Ex-IFA slams poor insurer response to cancer claim

Ex-IFA slams poor insurer response to cancer claim
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Former adviser Harry Katz has complained over poor insurer responses to his cancer claim following his diagnosis last August. 

Highlighting ongoing issues over poor communication and poor client service during the claims process, Katz told FTAdviser he had faced delays of up to two months to receive any money from both Prudential and Scottish Provident at an extremely stressful and difficult time for him and his wife.

Katz said he had a whole of life policy from Prudential in his wife's name but he was the owner of it.

When he got his diagnosis in August 2020, it "made sense to cash this in". However, he claimed: "They mucked about in September and did not pay until November."

At the same time, he had a critical illness policy with Scottish Provident. As a former adviser who had often stressed the importance of protection policies to his clients, Katz said he immediately turned to the CI policy to make a claim. 

Katz said: "Initially I sent them the wrong policy number and I noticed this; the very next day on September 10 I sent them the correct one. I also sent Scottish Provident a discharge paper stating what I had and what my cancer diagnosis was.

"This was not good enough for Scottish Provident, who sent me a cryptic email in response which said nothing. It was poor communication throughout."

He claimed he and his wife had been left calling and calling but the "phones dialled out for ages". When he did get through, the insurer could not tell him what it was waiting for so it could make the payout. 

"From September to November I had to wait for my CIC policy to pay out - two months. If this had been one of my clients, they would have been onto me like a shot and I would have helped them out.

"But when it's just you on your own, you really are in the deep 'doo-doos'. It's not funny, it really isn't. At the very least I have knowledge of the market - clients generally do not", Katz said.

He said when he was able to get his wife to speak with Scottish Provident, the call handler apologised and said the money would be sent within the next 10 days. But by then it was several weeks since he had informed the insurer of his cancer diagnosis.

Katz added: "I was in a fortunate position and not desperate for the cash but what about all the people who are in financial trouble? They've paid their premiums all their life, sacrificing in order to keep their cover in place and they cannot get it when they really need it.