Life Insurance case study - Trevor Dymond

"I didn’t see it coming", said Trevor Dymond of the stroke that knocked him for six in November 2009.

"There was no family history of strokes and aside from being a little stressed at work, I was the healthiest I’d ever been." 

Dymond, a 35-year-old principal of an accounting business in Melbourne, was in top physical shape when something went wrong with his body last November. His left side was numb, his face had dropped and he was incoherent when speaking to his wife. Dymond was taken by ambulance to hospital where the stroke was confirmed.

The stroke came as a huge shock to Dymond, his family and also his colleagues, who initially feared the worst. While the worst didn't happen, it was 5 months before Dymond was able to return to work, and even then, only in a part-time capacity. He would have been forced to go back much earlier, however, if he hadn't continued their insurance policies.

For the past five years, Dymond, a father of two young children, has been covered by Zurich. "My wife would look at the amount of money we were spending on income protection and trauma cover, and question it," he remembered.

The trauma payout from Zurich, however, has afforded him the luxury of taking his time with his recovery. Dymond has suffered - like many stroke victims - from heavy fatigue. "Part of the brain that's been affected isn't functioning so the other part has to take over. Your brain is rewiring itself to some degree," he said. "I often have days when I'm very lethargic even if all I'm doing is relaxing."

"The claims process was very easy," he said. "My insurance broker who has been looking after my insurance, couldn’t speak more highly of Zurich. I never had any concerns the claim wouldn’t go smoothly."

It's impossible to overplay how important the payment has been to Dymond and his family. "I've got a job I love and I've questioned whether I'll ever be able to go back in the same capacity," he admitted. "Having this means money is one less thing I have to worry about."

Dymond is one of the lucky ones. Doctors still don’t know what caused his stroke but it doesn't look like he's suffered permanent damage. His experience has instilled in him a fervent belief in the necessity of insurance such as trauma cover. "If you’ve got debt and / or a young family, insurance like this is essential," he said. "If my health doesn’t come back 100 per cent, it won’t affect us financially. To compromise my recovery because I didn't have this cover would have added a stress that I didn’t need. The amount you pay for insurance isn't much and yet the peace of mind it gives you is so high."

And his wife? In the emergency department Dymond said she admitted she’d been wrong about trauma cover: "My wife took back everything she’d said. It’s not until something like this happens that you understand the significance of insurance."