It was fortunate that Bay of Plenty Farmer, Jill Blackmore stuck to her guns and convinced her husband Brian to get a spot that she noticed on his back checked.

Jill and Brian Blackmore have a dairy farm in Te Puke and have been with FMG since the early 1990s. During that time they’ve expanded their farming operation.

“In 2001 we bought the neighbouring farm and our debt shot through the roof. The FMG adviser who met with us at the time suggested that we get some cover for ourselves, so we did. I wanted Jill to be cared for if I wasn’t here,” says Brian.

More than a decade would pass after taking out the cover before one day Jill commented to Brian “that spot on your back, I don’t remember that.”

“I wouldn’t have noticed it easily. It was at lower part of my spine,” says Brian.

A good call

Jill was concerned and Brian says she persisted so eventually he rang a skin centre in Tauranga to get it checked.

“At the time they were booked up so we went to another place to get it looked at and well, we’re very glad we did,” says Brian.

Tests would confirm that the spot was a very serious melanoma – a form of skin cancer.

In December 2015 the melanoma was successfully removed — “they took a lot out of my back,” says Brian. Six monthly skin checks moving forward means Brian is now thankfully in the ‘all clear’.

A cheque in the post

Fast-forward two years and Brian was having insurance review with an FMG Personal Risk Adviser, Elizabeth Quenby. It was during this conversation that Brian mentioned his past melanoma diagnosis.

“FMG were very helpful and encouraged me to claim as well as helping with the paperwork.”

The claim was accepted and a few weeks later the Blackmore’s received a cheque.

Brian says having the cover is invaluable and while you hope you never need it, you can’t underestimate the peace of mind it provides.

“It’s well worth it, especially in light of being self-employed like many farmers.”