Critical Illness cover

FMI policyholder Wayne Spear beats cancer

Wayne Spear, 52, has a busy life as co-owner and Financial Director of a manufacturing company. He is a husband, father and grandfather, and his passion is extreme shore angling, an adrenalin filled activity catching and releasing large fish and sharks from the beach. 

Wayne’s life was turned upside down in August this year when he discovered a hard lump on his left testicle and was diagnosed with testicular cancer. His urologist advised immediate surgery. “I just remember the words any man dreads – ‘you have testicular cancer’. What a shock! I thought I was fit and healthy, but I had just been diagnosed with cancer,” Wayne reflects.

Fortunately, the surgery was a success and Wayne’s doctor declared him cancer free shortly afterwards. “It is now nine weeks after the surgery and I would say I’m about 80% recovered and I should be 100% by the end of November. As with any operation the recovery is a little slow in the beginning but resting has allowed my body to heal.”

Wayne’s experience has made him very aware of the importance of early testicular cancer detection and wants to spread awareness around this very important issue. “Luckily, we got it early and the cancer had not spread to my lymph glands and to my lungs,” he says. His advice to men? “Regularly check for any lumps and if you experience any swelling or discomfort, go see your urologist immediately.”

He credits his financial adviser, Trevor Carty, for his cover with FMI. “Trevor was adamant that I take the right type of cover. And through his dedication and hard work, he was able to secure normal premium rates with FMI when all other insurance companies wanted to load my premiums because they assumed I was a heavy drinker due to my high Gamma GT / Liver function. But I’m a complete non-drinker and this is a hereditary abnormality. Fortunately, FMI did the necessary investigations and offered me cover with no loading. I was able to move my entire risk portfolio to FMI – Disability, Critical Illness and Life cover.”

Wayne was fortunate that his cancer was detected early and that swift treatment resulted in a clean bill of health. For many people who are diagnosed with a critical illness, it’s a long and arduous journey.

We launched our Critical Illness benefit last year after intensive research to understand the needs of real people living with a critical illness and whether the benefits in the market met these needs.

We interviewed survivors and sufferers of various critical illnesses, people who have experienced the impact firsthand, and discovered four problems with existing benefits in the market:

1. Critical Illness benefits mostly only offer lump sum payouts, even though not all needs are best met by a lump sum

2. Income protection benefits replace your income when you can’t work but don’t adequately address the impact of intermittent treatment e.g. chemotherapy

3. Income protection benefits are limited to 100% of your income and don’t allow for extra monthly costs

4. Insurance benefits seldom address the ‘softer’ issues – the emotional toll that comes with the shock of diagnosis and the stress of coping with treatment

Our Critical Illness solution addresses all of these needs through a lump sum benefit, an income benefit that pays 130% of your monthly sum insured for 12 months, a free Medical Second Opinion and CI Assist to help you and your family with the day to day stresses of coping with a critical illness. The power of our Critical Illness solution lies in how our four unique benefits work together to address these issues, which means our clients will only have to focus on getting better – we take care of the rest.