This video is the story of my long time closest friend Adrienne and her disablement. Adrienne had always had problems with her hips and when she put in place her insurance cover, they were pretty much always excluded. As the main income earner for her family, we knew that having the best insurance cover for her was vital.
We never imagined that she would be unable to work at the peak of her career. That she would be struck down by illness that had no diagnosis, no cure, no solution. We never thought, when she took 3 months off from her General Manager, Human Resources role at Housing New Zealand in 2009 that she would never go back to work.
My dear friend turned 58 this year. She has not been able to work since she was 51. It has been heart-breaking to see this happen to your close friend. She was in so much pain, she didn’t know which way was up. And what could I do as her friend.
NOTHING. Nothing at all. I couldn’t help her, I couldn’t fix her, I was useless.
I had to stand by the side and just ask how things were. There was nothing anyone could do. Fortunately for me, as her financial adviser, I was able to help a little. On my advice, Adrienne had put in place appropriate insurance cover. I was able to help her claim on that insurance cover. This helped her stress levels a little, seeing the money coming in, one less thing for her to worry about.
Through the years of tests, specialists, consultants, and more and more and more tests, specialists and consultants, there was no way that I could understand what she was going through. There was no way that I could do any more to help her.
It was only in late 2012 that I really understood the role of the insurances that we had put in place for Adrienne. This is when she was told that she would never return to work again in any meaningful capacity.
Adrienne was ‘Totally and Permanently Disabled’.
She was assured that her income protection insurance payments would continue until she was aged 65, but they would not be continually nagging her to fill in the forms to get the income paid. That she would not be offered a ‘buy out’ of her income protection. That she had the certainty of that financial support until retirement age.
When she told me what the lead doctor had said, I worked with one of her insurers to complete the claim on her Total and Permanent Disablement insurance cover. I was not sure if it would be paid, so was able to do most of the claim without her knowledge.
AXA paid this benefit quickly and readily.
This meant that not only does Adrienne and her family have the certainty of her income protection payments until she is 65, they were able to repay their mortgages in full and invest some funds for their retirement security.
It was at this stage that I realised how much stress the uncertainty of the finances were putting on her. Although she had the insurance cover in place, she had been continually scared that they would think she had would be able to go back to work, and that they would force her to do this and she knew she wasn’t well enough to.
Adrienne can’t drive because of her health and medication. She can’t get through most days without a sleep. BUT, with the payment of the TPD benefit last year and the certainty of the income protection benefit until she is age 65, I got my friend back.
I got back the loving, caring friend that I used to have. That hadn’t been there for 5 or so years. All her energy had been focussed on dealing with her pain, with her health.
As a financial adviser, I have always believed in the role of insurance. But it is only in the last 6 months that I have seen the full truth of peace of mind that a good insurance policy and adequate cover can provide when it is needed.
I thank Adrienne for putting together this video to share with you all. We hope that you enjoy it, and understand what happened. Remember too, Adrienne’s disablement has nothing to do with her hip condition.