My husband died while waiting for L&G to pay a terminal illness claim. On July 23, he was diagnosed with an aggressive, rare form of cancer.

He wanted to make a terminal illness claim on his L&G insurance.

The company received the claim forms on August 8. On August 20, L&G texted saying it had not received the claim. Staff confirmed that they received the claim, however someone failed to check a box.

Heartless: L&G, delayed a terminal illness claim due to a unticked box, meaning the policy holder died before it could be settled

Heartless: L&G, delayed a terminal illness claim due to a unticked box, meaning the policy holder died before it could be settled

On September 6, L&G said it had not had a response from the consultant, but the consultant’s secretary said they had responded on August 27.

On September 20, L&G claimed it was still awaiting the consultant’s report. The company said that it would send the report to its oncologist two days later.

On September 29, my husband died. On October 1, L&G said the claim had been passed to a senior claims handler. Do you have any other ideas?

E. R. Telford.

Tony Hazell replies: This case has many complexities but at the heart of it is one simple fact: through sheer incompetence L&G managed to string out this claim for more than two months during which time your husband, their customer, died.

Some claims are able to be bounced between parties in order to settle the details. Others require urgent and immediate action. L&G should know the difference.

These details are not easy to understand. It involved two policies. One was a joint life policy which was reduced in value to £40,000 in September last year after you decided you could no longer afford payments. The policy was finally paid.

One is simpler. The policy would have been worth £100,000 but, despite me pushing, L&G has refused to pay out.

L&G said it did not receive the annual direct debit payment and wrote to your husband on April 12. The policy was cancelled on May 7 after L&G received no response.

Again, the insurer offered to reinstate it. If the July 7th payment was made, this could have been possible.

Although it is not clear how the incident occurred, direct debits were definitely cancelled. I have argued with L&G that no one who had serious health concerns and was undergoing investigations would let a life insurance policy lapse deliberately. 

Even though your husband was not diagnosed officially until July 16, there were problems that were identified in the scan of June.

Regarding those texts, L&G blames technical issues and human error.

After some back and forth, L&G has now offered you £2,000 in compensation.

A spokesman says: ‘We recognise no amount of compensation can reflect the circumstances surrounding the claim. However, we hope Mrs R accepts the offer in the manner it is intended.’

You have reluctantly accepted but told me: ‘I will never forgive L&G for its failures nor can I forget the callous way in which it dealt with a terminally ill policy holder and subsequently his grieving wife.’ You will donate the money to specialist cancer charity AMMF so with gift aid it will receive £2,500.

Have your say 

Money Mail receives many of your emails and letters every week. These are some of the highlights from our article on what an inflation spike might mean for your retirement income. 

Single and working as an employee, I understand how hard it can be to survive on the state pension. 

There are certain things — such as council tax — which you can’t really cut back on.


The fixed energy agreement will expire next month. My only living area, bedroom, and bathroom are all mine, however, the increased payments will erase my entire state pension increase. I can’t claim any extra benefits because I have too much in savings.

T. Y. Stockport.

My heart breaks for elderly people. The advice to pensioners was to keep their money in a bank or building society throughout their life. 

The interest rates on these accounts have dropped, but this is no fault of the owners.

A. G. London

The problem is that it isn’t always easy for pensioners to get to the supermarkets, which have the best offers. 

Many don’t drive and some don’t have access to the internet, so they can’t order online.

P. T. Uxbridge

Royal Mail will not pay the bill, but we beat sneaker fraudmers

In February, my 13-year old son sold expensive trainers via Instagram. He stated that he had paid the money through PayPal. I didn’t check. It was busy because I work as a key worker.

He had been pressured into posting the shoes, so I advised him to use Special Delivery. He had been duped when I returned home. Police organized a controlled delivery through Royal Mail, and arrested him.

The trainers were to be used for evidence, we were informed. Royal Mail received them back and disposed of them. The firm also had my personal details, so it was well aware that they were being investigated by the police. 

Royal Mail states this is how items go if they don’t have a return address.

My son assured me that the mail had my return address. Royal Mail and I can not prove it. Royal Mail refuses to pay for the insurance.

L. A. Tadworth, Surrey.

Tony Hazell replies: I have lived with teenage boys and understand the need to throw out stale trainers. But Royal Mail is wrong.

The return address of the parcel was not relevant. It wouldn’t have taken much initiative for Royal Mail to ask the police for details of the owners.

It says the package was opened in a secure environment to look for details of the sender, but if it had fallen off or been removed then it wouldn’t be there.

The police gave the package to Royal Mail, which I found out.

When I emphasised this, Royal Mail had a change of heart and told you: ‘Based on the controlled delivery supported by the police and the apprehension of the fraudster and the return of trainers to Royal Mail, I can support your disappointment at not receiving recompense.’ It has now reimbursed the £191.14.

I presume your son used the Paypal account, as they should only be accessible to people over 18.

It’s also worth emphasising to your son that nothing is so important that it can’t wait until Mum and Dad get home from work.

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