually, somewhat reluctantly, agreed.
I went through the necessary medical tests, was deemed insurable and was soon paying my monthly premium, again somewhat reluctantly. In 2004 the policy was reviewed by Lauren and additional benefits were included in the cover to ensure the policy was up to date with any improvements in the market, one of which was the buy back benefit. Then, just over a year later, and a few months after the birth of another child, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer. There followed months of surgery, chemotherapy and other various medical procedures. I was off work for some months and then worked part-time for six months.
The one bit of good news throughout all of this was the lump sum payout of the Trauma insurance. Not having any financial worries, despite all the costs I incurred while I was recovering was a great relief. It is very comforting to know that that whatever happens, and my full recovery is by no means certain, my family has no debt and is well set up financially. Further more, the additional buy back benefit provided by Lauren will allow me to reinstate the same lump sum benefit as life cover free of medical assessment.I sometimes think how different this all would have been if my advisers hadnt been as astute, persuasive and tenacious.Without doubt, Nick & Laurens good advice has had a most profound effect on my life and my familys well being."
Paul Hicks & Family
"Before we made a family together, we were two individuals who had no idea about how to protect our income or what to do with the myriad bits of superannuation that seemed to be scattered in as many different hidey-holes as the varied jobs we had in the past.
Now we're all grown up and have to plan for school fees and think about what would happen if one of us gets sick and we have to make the house payments; not to mention the ambition of eventual retirement with more than $2.50.
We may be grown- up but we still didnt have the faintest clue.
Luckily we had Lauren to round it all up for us and make some suggestions of different options so we could decide for ourselves.
She is kindly and never says we are idiots."
The Leonard family, St Kilda