It was out of the blue and completely left field, when suddenly I couldn’t sign my name! I mean, I could begin, but frustratingly, I couldn’t make the pen work to complete my signature; it was the weirdest thing . . .  and the first sign that something was amiss. My wife, who’s a nurse, didn’t say anything at the time but inside she was desperately hoping her suspicions were wrong. A trip to the doctor, then the specialist concluded my diagnosis.  I could barely believe my ears as I sat across from the specialist “I can’t sugar coat this Geoff “, he said, “You’ve got Parkinsons.” I was 52. I’d barely had a sick day in my life – it was a kick in the guts that I had not been expecting.

At first, I went into denial, then into grief over the loss of how life should have been. Ultimately it has been a road to acceptance. You only have two choices and mine has been to keep busy and to keep living life as fully as I can at every point. There is no cure for Parkinsons, you just have to learn to live with it. I’m six years into the disease now. The medications have worked well for me. I’ve continued to work for these six years, and only recently decided to take early retirement. I probably should have done that a year ago, but you keep on going, pride I guess. But now’s the time to make the most of life and of the health I have. Having the option to do this is substantially due to the insurance policies I took out when I started in business 30 years ago. After consulting with Mark at that time, my business partner and I both decided to take out insurance for income protection, disability and life. Over the years, I often looked at those premiums coming out each month, and thought to myself “Do I really need to be spending this money?” But I kept it going, and in hindsight I’m so glad I made that decision. Mark has always kept in touch and reviewed my insurance needs as they changed over the years, and when I was diagnosed he helped me lodge the claim with the insurance company. The benefit of that claim has alleviated the financial stress of my health situation. It has meant that we have been able to continue to live our life well, and in early retirement it will take me through to age 65. Cosgroves and the insurance company, AIA, have been fantastic to deal with. They are fully supportive of my decision to retire based on the specialist’s assessment.

My advice to anyone, and especially to those starting out in business, is to get the right insurances in place. Start it as young as you can as the premiums are lower that way. What happened to me can happen to anyone. Insurance has given us options and that’s made a huge difference. Trust me, you wouldn’t want to face this with a mortgage or big commitments, and no insurance. Talk to Mark – he’s the professional I trust and highly recommend to everyone.

Our biggest endorsement of Mark and Richie is in recommending them to our extended family, life-long friends and co-workers whenever they’ve needed mortgage or insurance advice. There’s only one reason we’d ever do that – it’s “trust”. That trust comes from our own personal experience with these guys. We know they’ll give each and every person the same exceptional level of service that they’ve always given us. Both Richie and Mark are two of the most genuine, down-to-earth, and clued-up guys we’ve met. Both are family orientated and understand the challenges of wanting to do your best for your family’s future when structuring a mortgage, getting house, car and contents insurance, and life and income cover in case things ever go pear-shape.

We first met Richie after a friend recommended him (funny that!). We were looking to re-fix our mortgage and not sure how to go about it. Richie came to us in the evening, once the kids were fed and watered. He took time to get to know us. I admit we were a bit reluctant at first, talking numbers isn’t something we do with just anyone. But Richie made us feel extremely comfortable. He was interested in helping us sort out the best mortgage. He spoke in language we understood and explained our options. He then did all the leg-work with the banks, and came back with three alternatives. Long story short – he saved us a considerable amount of money compared to what we had been paying – and it didn’t cost us a cent to use his services. He’s a hell of a nice guy to deal with and made the whole experience easy. Several years later, when we decided to build, Richie helped us sort the finance for the purchase of the land, and arrange interest only building payments until it was complete.  His input was invaluable.

We also had Mark review our current insurances, like income protection and life. With his advice we were able to make some changes and get the type of cover we needed. Overall, it actually worked out that we got more cover for less. He sees the big picture and understands how insurance plays out when needed. Personally, the peace of mind in knowing that Jackie and the children will always be ok if anything happens to me, is gold.

Like we say to friends when we talk about Mark and Richie – they’re just good guys! It’s not like dealing with a large institution over the phone, where you feel like just another number. At Cosgroves you get a personal experience from people who genuinely care about your success. And in our book, that’s totally worth recommending.

Luke and Jackie Percasky

I met Mark 10 years ago. He was referred to me as a specialist in life and business insurance. At the time I knew I needed cover, but I didn’t know exactly what. I wasn’t familiar with the options, and I’d never considered the many possibilities that can happen in life.

I developed a good rapport with Mark. He’s someone I trust to talk to about very personal matters. He’s been able to filter what I say and translate my wishes into tangible insurance, so my bases are covered, and my family will be looked after, in any eventuality.
Mark and I have had some good conversations over the years. We’re pretty attuned at talking about very morbid subjects now! He pointed out a whole lot of scenarios I’d never even considered; and helped me clarify in my own mind what would be needed if things went wrong. The upside is that I’ve been able to put a good plan into place, and have reassurance about some of my personal aspirations for my family. Things I’d like for my children can continue to happen, even if I’m not around to see them through. I know my family will be in the best possible position to enjoy the life that I would want for them. It’s a pretty cool feeling as a partner and as a father to have. In a way I can care for them beyond the grave, and leave a legacy. I consider that pretty important.

Mark’s very knowledgeable, and sensible with it. He was able to translate my ‘Disneyland’ aspirations into something clear and pragmatic. It’s great to chat to someone who shares similar interests and family values. Life can be full of uncertainty, but through Mark’s professional advice I’ve got confidence that I’m doing my very best; that everything will be ok, even if circumstances do their best to say otherwise. I now have all sorts of weird and wonderful insurances to cover every contingency – life/business/medical/permanent and partial disability. The best part is having a plan in place and having thought it through. I’m grateful to Mark for making that happen.

Being in business for 35 years has been a great experience. It’s exciting and exhilarating, but it’s not without risk. My insurance needs over the years have varied as the company has grown from an owner-operated small business to an operation employing 300 staff. Mark’s in-depth understanding of commercial risk and the ever changing challenges in business makes him uniquely well placed to advise business owners like myself. This understanding and experience has enabled Mark to very aptly tailor-make insurance covers to fit my needs, rather than having to take standard off the shelf policies and covers.

One of my key objectives with insurance in the earlier years was to ensure my wife and family were never burdened with the running of the business if something should happen to me. That meant income protection in case of accident or disability, and also financial provision that supported nominated people to take ownership of the business, if I died or became seriously incapacitated.

I consider Mark to be an architect of insurance needs; able to design cover that’s best suited for the individual’s requirements throughout the differing stages of life. That’s what he’s done, very well, for myself and my family. There’s no on-size-fits-all with insurance requirements, we’re all different, especially in business.

Recently we reviewed some of our cover because at this stage in life our requirements have changed and in some areas insurance needs lessen. Mark has been 100% professional as always, and helped us nominate our current requirements without being influenced by fees, commissions etc. He puts the client’s needs absolutely first, and delivers. He maintains complete confidentiality about his client’s business and personal dealings.

I couldn’t recommend him more highly.

“You never think you’re going to be the one to need insurance, but when, at aged of 47, I had a stroke; I was so glad I had met Mark, and so glad I had taken his advice.”

Initially, I was unable to speak and communication was very difficult. But, Mark was there almost immediately. He was at the forefront with help and support, and it made an enormous difference. He was on the case, getting the claim sorted as quickly as possible, and that took a huge load off; for my wife and for myself. Because we’d put the right strategy in place prior, the potential for financial stress at an already intensely stressful time, was eliminated. It meant our income streams continued, so that our home; the children’s schools; and our family lifestyle remained constant – whilst I focussed on rehabilitation.

As an Anaesthetist Specialist with the DHB and also in private practice, my claim was quite complicated with ongoing requirements and obligations to the Medical Council. But that has never fazed Mark. He has been there from the outset ensuring everything went smoothly, and he has continued to be there over the past 4 ½ years whenever needed. Our insurance cover has played out to the very letter, exactly as Mark had advised us it would. His original assessment had been spot on.

Mark has really gone above and beyond the call of duty, because that’s just the sort of person he is. He’s honest, thorough, and very astute at interpreting and explaining the fine print too. I couldn’t recommend him more highly, both as a person and as an advisor.

As an accountant I see my clients every year because of taxes. I make a point of doing a ‘financial health-check’ and part of that is making sure they have adequate cover in case of accident, illness or the death of a key person in the business. But, I’m not an expert in this area. I strongly believe in working with the right professionals who are knowledgeable and skilled in their area of expertise. I stick to my knitting, and refer Cosgroves as a trusted advisor in matters of business, farm and personal insurance. They’ve performed incredibly well for my clients. They’re open and up-front about what cover is needed, with advice to best protect business owners both professionally and personally. Their assessments are sound, with the right amount of cover based on current income generation, debt, and risk. They also get personal about family, goals and aspirations too. They don’t just fill in a form and spit out a figure; they get close to a business and assess exactly what the individual needs are.

Whether they’re dealing with a brickie, a farmer or a lawyer, Cosgroves are personable and approachable. They’re knowledgeable in all areas of insurance, including the interpretation of detailed policies.

When a business is worth a lot, it becomes crucial to have insurance in place. For instance, if a key person has a heart attack, or is diagnosed with a serious illness, and can’t work for 6 months, the right insurance ensures the business is not seriously put at risk. It’s important stuff, and just a fact of life some times. Knowing that business insurance will kick in, and can pay a shareholder out if necessary, or provide support during recovery and rehabilitation, is real peace of mind.

And whenever there’s been a need to claim Cosgroves has dealt with it, and dealt with it well; acting as advocates for the client. You simply don’t get that with big institutions. I rate the level of service and professionalism from Cosgroves as excellent in all regards.

Mark has a very unique way of doing business, that’s both professional and personable. I haven’t struck anything quite like it before. He’s a bit ‘old-school’ really, where hard work, responsibility and doing the right thing for family are important, and he relates well with people who live those values too.

My interest in motorcycles means I’m exposed to risk, and like most males I may push the boundaries at times; so I need to know all the bases are covered, and that the people around me – my family, and the staff I employ, are never left in the lurch. I need the best possible cover, and Mark’s the professional I talk to for advice. I can question him, bounce ideas off him, and rely on him to get it right. To be honest, I used to begrudge paying premiums each month when I was with another company, but Mark has a way of conveying its importance in a language I understand. He’s never pushy, but he is straight up with me. At the end of the day, he’ll let me know the type and amounts of cover I need for what I want to achieve, but there’s never any pressure.

I rest easy knowing that Mark has taken the time to get to know me, my business, the market, and my personal situation. He knows how my wife Ann and I think, and if anything was to go wrong, I couldn’t think of any better possible person to take care of things. I don’t know how he finds enough hours in the day to operate at the level he does, but he makes the whole thing very, very easy. I cannot speak highly enough of Mark, and of his business.

“Our two sons are involved in the family business now, so Cosgroves has helped with estate planning, and the thinking through of how we would like to manage things going forward.”

As a sixth-generation farming family doing the right thing for our family’s future is very important to us. We see ourselves as caretakers for a time, and want to be able to hand it on as an on-going enterprise. Farming can be hazardous though – you have to deal with the potential for accidents, adverse weather conditions, and the stresses of everyday life. Eighteen years back Geoff ruptured his Achilles tendon whilst stepping down a bank as he shifted stock. He was laid up for several weeks. With a young family, we realised we didn’t have enough cover in place that could of helped us through that difficult time.

We’ve dealt with Mark for a number of years now, and have a range of cover. We’ve always felt very comfortable talking to him. His own rural background whilst growing up, has given him a good understanding of the environment we operate in. Our two sons are involved in the family business now, and Mark has helped with estate planning, and the thinking through of how we would like to manage things going forward. He’s good to deal with, and we’ve always felt he has our best interests at heart; he’s never been pushy, but he has put together what’s right for us. Mark has been out to the farm on a number of occasions, and he’s only ever a phone-call away if there’s a problem. As our needs continue to change over time, Mark is proactive about ensuring we aren’t paying for things we don’t need. The Cosgove team are always pleasant, efficient and responsive to emails. We are continually impressed with Mark as a person, his approach, and the business he operates. We would recommend Cosgroves to anyone.

“They don’t avoid the hard discussions that can be required to identify challenges a business might face through an accident or illness, but remain solutions focused, putting the needs of the client first.”

At Quantum Advantage Ltd, we believe in looking at the road ahead. So, as chartered accountants and business advisors we regularly talk to our clients about the future of their business. For insurance cover, we introduce our clients to Cosgroves. Cosgroves provides a highly professional, impartial, and individualised view of exactly what cover is needed, or not. They don’t avoid the hard discussions that can be required to identify challenges a business might face through an accident or illness, but remain solutions focused, putting the needs of the client first.

Cosgroves have demonstrated a thorough understanding of the various industries in which our client-base operate; including fishing, farming and construction. They involve us in discussions, so the client has the benefit of a range of professionals who understand their business and what they want to achieve. Cosgroves takes a big picture view, tailoring a plan that provides risk mitigation in the present, through to succession and replacement strategies for the future. Options are discussed, and at the end of the day, our client is in the best position to choose the right cover to fit their personal situation.

As with everything in life, as people grow and age, their needs and focus changes also. Cosgroves is well placed to provide ongoing support and advice. Quantum Advantage continue to refer the Cosgrove team to new clients. We also utilise their services for our own personal and business needs – there simply is no better endorsement than that.

When my kiwi-born wife and I decided to move from Sydney to New Zealand in 2020, we knew we’d need good people around us to make it go as smoothly as possible. Meeting Ritchie and Mark from Cosgroves was one of those fortunate connections. Ritchie facilitated the financial process as we navigated the buying of a rural property in West Melton, near Christchurch. His understanding of the complexities of moving countries, and of the finance and banking systems made things a lot easier for us.  Ritchie’s good communication meant we could create a workable plan with the flexibility to consider the various scenarios of the five different properties we looked at. His support was always very positive as he worked with us to get a final result.

We met Mark once we’d moved and decided it was time to review our life, income and family’s health cover. We were immediately impressed by his honesty and integrity. It was obvious that this was his area of speciality and he knows it backwards. It was the first time we have really felt heard by an insurance adviser. There’s no bs with Mark. He’s straight up and very professional. He gave us good, honest advice that considered our current needs and helped us start thinking about the future as our children grow.

We are very confident that, based on Mark’s advice, we now have the back-up we need in terms of insurance cover, and its actually resulted in a significantly lower premium than what we had in Australia. We can certainly recommend the Cosgrove team for mortgage and insurance advice and have no hesitation referring them.

It’s easy to go through life thinking you’re bullet-proof. Reality is, one minute you might be; the next you’re not. Having the right cover can make all the difference; something we found out several years back when we made a claim. Mark facilitated the process on our behalf and everything went like clockwork. He made sure it kicked in according to how it had been designed ten years earlier.

We’ve used Cosgroves for many years now, and include him in Business Planning Days where we discuss strategy with our accountant and lawyer. Mark’s in-depth insurance knowledge, when put under the microscope of the lawyer and accountant is very impressive, and everyone agrees he knows his stuff. He’s a trusted advisor, and we feel confident that if a policy is written up by him, it will proactively have our best interests at heart. We like dealing with him because he’s forthright – there’s no fluffy stuff. He tells it as it is, and if he doesn’t know, he gets back to us. We’ve got peace of mind that we’ve got the right cover, and comfort that things are in place whatever transpires in life and in business.

We can’t speak more highly of Cosgroves, and would recommend them without hesitation.