Are You Financially Prepared for a Critical Illness?

As a financial advisor, one of my husband’s duties is to protect his clients and their families against financial hardship in the event of illness or death. As his Licensed Advisor Assistant, we come across three kinds of people; those who believe in insurance, those who don’t and those who want it …for free.  Regardless of whom you are, our story will certainly make you think of yourselves in our situation.

I am a tough mother.  I don’t quit or scare easily and while I have come to accept and appreciate our life, I naively or arrogantly, believed that nothing bigger than our son’s autism would come our way – until the lump.

The lump appeared on Tom’s right thigh and albeit small, it was rock hard and worrisome.  The lumps I’d seen had taken people to their graves, most recently, my dear dad.  So, off we went to the   doctor who convinced Tom it was a lipoma but I wasn’t convinced.  The second doctor agreed with the first however I wanted to probe further because it was slowly becoming larger.   Cutting to the chase, it was NOT a lipoma.  The ultrasound report led to an MRI that showed that it was vascular and as we sat listening to what this could mean, I held my breath and tried to be brave.

We set off hand in hand, appointment to appointment, with a trump card that allowed us to remain calm and positive – we are both covered by Critical Illness Insurance.  I had Tom’s results forwarded to the Best Doctors Program exclusive to persons with our coverage. Soon we had the names and contact information of two Ontario specialists and one in the US and in days, they liaised with Tom’s physician and discussed a course of action.  None felt it was dangerous but to be sure it wasn’t cancerous, they wanted it removed and biopsied.

For reassurance, I called a colleague who used his Critical Illness Insurance to help him fight cancer.  Through the Best Doctors Program, he chose a cancer facility in the U.S for his surgery and treatment and was back at work in eight months fully cured.   Critical Illness Insurance allowed him to focus on conquering cancer.  On his advice, we took a family vacation to Florida to put the lump out of our minds until Tom’s biopsy in mid September.  That day, I thought about the odds of it being cancerous.   Worst case scenario Tom was sick and we’d have a fight ahead of us but we would put up a damn good one because his policy would give us more than enough money to take at least a year off work and go wherever and do whatever we needed to save him.   A year, where fighting for his life would be the priority and we would be able to fight privately without financially burdening family, friends or strangers.

The results came two weeks after the biopsy.  During that time we had the “In case if I get sick and die …” conversation.  In 2002 upon our son’s diagnosis of Autism, we cretaed a financial plan to secure the future of our family. We have ensured that our lifestyle would be maintained, our bills paid and there would be enough time for healing and sorting out our lives without rushing back to work or relying on financial help from others.  Best of all the money our insurance would yield will be tax and probate free.

When you are young, you’re invincible.  Bad things and sickness happen to other people.  Then adult life happens and you learn quickly it can be raw, messy and painful.   Life happened to us with our son’s autism and continues to happen but age and experience have prepared us to take our “lumps” along the way.

Our family doesn’t work without Tom.  He’s the love of my life and he is adored by our boys.  I can’t imagine our lives without him and luckily, I don’t have to for a while.

The lump was a benign fibrous tumor.  Tom is healthy but I know illness does not discriminate and it comes to all of us. Our advice is simple – find a reputable insurance company with a Critical Illness Insurance Plan that covers at least twenty illnesses that will also give you your money back if you never make a claim during the duration of the policy.  It’s a win, win situation.  You get sick; you get a big cheque to fight for your life.  You don’t get sick; you get your money back at the end of the policy.  Critical Illness Insurance is a policy that pays you to LIVE – how can you lose?  The only way you can lose is if you don’t have it.

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