The Importance of Insurance

Former AFL executive, Steve Woodhouse, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at age 50. Mr. Woodhouse was fortunate to have appropriate insurance cover in place. Here is his story.

My name is Steve Woodhouse. My work history, after graduating at Curtin University, I went into teaching for 10 years. I figured teaching wasn’t a lifelong experience for me, therefore, I went out into football administration for a number of years working at the local level at the WA field. Then spent two years working for Rally Australia in events corp. There I was the marketing and media manager and after a couple of years there, lo and behold, an opportunity came up at West Coast and I was employed in 2000 as the general manager of football operations. I held that position until I retired in 2010.

Probably the highlight of my life, other than children, and birth, and those sorts of obvious things, career-wise was winning the Premiership in 2006 with West Coast. I’m sitting on the bench at the MCG with 90,000 people and it was a pretty great experience. That was no doubt, probably the pinnacle of my career highlights.

My 2005 diagnosis was interesting from the point of view that I had some issues with my handwriting and other things at work. I approached the club doctor at the time at West Perth who referred me to a neurologist. It’s a pretty daunting experience when the neurologist leans over the desk and says you’ve got Parkinson’s disease because all I could relate to was Michael J. Fox or Muhammad Ali who had the incredible shakes. Only 30% of people have those sorts of shakes, but nevertheless, I had some other effects and there I was. I was diagnosed June 28th, 2005 with Parkinson’s disease. It was not a great feeling, but there I was.

The catalyst for taking out insurance was, in fact, I had approached the West Perth football club board about a pay increase, which they rejected but instead suggested that insurance policies would be a good way to go. What happened was they took those policies out on my behalf trauma and income protection and that gave me the security moving forward. The knowledge that I had those policies was actually instigated at that time but I was pleased. At the time I didn’t think it was so great, but looking back it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

The feeling of knowing that I had insurance was one of great comfort because I didn’t know what the future held. I didn’t know whether it meant I was going to die, how long was I going to live, was I going to keep my job and financial security. I had a good income, but the knowledge of having policies like trauma and income protection was so comforting because I knew I had some back up and some coverage and that things were going to be okay moving forward.

My advice to anybody who’s contemplating insurance is do it. Don’t take the risk. It’s so important. That attitude tends to be it won’t happen to me. It does and knowing that, especially people with young kids or children, having insurance is paramount. Have it, get it and make sure you got that cover because you just never know what’s going to happen.

Steve Woodhouse is not a client of Blueprint Wealth. We would like to sincerely thank Mr Woodhouse for sharing his story and participating in the production of this video.


At Blueprint Wealth, we offer financial advice that is right for you, no matter what stage of life you are at. Contact us to set up a plan that is right for you.