by Jamie K. Fleischner, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF
President, Set for Life Insurance
Today I had a call from a long term client that left me feeling a variety of emotions. Although I’ve been working in the disability insurance marketplace close to 20 years, it never fails to startle you when you get “the call.”
The call was from a long term client of mine “Dr. O’Brien” who first purchased her individual disability policy from me back in 1996 when she was a graduating OB/Gyn medical resident. I still vividly remember meeting Dr. O’Brien and going over all of the available options. She was concerned at the time as she had a potentially degenerative eye condition. As we had predicted, the company excluded this condition, but still issued her a policy. She was reluctant to take the policy, but understood the importance of covering her current and future income even with a policy exclusion. I insisted that it was still important to cover all of the other things that could happen that weren’t related to her pre existing condition.
Over the years, Dr. O’Brien increased her coverage as her income grew and she purchased life insurance when she had children. Her eyes were never a problem and she built up a thriving practice. She was affiliated with a hospital with resident physicians and every year informed the other residents of the importance of disability insurance and referred a large number of medical residents to Set for Life.
Last week Dr. O’Brien was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a bilateral mastectomy within that week. She called to in to let me know what was happening and to describe her course of treatment. Her prognosis and next several months were uncertain. It was time to file a claim.
What caught me off guard was that she was so thankful that she took the policy back when she was a graduating resident physician. At the time, she was upset about the eye exclusion but I informed her that other conditions would be covered. She never ever thought she would be the statistic of other people who actually use the disability insurance an file claims. As a graduating medical resident, she knew she needed to cover her potential income and be able to cover her student loans.
Fortunately for Dr. O’Brien, she took advantage of every opportunity to increase her disability policy and her monthly benefit was going to be able to take care of her family. I sensed a huge sigh of relief that she wouldn’t need to be stressed about taking care of her family. She focus on her treatment and getting better.
It is a privilege and honor to be able to help people when they are in their darkest hour. I speak to people every day about hypothetical situations. When they actually happen, it can take your breath away.