#21Lives

Raising awareness of the importance of income cover through the power of stories

Identifying the power of storytelling to raise awareness of the importance of income cover started earlier this year when, in celebration of our 21st birthday, we decided to set out in a red vintage Kombi, fondly named Gus The Bus, on a journey across the country to meet 21 inspiring policyholders who we’ve partnered with and assisted over the years. Each of our 21 FMI staff teams captured these stories in 21 short-documentary films.

“What amazing and inspiring people we met,” enthuses Andrea Bodill, FMI’s #21Lives Producer. “It’s been so rewarding to witness first-hand, through FMI’s support, how people can overcome life’s obstacles and still achieve their goals; people who don’t allow injury or illness to hold them back or to extinguish their dreams.”

Bodill spoke of some of the individuals she met – ordinary people who have gone on to do extra-ordinary things because of the assistance FMI was able to provide.

“Young people, in particular, are not informed about income cover and at this critical stage in someone’s career, when it’s just starting, is the most important time to protect yourself. Take our #21Lives Marcelle for example, who lost both legs in an accident at the age of 23. FMI will pay her income until she’s 70. What would she have done if she didn’t have that protection?”

Bodill shared some other examples from the #21Lives road trip. Like Daniela, who lives with rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus, which will affect her for the rest of her life. As a commission earner, if she’s not working she’s not earning, but she has the peace of mind that she can take the necessary time off when required and still receive her income.

Allan, a business owner, who ultimately has the responsibility to sustain the livelihoods of his 150 employees. Denise, who has battled and won the fight against breast cancer, and who received cover for Critical Illness during the period when she needed it most.

What was originally intended to be an internal reflection soon became apparent that there was so much more to these stories and we felt compelled to share them with financial advisers and the public.

Brad Toerien, FMI CEO, says, “We knew we needed to share these stories to a greater audience. We believe there is a massive need to raise awareness of the importance of protecting your income. The insurance industry sometimes gets a bad rap, but advisers have such a critical role to play and can really make a huge difference in people’s lives by the advice they give.”

Toerien continues, “Sharing the #21Lives videos and raising awareness has the potential to change how life insurance is perceived and sold, connect with people in today’s world and ultimately propel action and change.

“And to raise awareness through stories is so powerful because they engage and connect us, and create emotional journeys in a way that is motivating. These videos also help to raise awareness of the impact of injury or illness, they simplify the message in a complex industry and humanise insurance.”

Bodill ends off by saying, “The more people we can reach through the sharing of stories, the more lives we can change.”