State Farm - Cody

"What a Man." - How life insurance helped this local family in a time of tragedy

(Cody, Wyo.) - “It was 1:31 on a Wednesday afternoon in the Pizza Hut Parking lot. That will never leave me.”

Jana Haines (Pfaffenroth) and her husband Dan had met with Sate Farm agent, Jen Talich, to discuss life insurance in 2008 when they were pregnant with their first child. Jen and Jana recently had a conversation regarding life insurance and the role it has played in Jana’s life. “We got a life insurance policy started on both you and Dan. It was very important to you to have that coverage.” Talich said. 

“Yes, I really wanted a policy on myself as well to help Dan, because he would have the kids if something happened to me.” Jana followed. “We came in again when I was pregnant with our third child and doubled our coverage. We needed to keep up with our growing family.” 

Life was moving along as normal and then everything changed in an instant.

“It was New Year’s Day of 2014. Dan had gotten up early, and Emma, our daughter and I were able to see him off. He was going snowmobiling. It was something he loved to do, and I was happy he was going out. He just found out he had won salesman of the year at his job. I texted him ‘I’m so proud of you. Have a great day snowmobiling.’ What a great last text to send.”  It was a normal day. Jana and the kids spent the morning at her dad’s house. “We had gone to Arby’s for lunch. My dad called and said, “I need to meet you somewhere.” We were both in town and met in the parking lot of Pizza Hut.  He told me something had happened to Dan and they were working to save his life, but I knew at that moment I had lost my husband.” Haines continued, “I remember the thoughts coming to my mind were, ‘How am I going to do this? How can I raise 3 kids alone?’  If you and I drove over the Big Horn Mountains, I could tell you the exact spot where I thought about our life insurance.  I felt a sense of peace, and because Dan and I had life insurance, I was going to be fine. You can move on with everything knowing that financially you are taken care of.”

“After something like this happens you have to start a new normal. The next day people got up and went to work, and life keeps moving on, even though it will never be the same for me again.   Jen, you were the first person at my house that next morning. It was so sweet seeing you there and knowing we had met with you and that you cared more than just selling me a policy.” 

Jen followed, “It was a powerful thing for me, as you and Dan had become my friends, and knowing the work we had done together was really going to make a difference to you and the kids. It reminds me why this is so important.  It was a good feeling to give you that check, but you and Dan were the ones who made it a priority.”

Jana continued “I had a lot of people say to me “It’s not about the money”, but it is human nature to think about it. And to have that peace is amazing. My family then looked at Dan and said “what a man to prepare and do that for his family. What a man.” 

Talich said “because life insurance is not for you, it’s for the people that you love.” 

Jana said, “You always think it’s not going to be you and then it is. And Dan was healthy. He had gone running the day before. He was training for a half marathon.”

Jana and Dan were married for 7 years and had three children. Dan was only 33 when he passed away from a heart attack in 2014. Jana was 27. Life insurance was able to help with the financial burden during this very difficult time and helped Jana and the kids keep going. Jana is now happily remarried to an amazing man and is attending nursing school as they navigate their new normal.  Jana’s strong faith has been an amazing thing to watch and has inspired all those who know her, those who love her
and those who hear her story.

September is Life Insurance awareness month. Contact Jen Talich, State Farm 527-7176 to discuss your life insurance needs.