8 Times Insurance Helped Our Clients In a Crisis

8 Times Insurance Helped Our Clients In a Crisis

Every day, the agents here at Sams/Hockaday are making a difference for the seniors in our community. They’re protecting nest eggs, securing financial peace of mind, and of course, helping clients through the Medicare maze.

We all buy insurance in the hopes we never use it. But many times, life happens, and we find ourselves in a crisis. That’s when insurance steps in to ease concerns – at least the financial ones.

Here are 8 times insurance helped our clients in a crisis.

1. $10,000 to cover cancer costs

From Michael Sams

One of my clients bought a $10,000 cancer policy from me. Maybe a year or two later, she was diagnosed with cancer, and she collected the benefit from that policy.

She told me she kept all her receipts, and she paid out $6,700 for different things out of her own pocket. She has money left over and was asking me what she should do with it. I told her that money was hers to keep, and she said, “Honey, we’re going on vacation!”

In a time of crisis, $10,000 was huge for these folks. The out of pocket expenses they experienced with her cancer diagnosis didn’t come out of her checking account.

And her monthly premium was only about $28 per month.

2. $198 for open-heart surgery

From Taylor Thomas

One of my clients had open-heart surgery, which is an urgent, expensive procedure that often has complications and follow-up appointments. I never did see the total cost of the entire situation, but open-heart surgery is routinely more than $300,000.

I had sold this client a Medicare Supplement Plan G, and he only had to pay a $198 deductible.

Had he not gotten a Medicare Supplement a few months prior, that surgery would have cost him thousands, even with Original Medicare paying its portion. 

We tell clients what their coverage is with a Medicare Supplement, but you don’t quite realize just how incredible it is until you need to use it. He was really happy about that!

3. $25,000 final expense benefit after a motorcycle accident

From Rachel Petersen

I had a client who was 68 years old, and during our appointment, I realized he didn’t have any kind of life insurance. We talked about the average cost of a funeral, which is about $15,000-$16,000 in the Illinois area.

He finished the application that day and was covered with a $25,000 death benefit.

Two days later, he died in a motorcycle accident.

The final expense policy took care of all his final expenses, including his funeral. There was even some money left over to help pay for other things that came up unexpectedly.

His wife was relieved when she found out he bought this policy. It was a blessing during a very tragic, unexpected crisis.

4. $185 for cancer treatments

From Luke Hockaday

Last year, I had a client who had Original Medicare and was healthy his whole life. He was 70 years old. For 5 years, he just had Original Medicare. He finally came here and we got him squared away with a Medicare Supplement Plan G. 

One month later, he got diagnosed with cancer.

Had he not gotten the Medicare Supplement, he would have been on the hook for 20% of all cancer treatment costs. He was extremely happy with me because all he owed was the $185 Part B deductible (that’s what it was last year).

Instead of paying 20% of everything, he only had to pay $185.

5. $15,000 for a baby boy in tragic drowning accident

From Jeff Sams

I sold a juvenile policy to a young couple who had their first born baby boy. The couple both worked and had great jobs, so the $46 premium for the baby boy was no big deal. On the first anniversary of the policy, the little boy was now 2, and I got a notice that the policy was in the grace period. I called the father and asked him what was going on. He said they did not need the coverage and was not going to pay it. 

I told him I was paying it, and he could repay me in lunches for the next year, and we laughed about it. When I got the notice we were in the reinstatement period, I went ahead and paid the premium for him. There was a letter that went back to the parents on reinstatement, and a signature was needed that the little boy was healthy. They did not respond to the letter and the $46 of which I paid was mailed back to the parents.

A few months pass by and the worst thing any parent can imagine happens. The little boy drowns while at the babysitters home. He was almost two and a half years old and had somehow gotten out of the house and went to get in the boat on the dock behind their home. He did not make it, and they found him in the water at the edge of the boat.

The whole time, I am thinking I am so glad I paid that premium – at the very least, they have some money to pay for the expenses of a funeral, headstone, and all the other expenses from this tragic accident.

I filed the claim, and it was denied as the premium had been returned since they did not get the signatures for reinstatement. I was now in shock and soon learned how everything had transpired.  

The insurance company was a small company in Oklahoma, and after I pleaded the case to please pay the claim, they called me and said they were going to pay the $15,000 death benefit – not because they owed it, but because of the moral obligation to do the right thing.

That company was Standard Life of Oklahoma. I was never more proud to work for that company as they did not owe that claim. I was so happy to deliver that check, and it was a very emotional time, but a good feeling to have good news to give a family that had lost it all in losing that little baby boy.

I believe that was one of the best days to have a good outcome on the insurance side for the worst day of that family’s life.

6. $2,600 bill erased with a Plan F

From Janet Johnson

I had an elderly couple that wintered in Texas. They had a Medicare Supplement Plan F.

They needed some care while they were in Texas, and so they went to the hospital. They got the care they needed, and all was well.

They came back up to Illinois and shortly after, they got a bill from that Texas hospital for $2,600. They tried calling and got nowhere. The hospital even threatened sending them to collections.

They called me, and I went to work and did all the claim work. The bottom line is he got the $2,600 written off. He thought that was just great!

I always tell my clients, don’t call the doctor or hospital when you have a claims issue – you call me!

7. $15,000 of funeral expenses covered

From Patty Gogerty

I had clients in my office two years ago to do an annual review. I talked to them about life insurance, and they hesitated at first but ultimately decided to go ahead with a policy on both of them. 

My client was diagnosed with cancer in January of 2020 and passed away May 1, 2020. His wife had forgotten they had bought the policies which enabled her to pay for the funeral. It was one less thing for her to have to worry about.

The benefit was $15,000, and she was so grateful that we had done that. Now her kids know that Mom has something to take care of her expenses if something should happen to her.

8. $30,000 cancer benefit in the nick of time

From Janet Johnson

I had written a cancer policy for a very good friend. The policy went into effect December 26. 

The way cancer policies work is you can’t go on claim in the first 30 days. That’s a bit of protection for the insurance company so that people don’t misuse it.

Well, my good friend was diagnosed with cancer 34 days after that policy went into effect. Of course, the insurance company really investigated that, but ultimately, they paid up, and it was a $30,000 benefit.

That client was very happy that he had this sum of money to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses related to a cancer diagnosis, like travel, meals, hotel stays, deductibles, copays, and so forth.

The other side of the coin

While we love sharing stories of clients and families we’ve been able to help over the years, there are also those clients who chose not to get coverage or delayed it.

There’s a reason we recommend the coverage we do, and perhaps these stories will help better explain why.

Trip to Arizona gone wrong

From Luke Hockaday

I had met with a client who was interested in a life insurance policy with long-term care benefits added to it. She wanted to do the application, but she and her husband were just getting ready to go to Arizona for a month. She was healthy, and all was good. She said they were busy packing and getting ready so they’d do the application when they got back from Arizona. 

I called her when she got back, and it turns out she had a stroke in Arizona. She was now uninsurable. If she had filled out the application before she went, we would’ve had it all completed and squared away. So, that’s the other side of the spectrum.

I will never push a client to do anything, but I do share this story now with clients who want to put off applying. You never know what can happen tomorrow.

Lawn mowing accident

From Patty Gogerty

I had met with a client and recommended life insurance. He wanted to put it off, and honestly, we all put off stuff.

Well, just a few months after we met, he decided to apply for life insurance. It was in the process of being underwritten, and the company was getting ready to issue the policy. Then, he had a terrible lawn mowing accident. The mower flipped over on him and he passed away.

That really has stuck with me, and I do tell my clients this story when they want to delay important coverage like life insurance. Anything can happen, and we say it won’t happen to me, but it does, and it did for this gentleman.


When our clients are able to utilize the insurance they have paid premiums on, it reassures us we are doing the right thing every day.

We always hope we buy the insurance and never use it, but that’s not always the case. And for those clients who were helped in the most tragic of times – well, that’s why we do what we do.

Also, please know that we help with the claims process, so if you do need to use your insurance, we will help handle the paperwork and the necessary phone calls.

Thank you for reading, and if you’d like to schedule an appointment or get personalized recommendations, be sure to visit our online scheduling tool or give us a call at 217-423-8000!

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Disclaimer: We do not offer every plan available in your area. Currently we represent 4 organizations which offer 41 products in your area. Please contact, 1‑800‑MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program to get information on all of your options.