When things got critical, my policy helped


For intermediaries only


Hope for the best, plan for the worst, they say. In life, you never know what's around the corner, or when you'll be thrown a curve ball.

But as a financial adviser, you can help give your clients peace of mind by making sure they have the right cover in place to help them financially if the worst happens. Then, if one of your clients was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, they could concentrate on their health and treatment, rather than how they’re going to pay the bills.

Glen, one of our protection customers who’s recovering from breast cancer, shares her story and tells us how her critical illness policy helped her.

‘Last February I went to my GP for something completely unrelated. I didn’t find a lump but there was a red mark on my breast, so I asked her to have a look at it. She referred me to a consultant to be on the safe side. The consultant found quite a large lump - it was breast cancer. We started from there. That was a bit of a black time, and it wasn’t easy, but I was lucky and have a family and brilliant circle of friends who supported me throughout.’

Glen has been with her husband for ten years and they recently celebrated their second wedding anniversary. She has one daughter who turns 23 this year, one beautiful grand-daughter who has just had her second birthday and two stepsons.

It’s almost 12 months since Glen was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since then, she’s undergone seven months of chemotherapy, right-side full-size mastectomy and 15 sessions of radiotherapy. She still has to get an injection every three weeks, then will be on Tamoxifen for around seven years. She’ll also start receiving regular check-ups this year so that they can keep an eye on her.

‘I think I’ve been quite fortunate really. There were some nasty side effects but my oncologist was able to give me a drug to stop me from being sick. To be fair, it wasn’t nice. It wasn’t pleasant, but the treatment’s now done and I can move on.’

‘I’m now back at work - I work for a seafood company in the accounts office. I’ve been there for three years. I was even promoted while I was off sick. They’ve been absolutely magnificent and I’m on a phased return back to work programme. They let me do whatever hours I want to do at the moment. If I’m tired, I just go in a bit later or if I get tired when I’m in work, they let me come home earlier. They don’t push me. They don’t put any pressure on me. They’ve been absolutely wonderful.’

Financially, things are good for Glen too.

‘Luckily I have a really good financial adviser that I’ve known for a number of years who looked after me and set up a critical illness policy a few years ago. To be honest, I completely and utterly forgot I had it. It was only because my GP asked me after my diagnosis if I had critical illness cover on my mortgage. To be honest, I didn’t know so I rang my financial adviser who told me I had a policy with Aegon and gave me all the details.’

‘It turned out that I had two policies - one was an endowment policy with another company and one was with Aegon.’

‘I have to say that Aegon was brilliant, absolutely amazing - everything was so easy. The people I dealt with on the phone were very empathetic and caring, which made a real difference to the experience. There was no shock from them or embarrassment.’

‘If you reversed this experience that would give you a sense of how I felt with the other company. They actually seemed very embarrassed to talk to me about my cancer, whereas Aegon was just brilliant. They didn’t bombard me with literature or paperwork or anything like that, but just handled everything so well. They rang up periodically just to see how I was and where we were with the claim and things like that.’

‘When I initially contacted Aegon about my claim they also told me about their health and wellbeing service, provided by Health Assured. I mentioned this to my daughter, but she can be a bit of an ostrich and buried her head in the sand on this occasion. I also discussed the service with my husband – but we chose not to use it in this case, but to support each other.’

‘Do you know what I did with the proceeds of my Aegon policy? I had some new French doors fitted. I’d been dying to get some new things for the house, and felt like we deserved a treat. We treated ourselves and used some of the cash to pay off the mortgage - although it didn’t pay the entire mortgage. The policy enabled us to think of something nice while I was having the treatment.’

‘I think I’ve been very, very lucky.’

We believe protection is a core customer need that forms the foundation of all financial planning. As Glen’s story demonstrates, having protection in place can make a big difference. In this example, she was able to reduce her mortgage debt and have something to look forward to – which helped see her through treatment.

How would your clients cope if they were faced with a similar situation to Glen? If you don’t know, consider talking to them about their protection needs. Read our Working together to protect the future flyer to find out more about how we can help you and your clients.