Your Stories

Scott and Courtney's story

Several years ago life was looking pretty good for Scott Duncan. He owned his own home, had a great job as a builder and was planning for the future with his partner Courtney.

So when he was approached by Financial Adviser Jim Dowsett to look at some level of protection, he was dubious he needed much. After all, he was fit, young and certainly didn’t have any reason to be stopping work any time soon.

“I’m just a young bloke,” Scott recalls saying to Jim. But after extensive time reviewing his situation and requirements, Scott decided on several cover options including mortgage repayment protection, trauma and life cover.

And for then, that is where the story ended.

Until Saturday 22 February, 2014. The day started out like any other for Scott. But a tragic turn of events later that day would change his future forever.

It was around 4pm on Saturday afternoon and Scott was driving between Cambridge and Hamilton in his work van. He was only 10 minutes from his destination when an oncoming car crossed the centre line and ploughed into him head on. Unconscious at the scene and in a critical condition, Scott was transferred to Waikato hospital where he remained in a drug-induced coma for several days.

His injuries were extensive with multiple fractures and internal injuries. Miraculously though, he had escaped any head injuries or major damage to his spine.

Meanwhile Scott’s adviser Jim Dowsett heard about the horrific accident and immediately started the necessary paperwork to make claims on Scott’s behalf. Although his mortgage repayment protection was subject to a four week claim wait period, Jim arranged for activation of the 60 day Specific Injury Benefit which kicked in immediately. Acceptance of his mortgage protection meant that his monthly payments were activated ensuring he wouldn’t lose his home. And because Scott had a waiver of premium in place, all of his premium costs were met by Fidelity Life.

In the early days after the accident, Scott was unaware of the financial arrangements unfolding around him, but Jim worked closely with Courtney to ensure that all possible benefits were available and activated.

“Jim also applied for the Family Member Benefit which meant Courtney could stay at home and care for me for a couple of months after my discharge from hospital,” says Scott.

“If it wasn’t for Jim’s knowledge and guidance, we would never have thought to have these covers in place. Like most people, and especially young people, I never realised the value of insurance and a good adviser until my accident.”

But Scott’s story doesn’t finish there.

In 2014 Scott underwent several surgeries and while recovering, embarked on an extensive rehabilitation programme. It was decided that he wouldn’t be able to return to his pre-accident occupation as a builder and in 2015 he enrolled at WinTec Hamilton to re-train as a quantity surveyor.

Again, with Jim’s guidance, he made a claim for the Rehabilitation Benefit which, once accepted, enhanced his monthly entitlement by 50%.

“Without this, I would never have been able to afford the study costs to retrain,” says Scott.

At the beginning of this year, and close to two years after his accident, Scott is now back in full time employment, working as a qualified quantity surveyor in the industry he loves.

He still faces further corrective surgeries but is even hoping to start running soon, which he was told may never be possible.

“Like me, I’ve got mates who were dubious about the value of insurance and whether claims will actually be paid. But right from the beginning, working with Jim and Fidelity Life has been completely hassle-free.

“Without insurance, my story would have been very different.”

Photo: Two years after a horrific car crash, Scott Duncan is back working in the building industry after retraining as a quantity surveyor.