For Canterbury grower Brian Leadley, making the decision to take out Life & Health cover came down to realising that what was his strength, was also his weakness.
Brian and wife Rachel operate a spray irrigated intensive grain and seed property where they grow milling wheat, feed barley, malting barley, various forage seeds, and contract grow peas and corn. They also have a lamb finishing operation.
Life on the farm is busy, with the operation largely owner-operated with one full time employee and bringing in the occasional contractor as needed.
The strength of the Leadley’s operation is Brian’s ability to get on and get things done but in the process of considering Life & Health cover they questioned ‘What would happen if Brian couldn’t operate a tool or work full time?’.
“Rachel and I recognised that if something were to happen to me, this would have a big impact on the business,” says Brian.
Brian says while ACC provides a level of protection, the cover has its limits. If there was an accident, he felt they had income streams and work that needed to be covered over and above what ACC provided. This is why the Leadley’s took out Life & Health cover.
A holiday accident
In 2018 Brian was away with friends in the lower South Island when they all went for a trail ride on their motorbikes. It was during a ride that Brian fell.
“I look back and it was somewhat of an unfortunate, silly accident. The fall was very slow, and I tipped near a fence. I smashed the bones and cut the tendons on top of my right hand,” says Brian.
Brian and his friends were out in the back of beyond and so he was helicoptered to hospital for surgery. Five pins in his hand was only the start of what would be a two-year journey to recovery.
After the bones healed, a second operation was required to support the tendons in Brian’s hand to work again. Months of physiotherapy and exercises followed.
While Brian’s hand is now mobile, he concedes that ‘it will never be like it was’.
What Life & Health cover meant for the Leadleys
Rachel got in touch with FMG after Brian’s accident and the Life & Health cover was put into action.
“FMG got it sorted overnight for us,” says Brian.
Brian says that while what happened to him wasn’t life threatening and he felt fortunate that he was still able to walk around the farm, you can’t take the impact of something physical like damaging your hand, for granted.
“The cover gave us the ability to concentrate on recovery and not waste time and energy worrying. We were able to hire people to do the work that needed to be done. The cover really worked as we’d hoped.”