My husband died unexpectedly last November. I contacted Legal & General the following day to submit a claim for his life insurance which sits at around £106,000.
In February, I contacted L&G after hearing nothing and it said it had not received medical records from the doctors surgery.
For some reason it hadn’t followed up to chase the surgery so I called the doctors to do so.
A widow was made to wait months for a life insurance payout after her husband suddenly died
Six months later and I’ve been told it has submitted a request to Primary Care Support England to access the medical records as they must’ve been sent there after the earlier delay contacting the surgery.
I’m at a loss as to why no one is able to give me a straight answer. When will I get the payout that me and my two young daughters desperately need? R.S., via email
Grace Gausden, consumer expert at This is Money, replies: I’m incredibly sorry to hear about your loss and send my condolences.
I can imagine the stress of trying to claim life insurance only exacerbated the difficult time you and your children have been going through.
You are now a single mother to two young girls and say you are currently living with financial uncertainty.
One of the main worries is that you now won’t be able to afford to stay in the house you currently live in and this money would negate that problem.
GRACE ON THE CASE
Our weekly column sees This is Money consumer expert Grace Gausden tackles reader problems and shines the light on companies doing both good and bad.
Want her to investigate a problem, or do you want to praise a firm for going that extra mile? Get in touch:
Not long after your husband sadly passed, you applied for the life insurance payout with Legal & General.
With the £106,000, you say you would be able to pay off a significant chunk of the mortgage which would give you some security for the future.
However, you say it has been very difficult to get hold of the money from Legal & General.
After you chased them up, having heard nothing for months on end, you were shocked to hear they hadn’t received your husband’s medical records from the doctors surgery.
It said this was holding up the process as it needed the paperwork before being able to release the payment.
However, you questioned why, if this was the case, it had not been chased up or why you were not contacted about the delay.
You also received a letter saying the firm is receiving a high number of claims and so processing requests was taking longer than normal.
Following on from the letter and the conversation with Legal & General, you were told it will take four weeks to get the records and then a further two to assess them.
But you still have not heard anything from the company – and you still haven’t received any funds leaving you in a precarious financial state.
Legal & General said it has received a large number of requests in recent times, creating delays
You have called Legal & General countless times only to be answered with apologies for the delay but no real action.
This is clearly not good enough and the customer service you have received in such a difficult time is woefully under par.
I spoke to Legal & General to see if I could get answers on why this was taking so long – and when you could anticipate having the money.
A Legal & General spokesperson said: ‘The payment has now been made to Mrs S. Following receipt of the claim, we requested the deceased’s medical records to assess the claim in accordance with our normal claims processes.
‘Unfortunately there were delays in receiving this information due to confusion around which GP held the records, as well as delays in trying to retrieve information from the PCSE.
‘These delays were further compounded by internal issues with obtaining copies of the policy documentation required by PCSE.
‘We apologise to Mrs S that these issues combined to delay payment of the claim and that, in this instance, we failed to meet our usual high standards of customer service.
‘Our customers are our upmost priority and we to convey our sympathies and best wishes to Mrs S and her family at this time.’
It added it is seeing ‘a significant number’ of inbound queries to its teams as a result of Covid-related claims which, combined with delays in receiving medical evidence, is causing intermittent service delays.
We asked L&G how long a payout should take but the firm said the information is commercially sensitive as every claim is different and based on the individual’s circumstances.
Although it has taken far longer than it should have to receive the life insurance pay out, you have confirmed you now have the funds.
While this will certainly not help the mourning process, hopefully it will be one weight off your shoulders during this difficult period.
We have helped readers with £185k worth of problems…
It has now been 29 weeks of Grace on the Case and calculate we have helped readers claw back £185,000.
This has included £8,000 for a reader with a learning disability who had been charged for two Sky accounts for over a decade and £5,000 for a Howdens customer who had the wrong underlay fitted – damaging all his flooring.
If you have a consumer issue that you need help with, contact Grace on the Case at email@example.com.
Currys has been criticised by a customer who never received a television he ordered
Hit and miss: This week’s naughty and nice list
Each week, I look at some of the companies that have fallen short of expected standards as well as those that have gone that extra mile for customers.
Miss: I have received numerous complaints about Currys and its customer service in recent times and this week, was contacted by another frustrated customer.
Adam said: ‘I ordered a TV with Currys for £1,800 on their credit system around three weeks ago.
‘I was told it would arrive last Sunday between 10 and 4. I rang at 3pm to find out where it was but was told it had been delivered which it hadn’t.
‘They raised an investigation which they said would take two days. I rang the next day and asked if it could be cancelled so I can order a different one but was told not as it has been marked as delivered.
‘I have since rang multiple times with the investigation being extended but still have to pay the credit.’
I contacted Currys to find out why it marked the television as delivered and ask why it was taking so long to investigate the issue.
A spokesperson for Currys PC World said: ‘We are sorry that on this occasion Adam didn’t receive the level of customer service we expect of ourselves.
‘Following an internal investigation, we agreed to replace the missing television with a new model which has been delivered. Adam is happy with our resolution.’
Fortunately, you now have a television – and an apology – but it’s not a clear picture as to what happened.
Hit: In better news, reader Julie, wanted to praise the service she received from Direct Line.
She said: ‘My car was destroyed on Wednesday as it caught fire in traffic. I’ve never claimed on insurance before and was worried that it would be a very stressful experience.
‘I couldn’t have been more wrong. Everyone I had contact with at Direct Line were wonderful, empathetic, patient and helpful.
‘My hire car was delivered on Thursday and the pay out was in my bank account on Friday. Insurance companies get such a bad press I just had to write about my great experience following such a traumatic event.’
I’m glad to hear you are safe after your car caught fire – and happy to hear your insurance firm paid out quickly and without fuss.