Gone were the days that critical illness only affects people aged 50 and above. Even people in their mid 20s can also experience critical illness. Take for example our client in Aetos FPH Insurance Agency. Although the client agreed that we will publish his information, we will still hide him in the name “Gerz”.
We met Gerz when he was 24 years old in one of the events our Insurance Agency sponsored. At that time he still had no plans about getting insurance but just wanted investment. In fact, when we approached him he just wanted to invest and wanted nothing to do with insurance at all.
Fast forward, Gerz is now 27 years old and has a cute little baby. As a single dad, he had to work as an employee and a run an HR consultancy practice during weekends. Wanting to grow his profession, he also took Masters in HR.
One morning he came to our Insurance Agency’s office, in our Makati Branch looking for me. We sat and had our kamustahans and I finally asked him what was the purpose of visiting our office. I was shocked by what he told me that he has a critical illness.
On the outside, Gerz looked healthy and he showed no signs at all. You would never guess this person has any illness whatsoever. So I asked him “Gerz, what do you mean? Can you elaborate what critical illness is this?”
He shared a story where in one time, he was climbing the stairs and suddenly he felt extremely tired and losing his breath when it was just one floor up. He then went to a doctor to have his condition checked and was told that he had heart weakness. However, it seems to have worsened to become a critical illness.
The reason he went to our office is to ask that if there is any critical illness benefit in the investment he got from Insular Life. I was worried because I remember that he didn’t want to get insurance but purely investment back then. At that time he was very young and having an illness was really not in the consideration when he wanted to invest.
I was worried because I was almost certain he had no critical illness coverage. To verify, I asked my secretary to check his records. Just to ease both of our worries, I entertained him with a few questions, “Gerz, I could not believe that at a very young age you will be in this situation. What do you think could have led to the heart enlargement?”
“As you know I am a single parent and I have been working in multiple jobs and sidelines just to give my child a good future. I also have been doing my masters. I often sleep past 1-3am almost every day and usually have only 3-6 hours of sleep every day. This could have caused my heart muscles to weaken. Although this is just a theory,” he said.
My secretary came to me and gave the answer we have been waiting for. He did have critical illness coverage with us. Although the amount was not so big, he was happy to know that he can go back to the doctor to do a full test and do the necessary treatment.
Gerz asked me if he could still buy more critical illness coverage since he only has P500,000. And he expects to pay more than P500,000. Sadly, I said “we couldn’t apply for any additional coverage because you can only get insurance when you don’t need it and not when you need it.”
Still, the amount is was useful for him. He thanked us and then went on to say he will be back with the requirements tomorrow. True enough he came back with all the complete requirements. Then the company checked the claim forms and doctor’s reports and the claim check was released.
When the client received the check, he was so happy that he invited me and my secretary to his favorite dimsum restaurant. Well we couldn’t say so since he was very persistent. There we prayed for him, for his safe and full recovery.
Overall, this event in my life opened me with three things:
1. No one is too young for critical illness. Everyone should get the maximum critical illness coverage possible.
2. Sometimes, we only think of growing our money but it is also wise to think about protecting our money. Yes, single dads need as much life insurance possible. But we should also go beyond life insurance for single dads, we should also go for critical illness insurance.
3. Being persistent as a financial advisor should be our default mode. Our clients are usually short sighted and since we have more experience dealing with clients, we should be the ones to show them the long term risks in the future.
All of us need critical illness. Some of us only have P500k or P1M critical illness. We should get at least P5M since the illnesses are getting expensive nowadays.
Mark Joseph T. Fernandez, CPA, RFC, AFA, AWP, AEP
Chairman and Founder
Aetos FPH Insurance Agency Inc.