The architect of critical insurance Dr Marius Barnard has died aged 87.
A renowned South African heart surgeon, Dr Barnard also helped his brother Christiaan perform the world’s first human-to-human heart transplant in 1967.
His experience with surgery patients led him to realise that although he could extend peoples’ lives through successful operations, there was a need to help them deal with the financial costs of surviving a major illness.
As a result, he invented critical illness insurance and brought the first product to market in 1983.
In 1997 he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and given just two years to live.
Dr Barnard worked as a technical consultant with Scottish Widows.
Scottish Widows financial protection specialist and planning manager Johnny Timpson says: “It is with much sadness to report that Dr Marius Barnard passed away peacefully this morning with his family around him. Our thoughts are with his wife Inez and family.
“I was able to discuss the Seven Families initiative with Marius and he was very taken with the collaborative approach that our industry is taking in engaging consumers and gave us his support.
“His final words to me were: ‘Johnny, my race is run.’”