By Julia Newbould
Financial services spends a lot of money on research: what our customers want, what our customers need, what our customers read, how they interact with different companies – the list goes on.
Something that we find in all the research, is that from financial planners – customer like communication. They like communication that is relevant to them, to their needs and in a way that they like to receive information. They also like stories. They like stories they can relate to and at times when they most like them. That is, in times of trouble they like to be contacted with relevant information that is tailored to them. Of course, we can’t always give our clients the exact information they need with they need it but we can certainly try.
Last month, The Stella Network had the privilege of talking to Julie Metaxotos. Julie is a car crash survivor. In 2013, she suffered horrific injuries as a result of a head-on high speed collision.
She has undergone over two years of surgery and rehabilitation. This is something that is quite extraordinary and something most people will ever have to face but what is the most impressive factor of her journey to me is that Julie and her family are such an everyday family. Married for 20 years, parents of a bright young son, working in the corporate world, and active and popular residents of their outer suburb of Melbourne – they are just like so many other families. That they were thrust into a world foreign to us, and foreign to them through an accident that Julie cannot, to this day, remember is shocking. It’s shocking because it could happen to anyone. She was close to home (where most accidents happen) and doing ordinary pre-Christmas chores.
When we talk to clients about insuring against accidents and unforseen calamity, it is always thought of as a momentous event that can never happen to them. Well, clearly, it can.
Surviving an accident is one aspect but the recovery process adds another dimension. Two years of intense therapy comes at a cost – financial and other. That Julie had life insurance to cover the financial costs allowed the mental cost to be reduced to just getting better. Julie said not having to think about where the money was coming from made a huge difference in where she was able to put her focus.
The physical effects of the accident were high – one of her doctors said the complications and resultant challenges were one of the few occasions where he had lost sleep and truly felt the enormity of a patient’s suffering. Emotionally, too, on a woman who was constantly on the go with high energy and a positive outlook on life, finding herself stuck in rehab facilities for the better part of a year – the toll must have been massive.
Today’s insurers are cogniscent of these facts and work hard to the metal state of their patients/claimants endeavouring to build them physically and mentally through their rehabilitation processes.
Julie’s story – A Fractured Life – tells us a lot about the real experiences that clients face in the aftermath of a serious accident. It’s something that could happen to anyone and the impact on both the victim and their family is greater than perhaps considered. The length of rehabilitation is also something that is probably underestimated and the longer-term effects, too.
Thank you Julie, for sharing your story, for giving us an insight into your daily experiences and the real struggles you faced even without the added concerns that financial hardship without insurance would have brought. It’s a story we can share with clients, and remind ourselves as why insurance is so important in financial planning and wellbeing.