Leading the Way

Customer story: Disability insurance blessing for business owner

You rarely get sick, don’t go to the doctor often and don’t smoke – that’s how Gary Warter always thought of himself.

And if you think anything like Gary, you probably don’t see the need for disability insurance.

It was this thought process, combined with a tough 2008 economic outlook, that made Gary decide paying for insurance was an expense he could do without. In fact, he got rid of health coverage for himself and didn’t offer it to employees at the restaurant he owned with his brother.

That changed when Gary married and talked with his wife about what might happen if he got sick. Fortunately, an old friend who could help answer that question came into the restaurant. Gary and Douglas Vieselmeyer go back 30 years, which is why Gary knew he could trust him when it came to offering insurance for his staff.

“Doug told me about some other restaurant managers, including one I knew, who offered their employees insurance,” Gary said. “He helped me find some options that worked for everyone — long-time and newer employees — so everyone gets some coverage and peace of mind.”

Gary values the health and welfare of his employees, and believed enough in what Colonial Life offers that he purchased disability insurance in addition to critical illness and other products for himself and his wife, Patty.

Two months after enrolling, Gary was helping his daughter move. As the last piece of furniture was loaded onto the truck, Gary struggled to catch his breath. He grabbed his chest, fell flat on his back and hit his head on the concrete patio.

“Patty started CPR, 911 was called and the paramedics had to shock me in the ambulance to bring me back to life,” Gary said. “A few days later, I underwent single bypass heart surgery.”

Gary was out of work for about eight weeks, but thanks to his disability coverage, he could focus on his health and recovery rather than how he would pay bills while out of work. The other products, like accident and critical illness, helped with some of the expenses related to the heart attack and fall.

“You just don’t know if these things are going to happen, but they can happen to anyone,” Gary said. “I thought I was one of the healthiest people out there, and never thought I’d have a heart attack. All of the insurance coverage I purchased helped take the pressure off what we had to pay out of our pocket, and the disability insurance let us continue with our lives without having to stress over how we’d pay some of those medical expenses.”

Tags: | |