As a chef and owner of a number of food businesses, including a restaurant and deli, my client Riccardo couldn’t afford to be off work. Following a road traffic accident the pay out on his critical illness policies that included the fracture cover option meant he could continue his treatment, while financially supporting his businesses and the people that keep them going.
It was the end of a normal day, as 42 year old Riccardo got off the double decker bus near his home and started to walk towards a zebra crossing. “I don’t remember the detail but I was told that the driver of the bus was too close to the pavement and that I was hit by the bus. As I fell, my head struck the bolts and wheels of the bus.”
Riccardo has no memory of the accident. However, the effects of the accident were quick and devastating. Riccardo was in a coma for 23 days, and underwent 28 hours of surgery. The accident rendered him blind in one eye, and with severe muscle damage in the other. He lost his nose, suffered extensive damage to his mouth and face, and fractured his skull. Until the accident, Riccardo was a successful chef at one of his own restaurants. However, with the loss of his sense of taste and smell he was unable to continue as a chef.
The right protection
While Riccardo was still in a coma a friend called Riccardo’s financial adviser, Graziano Longo of St. James’s Place Wealth Management, to let him know about the accident. “When I spoke to my financial adviser seven years ago he recommended critical illness protection to provide financial cover that would cover me personally as well as my businesses. I think it’s natural that people question the need for these policies, but if it wasn’t for sound advice from Graziano on the right cover, and the payout from Friends Life, I am not sure how I could have managed financially - for myself, and especially my businesses.”
Riccardo is empowered to start again and to resume living a normal life. As he lives on his own he was lucky that his mother was able to come over from Italy to help look after him, but he is anxious for her to be able to go back home and resume her own life. However, there is a great deal involved with his journey to recovery and independence, including multiple hospital visits for tests and reconstructive surgery.
Riccardo is able to use the £661,678 payout on his critical illness policies and the £3,600 payout from his fracture cover option that he received from Friends Life to take the time to recover and attend appointments. He kept his businesses ticking over by hiring a new chef and managing the people that work for him.
“I just want to move forward now, learn to live independently again, and have the neurological and reconstructive surgery so I can do simple things like drive again.”