Saturday, 27 April 2013

Petition worked

We won. Last night we heard the fantastic news that Friends Life would be paying Nic's family what they're owed. When Nic died of cancer in late October, leaving a wife and two young children, he didn't know whether his insurance company Friends Life would ever pay out on the critical illness policy he had arranged with them.
In late December, we handed our petition of more than 60,000 names to the offices of Friends Life, asking them to meet with the Hughes family and sit down to resolve this case. But they refused, demanding instead that a submission be made to the Financial Ombudsman.
This was a huge task - assembling paperwork, retrieving documents, getting files from doctors - all while Nic's widow should have been free to grieve and spend time with their children. But in their resolute and dignified way, and bolstered by the huge waves of support from signers of our petition on, the family put their case forward.
It is with enormous joy and relief that they heard yesterday that the Financial Ombudsman had found entirely in their favour, writing:
"I explained to the firm that in my view it should not have cancelled the policy and declined the claim for the reasons it did. [Friends Life] accepts that any non-disclosure was not deliberate or relevant to the claim he later made – so the firm accepts it was not entitled to rely on that and it should have paid the critical illness claim when it was submitted."
This is a fantastic victory! It is also a huge vindication of the campaign and of the family's fight against a massive corporation who felt they could simply be cast aside. The Ombudsman have found entirely in the family's favour, and Friends Life will now be paying out on the policy in full.
The family want to express their enormous thanks to everyone who signed the petition and acted to publicise the campaign. This is a victory for all of us - for the common people who stood up and refused to be trampled on by big corporations. You made sure that Friends Life could not quietly get away with this terrible injustice. 
We took on Goliath and won.
PS. You can read more about the victory in The Guardian and Daily Mail.

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