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Chubb Life Stories

Phil's Story

Phil’s story shows why it’s important to regularly review your cover and understand the policies you might need, or in Phil’s case, already have in place.

‘’Set and forget’ is a common behaviour for many New Zealanders with insurance policies. There’s been horror stories in the media of people thinking they’re protected by insurance when they’re not. In Phil Davenport’s case, it was the other way around, allowing him to take the life-saving leap of having a heart valve replacement.

Phil’s journey towards major surgery began in 2016 when his doctor discovered a heart murmur following a routine blood pressure checkup. He was diagnosed with a Bicuspid aortic valve, a congenital heart disease which often doesn’t present itself until adulthood. 

“Following the diagnosis I didn’t really notice anything but gradually I began to get chest pains during tennis and other physical activities. My wife and I have a lifestyle block which often requires physical chores and when I was putting up a gate, I had to stop and rest, that’s when I knew I had to do something.” Phil laments.

Phil’s doctor then told him some frightening news.  

“He said if you have an operation, you have a 1% chance of having a heart attack, if you don’t have the surgery, you’ll have a 100% chance of having a heart attack, or a stroke. It scared me out of my wits.”

Working as a long-term contractor and being laid up for post-surgery recovery for weeks was a big deterrent for having the operation as Phil would’ve been significantly out of pocket. His wife and him were wondering how they could cut costs and looked at what they were paying in insurance premiums. They read their policies and then discovered they had critical illness cover. 

He admits that money was part of the reason for putting it off.  

“Reviewing your insurance is so important, we had no idea as we’d taken it out with our mortgage many years ago. The critical care has really paid off.  Knowing it was there really helped going into the surgery, it just made it much easier to do it, and doing it saved my life.  We didn’t have find the money, I just had peace of mind that we could get it done.”

Not only did they realise Phil’s surgery was covered, but also they could make a claim for his wife’s breast cancer treatment from the previous year.

The road to recovery has been slow for Phil. He had a setback when he first got home due to a combination of incompatible drugs (which is not a common occurrence) and has been slow to get back on his feet, he found even light activity exhausting. 

“We had a great experience with Chubb Life, within a week of having the information we were paid. Having the cover was absolutely life-changing, it made a heck of a difference. I hate to think of how people would cope if they didn’t have it, it’s a risk you take not to have it. You just don’t know what’s around the corner.”

Want to know more
Want to know more

Discover Assurance Extra

Chubb Life’s Assurance Extra products have a number of solutions that can be tailored to your business to protect from the impact of illness, injury or death.

For more information and a quote, get in touch with an Independent Financial Adviser.  

Your insurance is underwritten by Chubb Life Insurance New Zealand Limited (Chubb Life). Chubb Life has an A (Excellent) financial strength rating given by A.M. Best Company Inc. A summary of the rating scale is: A++, A+ Superior | A, A- Excellent | B++, B+ Good | B, B- Fair | C++, C+ Marginal | C, C- Weak | D Poor | E Under Regulatory Supervision | F In Liquidation | S Suspended. For the full rating scale and more rating information visit