Case study for Critical Illness

First class: personal touch makes all the difference for air steward’s claim

When someone first discovers they have a serious illness, they can often feel confused and overwhelmed. The last thing they want to have to do is worry about money too. Unum’s Critical Illness Cover can step in as soon as the diagnosis is made — and our team aims to make the claim process as simple as possible. 

The role

Simon* has been a steward for a major airline for 7 years and has been flying for more than 20. His busy schedule sees him travelling long-haul several times a month.

What we did to help

Simon had been feeling run down for a while but as fatigue is pretty much a fact of life for cabin crew, he wasn’t too worried. He’d never been a smoker and tries to lead as healthy a lifestyle as possible, partly to help counteract the effects of flying. So he was understandably shocked to be diagnosed with throat cancer in September 2021. There was a lot for him to take in, but one of the first things he made sure to do was to complete the claim forms for his Unum Critical Illness Cover, which he had taken out 6 months previously as a flexible benefit from work. 

The policy provides a tax-free cash lump sum when someone is diagnosed with a qualifying condition, such as cancer, heart attack or stroke. It can be a real lifeline when just getting through the day seems like an uphill struggle. “I knew I had to send in the forms as soon as possible,” says Simon. “But everything was such a blur at the time I realised I didn’t really understand what the process was. That’s when I called Unum.”

Simon was put in touch with Jamie, a claims assessor at Unum, and was soon feeling much more in control. Jamie took the time to explain what needed to be done, and what the policy definitions meant. He advised Simon to send in copies of the clinical letters he had received from his GP and consultant, as those made it much easier for him to process the claim. Once Jamie had these, he was able to set the wheels in motion and Simon received the benefit payment less than a month after the forms were received. 

But what really impressed Simon was the real human connection he found at Unum. He explains that, in this very difficult situation, having a dedicated contact makes all the difference. “I really appreciated the way I was dealt with — I felt that I was being treated like a person, not a claim number and I didn’t have to keep retelling my story. Jamie really seemed to understand me and he always got in touch when he said he would. He was sympathetic and efficient and that really took a load off my mind.”

Simon has one word of advice for anyone wavering about taking up benefits or insurances. “Just do it. It really is a small price to pay to invest in you and your future. I can’t tell you how important that money has been to me. It’s given me peace of mind and played a real part in my recovery. I feel I can now concentrate on getting better and enjoying life, without having to worry about paying my bills.”

*Name has been changed

"I want to say a big thank you to Jamie for his compassion and understanding and clarity with this claim. He handled my claim with such professionalism and I need to let you know so that it can be recognised. A big thank you to Jamie."
Unum Critical Illness policyholder

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