Morrinsville dairy farmers, Mathew and Claire Whittaker and their three children had a shock when Mathew was admitted to hospital in 2016.

Mathew was managing a busy dairy farm that employed two staff and alongside Claire, they were raising a young family. This is why Mathew’s admission to Waikato hospital with myocarditis was not only deeply concerning but also the last thing these busy farmers needed.

“The myocarditis was a viral infection in my heart. I spent five days in hospital and once I’d recovered I was told to only do light duties for the next 5 – 9 months,” says Mathew.

As it’s a viral infection, many people who get viral myocarditis are otherwise healthy but the recovery can be slow.

Gradually Mathew returned to strength and life on the farm continued. It wasn’t until the family moved to another farm and FMG was reviewing the Whittaker’s insurance policies that Mathew’s stint in hospital came up.

Covered for more than they thought

“We’ve always had the cover but because it wasn’t a heart attack we didn’t think that we could even claim,” says Mathew.

Elizabeth Quenby is a personal risk advisor at FMG and was talking with the Whittaker’s to make sure they had the right cover in place given their recent move.

“During the review process Mathew mentioned that he had a medical event three years earlier and I asked if he’d made a claim on the policy,” says Elizabeth.

“He and Claire said they hadn’t even thought about it and didn’t believe the event would be covered.”

The Whittakers were surprised to hear it was. Claire also wondered at the time if it was worth the hassle of the completing the paperwork but it was a relatively easy process and the result was well worth it.

“We help guide all of our clients through the claims process and I was delighted to be able to ring Claire and Mathew and let them know the good news about their claim.

Well worth having the cover and making a claim

Claire and Mathew received $20,000, which if they’d received at the time of Mathew’s recovery would’ve certainly helped take the pressure off.

Several years on from the event the Whittaker’s advice to others is that having cover in place is a “no-brainer.”

“You don’t know you’ll need it until you do. What happened to me definitely changed our perspective. We have a really robust package of cover— life, trauma and trauma cover for our kids,” says Mathew.