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Never mind Covid19

Panacea comment for Financial Advisers and Paraplanners

16 Mar 2020

Panacea readers may recall that back in 2014 we did some work around Prostate cancer to create awareness that us guys needed to take care of ourselves a bit too based on some very personal experiences. 

For those who recall that piece, I thought an update would be quite timely.

My situation, used as a very real illustration, had gradually worsened and it was decided that to improve it a procedure called a ‘TURP” would be the best solution to the problem.

I should explain, the problem for guys suffering an increase in the size of the prostate see a lot of pressure is placed on the bladder and in simple terms, a sudden rush to ‘loo’ is needed with increasing frequency, in my case up to 14 times a night!

Take that as a signal to get checked. And do not forget, an enlarged prostate does not necessarily mean you have cancer.

My TURP, considered the ‘Gold Standard’ treatment, was carried out in August 2019 by consultant Chris Ogden, a top guy in this area it would seem. After the surgery, about 2 hours, I had a couple of days in hospital. The results were very positive and after catheter removal I was discharged and at last many good night’s sleep followed.

The TURP procedure sees a significant amount of tissue removed, look at it in engineering terms as a ‘rebore’. This went off to the Royal Marsden to be analysised and then the results discussed with a panel of specialists to decide on any next steps. 

Two weeks later, 21st August, I returned to get the results of the surgery from Chris.

“All went very well” said Chris, “no further treatment needed, just active surveillance every 6 months”. “Oh, and by the way, I must tell you that you have prostate cancer, diagnosed from the tissue samples”. 

I have to say this came as a bit of an immediate shock for my wife, a delayed one for me. 

A couple of days later, as another premium came out of my bank account, I was reminded that almost 25 years ago, I took out two Whole of Life policies with Scottish Provident and Pegasus, now both part of the Royal London brand, with critical illness cover.

I made a call to my good friend and CI Expert, Alan Lakey, asking if he thought the cancer was covered. “Absolutely” was his reply.

So, I contacted Royal London claims, gave the policy numbers and was told almost immediately that I was indeed covered and should submit a claim form which sent to me by e mail return, the 28th August.  

It was not a long form and it made it clear that I would need to provide proof and that the consultant would be contacted

The claim was returned on the 29th August 2019 along with a copy of my consultant’s letter confirming the cancer. A histopathology report was sent by the consultant on the 6th September, a Friday. On Monday 9thSeptember I had a call from Royal London to say the claim had been ‘admitted’ and on Friday the 13thSeptember, the claim on both policies had arrived in my bank account.

As I said in the video, the claim process was stunning, 12 working days to register, process and pay a claim. I cannot speak for other insurers perspectives, but Royal London should be proud of the performance. The claim may not have been a million dollars but the way in which it was handled made me feel like it. TCF at it’s very best. As a retired IFA I felt vindicated that my advice given over the years to so many clients proved good advice for me too. 

Some maths for you to digest. Whole of life gets more expensive as you all will know, the longer it goes on. In my case it was getting very expensive, but I felt as I was still working, with Panacea, it was important to keep. The claim paid was pretty much double the premiums paid, so as an investment return, not too bad at all given the cover attached to it. 

As then, the purpose of this highly personal blog is to highlight once again that guys, especially if you are over 50, reading this need to look out for the symptoms and get checked out now if any are showing.  

Making your clients see the value of personal protection can be tricky. They may see protection as complex or unnecessary and might struggle to see the value. Something that can help bring the benefits to life is seeing protection in action and what impact it can have.

Some advisers completely neglect protection, not seeing it as a vital part of the financial planning process. 

I hope you enjoy the video, do share it with your clients too if advising on CI matters.

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