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The advice that changed the trajectory of Hugh’s life

Months of medical tests revealed Hugh* had Lewy Body Disease. Hugh’s decline has been relatively rapid but he’s grateful for his financial adviser and life insurer, ClearView, who facilitated the swift payment of his trauma and TPD benefits to provide for him and his family.

Hugh and his wife are in the process of selling the family business, after a rapid decline in his health and shocking diagnosis of Lewy Body Disease in 2021.

A loving husband and father, and caring boss, Hugh ran his own small business since migrating to Australia in the late 2000s. However, his condition forced him into an early retirement.

Lewy Body Disease is one of the most common types of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. It causes a decline in mental abilities, affecting a person’s thinking, movement and behaviour.

To accommodate Hugh’s changing lifestyle needs, significant renovations are being made to the family home including widening hallways and rooms to make it easier for him to move around the house, expanding the master bedroom and bathroom, and converting the garage to a home gym to aid rehabilitation. These essential alterations have only been made possible due to the money he received from his insurance payout.

Hugh had trauma and total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance with ClearView. Those policies paid lump sum benefits, enabling him to stop work without having to worry about paying household bills and medical expenses. It has allowed him and his family to focus on his health, renovate their home and, importantly, take their time to find the right buyer for their business.

“Trying to sell a business in the middle of a pandemic is stressful, especially because COVID-19 has impacted our business in the past couple of years but it is great knowing we don’t need to rush,” Hugh said.

“My wife and I can take our time and wait for the right price and terms because we’re covered. We have enough.”

After migrating to Australia and taking out a loan to buy a small business, the couple’s accountant recommended they see a financial adviser about their life insurance needs. That meeting changed the trajectory of their lives.

The adviser assessed their circumstances and needs, recommended comprehensive life insurance including trauma and TPD cover, and explained the various products and options available.

It was clear that the young family was exposed to some serious risks, especially if something happened to Hugh, who was the main income earner. Still, the decision wasn’t easy.

Man and older woman sitting on bench wearing face masks

At the time, money was tight and there wasn’t a lot left over every month after the bills and mortgage was paid.

“We thought we could get by without it but then, if something did happen to us, we’d be in dire straits.

“We spent a lot of time thinking about it and we decided it was worth the cost. Our kids were at school and if something were to happen to one of us, we wanted to know they’d be taken care of financially,” Hugh says.

“If our adviser didn’t take the time to explain everything carefully to us, diligently follow up and manage the process, we would’ve self-assessed and taken out minimal cover, probably only life insurance, and our lives would be very different now.”

Over the years, as their circumstances and needs changed, their adviser would regularly review their financial situation and insurances and make recommendations.

At an advice meeting in 2019, their adviser recommended Hugh and his wife increase their level of cover and move to ClearView. Again, it wasn’t an easy decision. The couple thought long and hard about it, before acting on their adviser’s advice.

In hindsight, that meeting was fortuitous, as shortly after in August 2020 Hugh’s family started to notice a slight change in his behaviour and pushed him to see his doctor.

His family light-heartedly suggested it was probably just a sign he was getting older, yet Hugh was only in his mid-50s.

“ClearView paid our claims quickly. They bent over backwards to get the money to us.”

At first, they didn’t think too much of it. However, the doctor immediately noticed Hugh was moving slower than usual and referred him to a neurologist. After months of doctors’ appointments and tests, Hugh was diagnosed with Lewy Body Disease.

“ClearView paid our claims quickly. They bent over backwards to get the money to us,” Hugh said.

“Our adviser managed the entire process, which was invaluable because at the time, I just didn’t have the capacity to think about insurance forms. If it was left to me, I’d still be trying to complete the application.”

“Having an adviser is essential. If we didn’t receive professional advice, we would’ve remained underinsured and we wouldn’t have even known. We would be scrimping and scraping by right now with no buffer to think. Having adequate insurance protection has made an enormous difference to our lives.”

At time of writing, Hugh’s business is still for sale, although the family is prepared to wait for a market recovery to get a better price, even if that takes a couple of years. That is a luxury afforded to them because of life insurance.

TPD Cover

Total permanent disablement (TPD) insurance provides a lump sum payout if an individual becomes permanently injured and is no longer able to work. As well as providing financial support for you and your family, it can also pay for expenses that health insurance may not cover, such as home modifications.

It is often purchased in combination with other types of life insurance and can be used as a supplement to policies such as income protection which may not cover all your financial needs in the event of a permanent injury.

*Not their real name.

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