Select Page

The stories behind critical illness claims

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

Debbie’s story

Debbie was a mortgage adviser that regularly gave protection advice to her clients particularly on life and critical illness. When Debbie found a lump she made an appointment with her GP and after tests, it was revealed she had breast cancer. In this video Debbie and her HSBC Life claim handler, Heidi, talk about the whole process and how the financial settlement from HSBC Life supported Debbie through her treatment and beyond.

Carla’s story

Carla is married with two children and was diagnosed with stage 3 Breast cancer in 2019. Her diagnosis turned her entire families life upside down and in this story she explains how Scottish Widows helped her through her diagnosis and treatment not only financially, but also emotionally. It also explains how her husband was able to claim on their critical illness plan in close proximity. 

Hayley’s story

Hayley was 36 when she was diagnosed with a blood clot on her lung. If that was not enough, after a period of strange symptoms she was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis which after further tests also led to a further diagnosis of cancer. Luckily, Hayley had a Vitality Serious Illness policy and in this video she explains how the policy paid out not once, but twice and how the valuable finances supported her and her family.

Emma & Jack’s story

Emma & Jack are a young family that took out life & critical illness when they bought their first house. Putting the cover in case was not simple due to a pre-existing medical condition but the couple persisted and got cover with Legal & General. In this video, they tell how a Benign Brain Tumour in 2022 turned their families life upside down and how their life and critical illness policy supported them financially through a hugely tough period. 

Steve’s story

Steve and his wife took out critical illness cover in 1999 when they bought their first house together. 10 days before christmas, Steve started to get pains in his chest which progressively became worse over a period of time. After several hospiptal investigations and blood tests, he was told he had had a heart attack and was given a stent. In this story, Steve tells history and how his Legal & General critical illnes plan provided him and his family with peace of mind and financial security. 

Sarah’s story

After moving to the Isle of Wight, Sarah took out a mortgage on her flat in 1992 and was offered critical illness. Little did she know how much she would need the policy when illness struck in 2017. In this video, Sarah explains how her critical illness cover helped her out of debt and made the difference between “surviving and living”. 

Jon’s Story

Jon is a keen cyclist and this video explains how a heart attack left him and his wife Helen, concerned about how he would work and continue to do the things he loves. He discusses his experience when claiming on his Zurich Critical Illness policy and how the subsequent payout has supported his family.

Barry’s Story

Barry had thought about cancelling his critical illness policy when going through difficult financial times but kept his policy in place knowing the value it could provide. When he was diagnosed with a Subarachnoid brain haemorrhage and given a 15% chance of survival, he knew that if the worst were to happen his family would be taken care of financially. In this video, Barry discusses the circumstances that led to his Critical Illness claim on his Legal & General policy and how he hads been supported through his recovery. 

Dave’s Story

Dave had his Legal & General critical illness policy for 19 years when he was sadly diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2020. Hear how the payout following his successful claim took away the financial pressure so he could focus on his recovery and protect his family which he states is a “life changer”.

Derek’s Story 

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.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Contact Us


Protection Guru Awards

2024 Product Ratings

Cost of Living

Protection Forum

Provider Financial Strength Ratings

Claims facts & Figures

Visit our learning & development Hub


We use cookies to track usage of our website using Google Analytics. Click here to opt-out.
Share This