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Insurance helps doctor after heart attack

Richard Jones

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The true story of an advisor who helped his client just in time
Heart healthy, savings intact

A client of mine was a 55-year-old, Princeton-educated chief of medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. He ran marathons and always took the stairs up to his 10th floor office. One day, he was halfway up the stairs and was short of breath with chest pains. This guy was like 3 percent body fat! Luckily he was at the hospital, and his buddy, who was chief of cardiology, rushed him in for quadruple bypass surgery.

About a year prior to that, I was talking to him about his upcoming retirement and reviewing his pension. This was back when critical illness insurance was kind of new and exciting. After some resistance on his end, I sold him a $150,000 critical illness policy. Flash forward a year later: He recovered from his heart attack and his bypass surgery, and he didn’t have to dip into his retirement savings for the year he took off. Years later, he retired with his retirement savings intact.

When talking about retirement planning, I’m often looking at the client’s investments and pensions and how all that works. But we don’t always think about the unforeseen. That was one case where I was very proud that I was persistent and sold him that critical illness policy.

You can only push so hard. They either see it or they don’t. What I’ll often say now, and he was a good test case, is, “With modern medicine now, you’re probably going to survive a critical event like a heart attack, stroke or cancer. So congratulations, you’re healthy. The other side of the coin is you’re broke because you had to spend your savings to get healthy.

“Why don’t we have it as a win-win? Congratulations, you’re healthy. Congratulations, you’re not broke.” It helps the client see things more clearly.

Richard Jones is a 19-year MDRT member from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at


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