John Maher's Story - You never know what is around the corner

Friday, May 3, 2013

Yesterday, I attended a presentation called "You never know what is around the corner" by John Maher.

For John Maher, his wife Ange and their four daughters, Sunday 4 April 1993 seemed like just any other day. John was on his way to a local cricket function. But he would never reach his destination.

John was involved in a horrific car accident. Emma, aged 18, the driver of the other car, was killed instantly and John suffered serious head and neck injuries that would leave him in pain and with short-term memory loss for the rest of his life.

Not just emotionally but financially too, John’s family now faced an uphill battle. Previously, John was a senior manager and earned more than $150,000 a year. He and his wife had a substantial mortgage, other loans and children at university and private school.

Due to his condition John found himself unemployable and his employment was terminated.

Fortunately, 10 years prior to the accident, John had taken out Income Protection Insurance. Over the period of his cover he’d paid around $9,800 in insurance premiums.

Income Protection insurance has proven to be the Maher family’s financial lifeline. Over the last 14 years, John has received more than $1.1 million in benefits and he will likely continue to claim his monthly benefit until age 65.

As John says, "Insurance was my greatest ever investment. I remember thinking at the time that nothing was likely going to happen to me – but you never know what lies around the corner.”

30 months after John's car accident, he was dealt the cruellest of blows, his youngest daughter Carmen, aged 18, was killed in a car accident. Listening to John talk about the heartache of losing his daughter, his baby girl, brought tears to my eyes.

In a recent survey, 89% of Australians aged 25 to 65 said they were not likely to have an accident (making them unable to work) in the next 20 years. John would have been one of those people before his accident. But the frightening reality is that every working Australian has a 1 in 3 chance of becoming disabled for more than 3 months before turning age 65.

The presentation was confronting, personal, thought provoking, emotional and factual, and will make financial advisers and clients understand the need to secure the one thing that makes their financial life tick, their income.

I will conclude with John comments, "Income Protection is the most valuable insurance protection for a family when a scenario such as what happened to me strikes down the breadwinner."

Click here to view John's interview