Adviser firm Vita shares a customer claims story on how critical illness cover helped a breast cancer patient stay in work and achieve some personal goals.
Vita stays in regular contact with its clients years after a successful claim has been made, finding out how they respond to treatment and how their recovery has progressed.
Below is a update that the firm received last week, where a Mrs Bradley from Hertfordshire explained in her own words, how her life changed after her critical illness claim.
"I was always healthy, and looking back now, I realise I took my health for granted. Although I had life insurance through my employer, I never really considered the need for a Critical Illness policy.
My expectations changed when I fell and broke my foot. I was standing on the train platform on a beautiful, sunny autumn afternoon.
It was completely dry, and I was wearing ‘sensible' shoes. I was not running for the train, or in any kind of hurry, and there were not many commuters heading my way. I took a step to board the train, and the next thing I knew I was on the ground with my foot underneath me, and it was broken.
It was a long and frustrating six months to see if my foot would heal on its own, consultations, and finally an operation. I realised that I was fragile, and if I could fall and break my foot on a normal day, then what else might be in store for my future health?
I decided to look into Critical Illness policies and found Vita. My adviser was James Ball. He was incredibly patient and helpful with all my questions. He helped me narrow down what I was looking for in a policy, and then he found the information for me.
It is a real challenge trying to navigate the different kinds of policies and requirements, so James' help was invaluable, and in the end, with his help, I found the right policy fit for me.
It seems I had literally just signed all the insurance paperwork when I had the worst kind of health news: I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I was stunned as the doctors unveiled the size and stage of the tumour and the long months ahead of treatment which included surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and Herceptin. I contacted James at Vita, and they immediately helped start the claims process.
They could not have made it any easier, and I was even supported by the director of Vita, Paul Reed.
The paperwork was submitted and within a few weeks, the insurance company contacted me to say they were paying my claim in full. I was shocked all over again!
The money was such a help. It enabled me to manage to continue my employment on a reduced hours basis without suffering financial hardship during the treatment.
It also helped me to take some personal time after the treatment was completed. I used this personal time to focus on my health, and do some things like back pack the Long Trail, a 273 mile hiking path in Vermont; and also train and complete the Walt Disney World marathon in Florida.
I know that when I took the Critical Illness policy, I was not expecting that I would ever need to make a claim. I also know that my situation was very unusual - I had only just set up the policy when I found myself in need.
If anyone is considering whether or not a Critical Illness policy is worth it, I can say that the financial relief that the funds afforded to me when I needed them most provided me with peace of mind and helped me focus on the real goal, which was getting through the cancer treatment and being well again.
I would recommend Vita and Critical Illness insurance whole heartedly, and I was proud to have Vita and its caring staff in my corner when I needed them."
Mrs Bradley, Hertfordshire
Paul Reed, director and protection specialist at Vita said: "The story of Mrs Bradley is a very powerful one, highlighting the financial relief that Critical Illness cover can provide. There is a common misconception by many consumers that insurers look to try and wriggle out of claims, with a recent survey showing that the public only believe only a fraction of claims will be paid.
"Claims statistics from many insurers showing rates of over 90% of claims being approved are just another example that this is not the case. The publicising of these figures, coupled with client testimonials and campaigns like Seven Families, are a critical part of raising awareness of the importance of having adequate Protection in place, as well as breaking down the misconceptions people hold about insurance policies."