I bought 2 plans upon my planner’s recommendation. 2 years later, they helped me dodge a $300,000 bullet

Posted 19 December, 2019 by Clearly
in Real Lives, Real Stories

This article was adapted from a testimonial written in by a grateful client. We document, with her financial planner’s help, how she is able to focus on recovery from cancer because of her choices made 2 years ago.


Statistically speaking, I am just like you.
Does this sound familiar?

I have a tertiary education but am not too confident when it comes to personal finance matters, especially insurance.
I have my reservations about planners and agents – there are too many horror stories out there.
That being said, I am at least open to hearing them out – to learn from them, and eventually choose someone trustworthy.

If you are reading this and have yet to find someone you can trust, then please do so without a moment’s hesitation – because statistically speaking, what happened to me may happen to you as well.


The year is 2017


In a way, I am lucky. Despite what is about to happen to me in another 24 months, I consider myself blessed to have made the right choice.

Prior to meeting Zest, I purchased an Investment-Linked Plan and a savings plan from another agent, believing that they covered me sufficiently. Zest set me straight, explaining why I was vulnerable without a hospitalization plan and critical illness cover.

It was the way he explained it all patiently, which convinced me that he had my best interests at heart. I transferred my existing policies to him and bought a comprehensive hospitalization plan (from NTUC Income) and a multipay CI plan (from Aviva), to address my biggest needs at the point of time.

I didn’t think that these 2 plans were going to save me from potential financial ruin, but they did.


The year is 2019


It started with a bad chest pain that came out of nowhere. An ultrasound revealed that there was a dark shadow image around the chest area and I was referred to a specialist at Gleneagles. There, I was diagnosed with having Thymoma. Basically, it was cancer, and I was scheduled to have it surgically removed in 3 days.



The shock was compounded by the realization that treatment would not be cheap. This being Gleneagles, I was apprehensive about the projected bill. Zest visited me upon hearing the news and assured me that my plan covered private hospitals as well, so I had peace of mind to go ahead with the surgery.

Thankfully the operation proceeded without a hitch and I was discharged a week after. Zest took care of the forms and claims needed for the hospital bill, which came up to over 66k. It was paid directly to Gleneagles.



Editor: She did not have to pay any of her inpatient treatment because she had a Letter of Guarantee (LOG)  issued which was pre-requested on her behalf by Zest. Hence she did not need to pay the upfront cash deposit.


Nearly 240,000 reasons to focus on recovery and getting the best medical care


As any cancer survivor will tell you, that removal of the tumour is only half the battle won. The longer, harder part is the recurring treatment required so that it will (hopefully), never return.

Initially, I was thinking of how best to manage the costs of recovery, which thankfully did not include radiotherapy, but frequent followup checks instead. Still, I did think about switching hospitals to bring the cost down. But because Zest followed up closely with my Critical Illness claim under Aviva, within a few months they approved the claim.



With that sum in hand, I was able to make the choice to fully focus on my recovery, and continue my post-operation checkups at Gleneagles hospital. I have also opted to stop working for now, an option that was open for me only because of this payout.


Editor: It is market practice for policies to nett off the entire year’s due premiums from the payout, since insurance is supposed to be paid for yearly (albeit given monthly payment options)


The Road ahead


All said and done, I need to count my blessings. Even though I am unlikely to be able to obtain any more critical illness cover (due to this pre-existing condition now), my Aviva plan still covers me for any subsequent relapses up to 2 more times.

Zest did voice his concern that given my life stage and financial situation, the subsequent amount of cover is insufficient. So part of the original payout is now deployed for investment and growth, so serve as a self-insurance measure should the worst happen.



If you are still reading, then my sincerest advice would be to get professional help in financial planning while you can. Too many people I know feel that insurance is a waste of money, or feel that they are still young and nothing will happen to them. (For reference, I am in my early thirties.)

Should you not have anyone in mind to turn to, have a chat with Zest. For what he has done for me, I fully endorse his service.


Afterthoughts from Jillian’s Financial Advisor


Jillian (not her real name), and others like her, are the reason why I chose to pursue this profession. We do not always get the recognition for helping our clients, but incidents like these remind me about the fragility of life.

While she should not have any problem obtaining Death or Total and Permanent Disability cover, critical illness cover is a whole different story. I am now managing part of her CI payout as a financial nest egg to cushion any subsequent mishaps that might occur.

As mentioned, the silver lining in all this is that her Aviva Multipay plan still can cover for 2 more relapses, which is a sterling example of how these plans are supposed to work. If you are someone who is still unsure of what might be suitable, do reach out to me.

Email: zest.chia@gmail.com
HP: 9675 9587
Instagram: @coffeewithzest


Editor: We applaud both Jillian and Zest’s willingness to share. If you too have an insurance-related experience (positive or negative) that you wish to share, do reach out to us – full anonymity is our guaranteed. Your story could help impact people and families out there.


www.ClearlySurely.com aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured.

We are also in the midst of building a top-secret new platform that will change the way people view financial planning. PS. It does not contain lame hyperboles like “fintech” or “insurtech” or “machine-learning” or “AI”.

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