What does a critical illness policy actually do?

This is the story of a young man, his family and their journey through a life threatening cancer diagnosis. And how the foresight to protect themselves against the unexpected helped them face this huge life challenge together.

Life can change suddenly when we least expect it

Louis, 29, was working full time in financial services. He and his wife had just bought a new home and had a 2 year old daughter – everything felt really good. Just over a year later, without warning, life took on a sudden change. Louis started to feel quite unwell, his weight dropped, he didn’t feel like eating and was suffering from night sweats.

Initially he thought it was just a virus that would run its course. However, one night he was out with his wife and felt really unwell; it was clear that his illness was much more significant. Louis made an appointment to see his doctor and was immediately referred to the hospital for urgent tests.

The initial diagnosis was lymphoma, but after several appointments Louis finally had it confirmed as thyroid cancer. To compound this, Louis was also diagnosed with an immune deficiency disease which had gone unnoticed previously. This had lead to the complication around his initial diagnosis but also impacted his treatment for thyroid cancer.

This was an extremely unsettling time for Louis and his family, but fortuitously he had a critical illness insurance policy which turned out to provided financial support and other benefits that were to help him through his treatment.

An invaluable second opinion about best treatment

Following diagnosis, surgery was quickly scheduled, but Louis wanted to be certain that this was the best route forward for him. That expert second opinion was available from the ’Best Doctors’ service available through his critical illness insurance policy.

Best Doctors was one of the main reasons Louis took out his selected policy as the service is available from day one; and due to the urgency of the situation, time wasn’t on his side.

Louis worked closely with one of the Best Doctor’s nurses who were determined to provide the second medical opinion he needed before his surgery. Fortunately they confirmed everything was fine, giving him valuable peace of mind.

Unfortunately there were complications with the surgery and Louis spent weeks rather than days in hospital. With his wife at home looking after his daughter and pregnant with their second child Louis was desperate to get home and support his family. He turned to Best Doctors again, who came back with a suggested treatment just as a specialist at the hospital proposed the same course of action. He said himself that if he had accessed the service sooner, we would have been home weeks before as the proposed treatment began to have immediate results.

The final stage of the treatment was radiotherapy to ensure there were no residual traces of the tumour.

Financial support at a difficult time

The critical illness insurance policy Louis had in place enabled him to claim a cash lump sum, taking away any financial worries he and his wife may have faced. The claims process itself was very easy. Louis simply called the life company and spoke to one of the claims team who took his details and sent him the form to initiate his claim.

The life company paid out his claim a month before the birth of his second child. He and his wife used the cash lump sum to reduce monthly payments on their mortgage, modify and update their home, clear some monthly outgoings and put some cash away for a rainy day. As Louis said ‘I am relieved I had put protection in place. It made a difficult time more bearable and has provided financial stability for us for the future’.

A brighter future

Louis is now back at work, cancer free and in a position to regulate his other medical condition. He is eating well and full of energy and looking forward to a brighter future with his family.

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