Like everyone else I have absolutely hated paying the premium for my income protection and business expenses insurance, I had always thought I never use this why on earth am I paying so much money. On the 17th September 2014 my life changed dramatically when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I would like to share my experience with you because having this insurance has truly been a life changer.
I was chatting to the husband of a patient of mine, during treatment, who I knew had recently had breast cancer, he told me her story and she was someone close to me in age, we had children who were close in age and I generally related to her, so I asked my receptionist to make an appointment for a Breastscreen on that day. Little did I know this conversation may well have saved my life! I was diagnosed with breast cancer following a diagnostic mammogram through Breastscreen, I had no symptoms and could not feel the 6cm cancer that I have. So for any woman over the age of 40 Breastscreen is free and not just for women over the age of 50. If you are a male please encourage every woman over 40 you know to have a Breastscreen, and for every woman over 40 please don’t put it off another day!
My income protection and business expense insurance has given me peace of mind and had a significant impact on my financial position. I don’t know how I would have coped without it. Essentially I was able to walk away from my practice on the day of diagnosis and take care of myself. I know there are many people who have to work through chemotherapy and who it is good to have that routine. I am certainly not one of those people, I am still coming to terms with the fact that I am seriously “sick”, in my working career of 25 years I had about 5 sick days!
I was able to take time to find a locum to help me out and still maintain my staffing as it was. I employ 5 non producing staff and could not imagine having had to let them all go. My business expense insurance means I am able to continue to pay them all and maintain a working staff for my return, or to be able top sell as a working concern if that is what I choose to do.
So the take home messages from my experience:
- Every woman over the age of 40 is eligible for a free Breastscreen mammogram and as practitioners I would encourage you all to encourage your patients and friends to do this!
- Never be without income protection and business expense insurance. In our family I was the primary income earner and we would have been making some serious lifestyle changes without this insurance. At the completion of my treatment, approximately 12 months after diagnosis my completed payout will be in the vicinity of $500 000, no one would ever be self insured for that.
- Consider the peace of mind that this sort of cover gives you to breathe at the worst time of your life- it is invaluable when everything around you is crashing in!
- Get to know your insurance agent I would suggest on the anniversary of your premium don’t just pay the bill, have a conversation with them and make sure your policy meets your needs. Check they are the person who you want watching your back at the worst time of your life.
I cannot recommend Chris Earle highly enough, he wasn’t my agent when I was diagnosed but it quickly became apparent that the representative I had wasn’t giving me the service I needed or deserved. Chris has been outstanding and in many ways just as important as my medical team, making sure I don’t have to focus on income during this time.
My husband has recently swapped his insurance cover knowing the peace of mind he will after Chris’s wonderful care of me.
- Income protection/business expense insurance allows you to make choices, I could not recommend it highly enough to every practitioner I know!
- Make the most of every day!
Michelle Thow (BDS)