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The stories behind critical illness claims

The stories behind critical illness claims

It is well publicised that consumers have a misconception that the protection industry does not pay claims. All insurers now publish their claims paid stats that highlight claims paid are often well in excess of 90% and this data is freely available for advisers to pass on to their clients. Whilst this can help build consumer confidence it only tells part of the story and nothing quite highlights the importance of protection like a real-life example of a client benefiting from their protection plan. Many insurers now release case studies on their websites which tell the stories of claimants, how their scenario has affected them and their family and how having protection has benefitted them. We have brought together a collection of case studies from across the market telling such stories.

If you have a claim story you would like us to share regardless of whether you are an adviser or insurer, please contact us.

Steve’s Story
Steve is an adviser who visitied a doctor for an ongoing cough. After anti-biotics failed to clear the cough he was referred to a consultant who suggested he had his tonsils removed. During the proceedure cancer of the mouth and throat was found. Having never smoked or drank Steve was shocked with the diagnosis. This video tells his story and how he was able to claim on his Aviva policy and how this supported him through his recovery.

Wesley’s Story
In this short video, Wesley explains how he was able to claim on his critical illness plan with Aviva after having a heart attack at the age of 37. It also gives the views and experiences of Wesley’s adviser and the assessor who dealth with the claim. 

Nick & Emma’s Story
Nick & Emma from Exeter are a normal family with two children. Their son, Casper, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at five months old which required chemotherapy and steroid treatments along with a whole host of other medications to manage the side effects. They never imagined this happening to them. Despite initial reluctance, the family had a VitalityLife serious illness plan in place and this story explains how they money they received from their policy helped them through the toughest period of their life. 

Lillie’s Story
This video highlights how Emma and Chris from Cover My Bubble started their advice firm after personal adversity. The story discusses the birth of their second child, Lillie, at 24 and a half weeks and what happened after complications led to them to have to say goodbye far too soon. Emma and Chris discuss their financial struggles and the lasting impact on their life in order to highlight the benefits of protection. 

Laurence’s Story
Laurence was struggling with regular bladder infections which even after numerous courses of anti-biotics kept recurring. After visiting a specialist he was told that he had an enlarged prostate and was tested for cancer. Shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer. Fortunately the cancer was removed and in this video, Laurence explains how he claimed on his Legal & General critical illness policy and his experience in dealing with their claims team.  

Derek’s Story
Derek was aware that he had a prostate issue for a number of years and had regular biopsy’s and tests, but when undergoing surgery for tissue removal and analysis found that he had prostate cancer. In this video, Derek talks about his “life changing event” and how being able to claim on his Royal London whole of life policy with critical illness helped him and his business even though he wasn’t sure that his condition was covered. 

Emily’s Story
Emily is 43 years old and married with two children “made of fur”. She was diagnosed with cancer and fortunately doctors were able to remove the cancer before Emily found out. This video explains how being able to claim on her Zurich critical illness plan enabled her to focus on her mental and physical health following her diagnosis and not worry about her finances. 

Linda’s Story

Linda is a finance business partner for a government department and was feeling fit and healthy with no symptoms before receiving the news that she had been diagnosed with bowel cancer in August last year. In this video Linda, tells her story and the relief she felt when Aviva confirmed that her critical illness policy would pay out. 

Avril’s Story
three failed pregnancies and being diagnosed with Antiphospholipid Syndrome, Avril gave birth in 2017 but suffered a lot of pain in her back and chest. After investigations doctors found that she was having a heart attack. Avril was able to claim on her critical illness plan with Legal & General and in this story she tells us about the events leading up to her claim and how the money from her plan has helped her family.

Linda’s Story
Linda and her husband took out critical illness policies over 20 years ago, at the time they just thought it was the right thing to do. Being fit and healthy, they honestly felt they would never need the cover, until many years later Linda felt a lump and was diagnosed with breast cancer. “When you’re worried about your heath, the last thing you want to worry about is money”. Fortunately for the couple, Scottish Widows were able to pay out the claim, helping them pay off the mortgage and allow Linda to focus on her health.

Glenn’s Story
Glenn and his wife Janice run the Cherry Tree Home Bakery in Northern Ireland. Set up by his parents more than 50 years ago, just taking time off for a holiday was extremely tricky. in January 2019, during a routine check-up for the acid reflux he’d managed over the years, the doctors found something more serious. “Cancer”. Thankfully, Glenn had taken out a joint critical illness policy through Zurich with his mortgage 20 years ago to safeguard his family and the business. After his diagnosis, he was able to claim within days, it was accepted.

The impact of not having critical illness cover – Heidi’s Story

After noticing something strange going on with her body whilst breast feeding her second son, Heidi was misdiagnosed several times as having mastitis. After further investigations she found she was pregnant with her third child but also that she had inflammatory breast cancer. In this story Heidi explains how things went from bad to worse and how the decision to not take out critical illness cover when purchasing life cover for their mortgage was “bonkers”.

The above stories are prime examples of scenarios that happen within the protection industry on a daily basis. Providers want to pay claims, indeed no insurer will decline a valid claim. There is now an abundance of claims statistics made available by providers. These, combined with claims stories from real life claimants, can paint a powerful picture. If the industry as a whole is able to produce more stories like these we can go a long way to changing the views of consumers and give more confidence in the products that can literally be a lifeline in the direst of circumstances.

If insurers have any other critical illness claims videos they would like us to share via this page please get in contact.

About The Author

Adam Higgs

Adam leads Protection Guru's detailed protection research and benchmarking of both product and operation features provided by insurers and has a vast knowledge of the protection market. He has been instrumental in building the protection comparison service Quality Analyser and maintaining the data to enable adviser to quickly and easily compare protection products based on qualitative measures. He also works with adviser firms to help in panel reviews and with insurers to help them understand the shape of the market, their strengths and the areas that could be improved in their products. In his spare time and when not spending time with his wife and two children, Adam is a keen Arsenal fan and enjoys hacking his way around a golf course.


  1. Harry Vekria

    Thats is awesome – have we got the similar to this for income protection?

    • Adam Higgs

      Hi Harry, absolutely, we will be putting an Income Protection version of this page up next week!

  2. Deb HAle

    Brilliant piece Adam, I love a story behind the scenes , that’s what its all about.


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