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Cocksy's story

In 2019, NZ celebrity builder Cocksy passed away after a three year battle with terminal cancer. 

But his diagnosis in 2019 got him thinking about what he wanted to do with the life he had left – and he wanted to share his story of how his Asteron Life insurance gave him the freedom to spend his remaining time the way he wanted. 

John ‘Cocksy’ Cocks had always been a fit, active guy. He loved fishing, diving, surfing and playing sport. His job as a builder kept him active, and brought him into the lives of ordinary New Zealanders through appearances on TV shows including Celebrity Treasure Island.

In 2016, Cocksy injured himself playing rugby. When he went to get the pain in his back checked out, his doctors diagnosed a tumour.

“I thought nah, I’m not going to let this beat me.”

Cocksy’s doctors said he couldn’t go back to work, but his income protection insurance meant that he was able to keep his life going. The mortgage was paid, there was food on the table and petrol in the car.

“I was able to do more important things, like spend time with my family – that became the most important thing.”

Purchasing Life Insurance through an adviser

“A few years ago I was doing some building work for an insurance adviser, and we got along really well. We got chatting about how insurance cover could reduce my ACC bill. It was something I didn’t really know much about.”

Cocksy’s insurance adviser analysed his circumstances, and recommended a package of income protection, lump sum trauma and life insurance that would fit his situation.

“I really trusted him, and there was no pressure. I could’ve said no, but I took his advice. And luckily I did – I’ve used two of those covers now, and I have one still to come.”

There was a time, not long before he got sick, that Cocksy looked at reducing his cover. “If things have changed, if money’s tight, you sometimes look at your premiums and think... can I reduce these a bit?

“But I didn’t do it, and thankfully I didn’t – because money spent then is money I’m getting now.”

Realising the dream of a lifetime

When he was diagnosed with cancer, Asteron Life paid out Cocksy’s lump sum trauma benefit. 

“That money enabled me to think, I’ve got a dream that I want to achieve – building a bach on my section in Tairua. So I set that money aside and said, that’s what that’s for.”

Cocksy couldn’t work as a builder, but his skills and insurance money meant he could plan and design a bach in Tairua, which he completed in 2018.

“For me, Tairua is the place where I feel most at home, where I feel most comfortable. My happiest memories, for myself and with my girls, are all there. And that’s what I want to leave behind for them – somewhere that they can feel at home.”

“I thought about it later and thought, how would I have done this without the insurance? How would I have been able to not work, to build my bach, to set up my kids for their future?”

“At the end of the day, it’s allowed me to do things I like doing. I’ve got limited time so I want to make the most of it – I’m using it to the best, for myself and for my family.”

Asteron Life would like to sincerely thank Cocksy and his family for allowing us to share his story.

This article was updated in March 2019.

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Cocksy's cover

Income protection

Because Cocksy can’t work, his income protection pays out a monthly sum for him to live on.

Lump sum trauma

Cocksy had a trauma benefit, which paid out a lump sum when he was diagnosed with cancer. Trauma can be used to help you recover financially if you’re diagnosed with one of 44 medical conditions.

Life insurance

Life insurance pays out a lump sum of money if you die, or if you’re diagnosed as ‘terminally ill’ (12 months or less to live).

The information in this article has been compiled from various sources and is intended to be factual information only. Full details of policy terms and conditions are available from Asteron Life Limited or your financial adviser. For advice on product suitability, please contact your financial adviser. While we take reasonable steps to ensure that the information contained in this article is accurate and up-to-date, it is subject to change without notice. Asteron Life Limited and its related companies does/do not accept any responsibility or liability in connection with your use of or reliance on this article.

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