Critical illness: How an adviser's phone call helped a client in need

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Adviser firm Future Proof shares one client's experience of critical illness and how a chance phone call made all the difference.

Every year we (at Future Proof) contact all of our clients as part of our on-going service.

The purpose of our call (and the letter they subsequently receive) is to remind them what they are actually covered for and to check that the cover still meets their needs and circumstances.

We also encourage our clients to complete the trust form, if it hasn't been returned to us at the time of our call.

After arranging a policy, most of us soon forget what we are actually covered for (and for how long) and tend to focus on the monthly premium.

At the end of July we called Jon Pearce, and this is his story, in his words: 

In June this year I found a lump on my testicle, a small lump but there just the same, so the next day I went to my GP who confirmed the lump and fast tracked me to see a Urologist.

The appointment for the Urologist came through pretty promptly, we saw a very amicable surgeon who after an examination sent me for an ultrasound to identify what the lump was, he said if it was nothing the ultra-sonographer would let me go with just a quick set of bloods to do.

I knew something was wrong when I was requested back to see the Urologist straight after my ultrasound scan.

We passed his office to see him on the phone regarding my case, he beckoned us in and all at once the bottom dropped out of our world as he informed us it was in fact cancer and that I needed surgery the next day to remove it.

I was numb, people say they go numb with news and I now know what they mean. I was numb head to toe, my body and mind were in total shock and unable to process any further information, then the thoughts started to come to me what about our future, what about the kids, what if it was advanced, what if I die who would look after my wife and kids? who would help pay the bills???....it was too much!

However I had to hold it together and to be positive especially in front of the kids as I didn't want them to know.

Thankfully the operation to remove the cancer was successful. I needed to have further bloods, wait for the histology report and have a CT done to make sure it had not spread to my lymph nodes.

During all this, I can't remember exactly when as I was still in a blur, a moment of serendipity occurred.

Future Proof rang me to discuss my Critical Illness policy, the insurance I pay £80 odd a month for.

Well as you need to keep such insurance up to date with health issues, I let the adviser know about my cancer diagnosis.

The adviser was very supportive and suggested that I should put forward a claim with my insurer AIG life.

To be honest I wouldn't have even thought of doing this and thinking back I should have, however my claim was put forward to AIG life by Future Proof and so the process began.

At this time I had some excellent news, the histology and CT confirmed the type of cancer, a 4 cm tumour of mixed carcinoma and that it had, by the grace of god, not spread to my lymph nodes.

Thankfully I would not need chemotherapy and would be put on a five year surveillance.

The world was a sweeter place that day believe me. I have never loved everyone in it and everything about it so much, especially my kids who I squeezed so hard when I saw them. They must have wondered what had got into Dad.

AIG life contacted me in the interim. I spoke to a fantastic claims team who helped me through every bit of my claim, kept me informed and advised at every step. They were amazing.

Then I got a phone call from them. I thought 'here we go they have rejected my claim on some technicality'. I imagine we all think that, that insurers will use any loophole to escape payment, but no my legs went weak for the second time this year.

This time it was due to much happier life changing new. My claim had been accepted to the amount of £119,251.65.

I was expecting (if I was lucky) that I might get £1,000 but not £119,251.65. That is a life changing amount of money and believe me we will use it to change our lives and those of others.

I would never wish for anybody to hear they have cancer or a life changing or threatening disease, it is news that not only crushes the patient but their family.

I am luckily (and crossed fingers I will remain so) fit and well. That is the most important thing. I can grow old and cantankerous and can continue my divine right to embarrass my kids.

But now I can do this with the reassurance that I have the money to provide for their future all by paying a £80 odd monthly payment for critical life insurance. The relief!

Jon Pearce (pictured) 

Some facts and figures about CI (source the ABI - 2014)

• 92% of Critical Illness claims were paid (up from 80% in 2005)
• 14,401 Critical Illness claims were paid
• The average Critical Illness payment was £67,039
• A total of £965 million was paid in Critical Illness payments
• The main reasons for claims were cancer, heart attack, stroke and multiple sclerosis.

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