The birth of Critical Illness Cover

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One of the seminars I was most honoured to host was when Dr Marius Bernard shared the history of a pioneering protection contract that he founded back in 1983.

The seminar was held in The Gwernllwyn in Cross Hands back in the early 90’s. Dr Marius Barnard was was a member of the team headed by his brother Dr Christiaan Barnard that performed the world’s first human-to-human heart transplant in 1967.

Dr.Barnard was motivated by the financial hardship he saw his patients suffer after he had treated their critical illnesses to convince the South African insurance companies to introduce a new type of insurance to cover critical illnesses. Barnard argued that, as a medical doctor, he can repair a man physically, but only insurers can repair a patient’s finances. On 6 October 1983 the first critical illness insurance policy was launched.

His passion for this product was contagious and I became an early advocate of this kind of protection. I could relate a number of real life stories of clients who have benefited from the advice given to protect with Critical Illness Cover (CIC). I’ve heard Dr Bernard speak on number of occasions since. The last occasion when he spoke at a conference I attended in Anaheim 2004. He was as passionate as ever about protecting families and businesses with CIC. Probably more passionate than when I met him in Cross Hands, as he himself had been diagnosed with cancer.

For a quick 3 minute glimpse at the story behind this great product, narrated by Dr Barnard have a look at this video.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are those of the author only and are not necessarily those of I Planning Wealth Management Ltd. All material in this post should be considered as general information only and should in no way be construed as a recommendation of a specific product or course of action. Each circumstance is different and professional advice tailored to your circumstances should be sought from a qualified financial adviser.

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