When Barb was diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer, it came as a complete shock. She didn’t belong to any of the high risk groups. “My oncologist said to me, you’ve just been bloody unlucky.”
Since Barb’s cancer was inoperable, she had to undergo chemotherapy, starting within 2 weeks of her diagnosis. She was unable to keep working, so financial pressures could have added to the stress of her illness: her husband was retired, and they had mortgages to service on their home (which they’d just started renovating) and an investment property.
A Christmas Eve surprise
Fortunately, Barb had taken out income protection and trauma insurance. Since she was a CRA client, adviser Nic helped her through the claims process. “Having that personal relationship where someone actually comes out and helps you do all that stuff is amazing,” says Barb.
On Christmas Eve, Barb checked her bank account to find her trauma insurance paid out in full, as well as 6 months’ worth of income protection payments. The feeling was overwhelming:
It was the hugest relief: I wasn’t going to have to worry about my mortgage. I wasn’t going to lose my house. You don’t realise that you’ve been holding your breath, and then you just exhale because now everything’s done.
When we caught up with Barb, she was doing much better. She’d responded well to chemo and was concentrating on getting better and getting her physical strength back. There was even a chance she could go back to work. She’d been talking to her claims officer about easing her self back in, although she said “there’s no push to hurry up and go back…they want to make sure you’re actually well enough”.
Barb says that not having to stress about money meant she could concentrate on getting better:
All of a sudden it’s a lot easier to be really positive about what’s going on and to keep that positive attitude. Which is helping you get better, because you don’t have the biggest stress, worrying about losing your house.
Barb’s advice to people considering personal insurance? She says they should definitely have income protection, but they should seriously consider trauma insurance as well. After all, “it’s pretty easy to be bloody unlucky! If I didn’t have that protection, I would have lost it all.”