When it comes to Life & Health Cover, Sam Barton says it’s a treat to say you’re 85 and never have had to use it.
When Sam and his wife Liz took out Life & Health cover, they were in their late 20s and early 30s, working hard to make a successful career in farming – with the ultimate goal of farm ownership.
Sam and Liz were encouraged by their previous employers to gather a vast amount of knowledge across all aspects of a farming operation, preparing for any event and to be risk adverse. This included being ready to face extreme weather events, market fluctuations and financial highs and lows. It also included protecting their contents and most importantly, themselves with insurance cover.
“On the road to farm ownership we were strongly encouraged to protect the most important component to our up and coming business, and that was us. We met with Vinnie from FMG and he assessed where we were at and suggested that we take out trauma cover and have some good life cover. It was cost effective and really good protection for a relatively small outlay,” says Sam.
By early 2016 the pair were 20% owners in the farm running just over 4000 sheep and 100 beef.
“Through setting high, but realistic goals and striving to succeed we had achieved our ultimate goal of farm ownership,” says Sam.
They also had their first baby on the way.
Things couldn’t have been better – then they weren’t
In July 2016 the Barton’s baby boy has been born, it was pre-lamb shearing and the couple were having dinner with friends. Sam recalls thinking at that time that things couldn’t have been better.
Sam said that same evening —'as lads do’—during ‘a quick readjustment’ he felt a small lump on his testicle.
“I had immediate anxiety – it just didn’t feel right but I still had to get through shearing.”
Sam visited his doctor and a scan to check the lump was arranged. It wasn’t looking good.
With a newborn baby in tow and shortly after Sam’s doctor’s appointment, the couple went to get a scan for Liz to check her C-section was healing after giving birth. Fortunately for Sam, he was able to get his scan at the same time, earlier than scheduled.
“The radiographer was able to fit me in at the same time as Liz, which was great. The scan was sent through for diagnosis urgently that night.” A follow up appointment on a Friday confirmed that Sam did have testicular cancer and was booked in for surgery the coming Tuesday.
In between the diagnosis and surgery, Sam contacted Vinnie at FMG.
“The support was amazing—unbelievably supportive. Vinnie sent through the forms and there were 2 pages to complete. Two days after my surgery the cover we had taken out came into effect.”
For the Barton’s the cover meant Sam was able to bring in casual labour to help on the farm while he was recovering and cover the costs of travelling for check-ups. It also meant a lot more.
With the road ahead unknown, the $100,000 the Barton’s cover paid out went some way to providing financial relief should the road ahead for Sam and Liz be a challenging one.
Good news and a silver lining
“Men aren’t normally so proactive, and the specialists commended me on that,” says Sam, who is in remission and together with Liz running an award winning and successful operation.
The $100,000 cover has also enabled them to invest further in their business as they’ve grown to a family of four.
Life & Health cover, as part of their broader risk management was invaluable says Sam.
“I believe in being prepared for the worst in order to protect your family and your business. I now know not to get hung up on the price of premiums — paying premiums is easy — claiming for a health issue is not. If you get through life paying health premiums and not ever making a claim, you should be very happy,” says Sam
Sam and Liz Barton now have two children and continue to have both have life and trauma cover.