Sheldon’s FREE HUGS tattoo says it all. He is a people’s person and loves his job. “It’s a fun, free environment that I really enjoy,” he says. “I like meeting new people and interacting with them. And that was probably the biggest draw card for me into this profession – to do something that involved people and to do something that could help change their lives for the better.”

Sheldon on the impact he makes: “My dream day is to give someone what they want and to make them happy. Tattoos help people get through tough times or to show a story. I always want to make a positive impact and with tattoos I get to do that every single day for the rest of my life.”

Sheldon on his income: “The income I have gives me the freedom to do whatever I want to do. And that’s why I work so hard – so that I’m able to enjoy the things that I’m passionate about.”

Sheldon on life insurance: “It’s super important for anyone who works on commission to have cover that protects them if they get sick or injured. Because if I can’t work, I don’t make money. I am responsible for looking after my dependants. Why should it fall onto someone else if something happens to me? And I think that’s one of the biggest reasons why people should have income protection.”

What cover can someone like Sheldon get?  There are two points to consider:

Firstly, the waiting period: FMI recognises that commission earners, like tattoo artists, lose income from day one of being unable to work. With our Event Based Income benefit, most claims will be paid from day one.

Secondly, sensitivity to claim: Occupations such as tattoo artists are so sensitive to claim that they are typically unable to take out income protection. For example, a minor finger injury which wouldn’t affect working in a more traditional occupation, could result in someone like Sheldon being unable to work for a few weeks.

This means that these individuals may often be unable to protect themselves against any injury or illness, which includes the events that they’re not at increased risk of suffering.

At FMI, we have a different view. We believe everyone needs to protect their income. That’s why we developed our Event Based product to help provide cover for those occupations that would traditionally not be covered. Instead of providing these individuals with cover for an injury or illness that prevents them from working in their occupation, each occupation gets cover for a predefined list of injuries and illnesses. This means that tattoo artists like Sheldon can now qualify for income protection.

To watch Sheldon’s inspiring story, go to

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