The likelihood of the unthinkable happening

We can never be sure what’s waiting for us round the next corner. It could be great – a new job, a new baby or even a lottery win. But sometimes life throws the unthinkable at us, as Marion found out. Marion is an administrative manager in her forties, married to Simon who is a self- employed graphic designer. They have a ten-year-old daughter, Amy. Both Simon and Marion have taken out life insurance policies to pay off the mortgage but also so that Amy would be financially secure should anything happen to either of them.

Two friends diagnosed with cancer
A non-smoker, Marion was prompted to take out critical illness insurance when one of her friends was diagnosed with breast cancer and another with a brain tumour in quick succession. She had seen the statistics: according to Cancer Research UK one in two people born after 1960 will get cancer at some stage in their life. At forty-five, Marion was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. She made a claim on her critical illness policy and received a payment of £25,000. This payment was based on the severity and impact of her illness at that point. Her cancer was not considered to life-threatening, but the amount she received gave the family a financial cushion, allowing her to take time off work for her initial treatment and recovery phase without worrying about money and to arrange things so that Simon’s work and Amy’s routine were not disrupted.

No financial pressures
Sadly, when Marion had been back at work for eighteen months, her cancer returned, more severely, and she had intensive chemotherapy. This time Marion was off work for much longer. She was able to claim on her critical illness policy, which paid out the remainder of the agreed amount in full. Fortunately, the couple’s financial adviser had helped them calculate how much they would need to cover Marion’s contribution towards the household expenses plus Amy’s education for several years. It is also thanks to his recommendations that the policy paid out twice and for the same illness – not something that all policies offer. Thankfully Marion has now been given the all clear – but she doesn’t know how they would have coped without the pay out from her critical illness policy.