Dealing with breast cancer claims with compassion

Our claims team are the first point of contact for individuals and families who have been recently diagnosed with an illness or have passed away – and caring, understanding and compassion is at the heart of the process.

Breast cancer is now the most common cancer in the UK, and accounts for around 55,000 new diagnoses every year. This October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month – a campaign that highlights how breast cancer affects the lives of those diagnosed, and those around them.

In 2020, many of our customers were sadly impacted by breast cancer, with 578 breast cancer-related critical illness claims, and 347 breast cancer-related life insurance claims. Our team of claims assessors are ready to support your client and their family right the way through their claims journey with compassion and understanding.

A compassionate and caring claims team

At Legal & General, we have 20 claims assessors who deal with breast cancer claims. As part of our commitment to deliver the highest standards to your clients, we’ve signed up to the Protection Distributors Group Claims Charter, which ensures claimants receive the best, most caring support, and claims are paid as quickly as possible.

Our claims team care about all claimants and want the best outcome for everyone.  We understand that often customers are potentially very vulnerable, so we have partnered with the Samaritans to provide our claims accessors with the support and skills needed to help your clients.

Our claims assessors’ Samaritans training covers two integral skills: listening and conversations.

Listening skills

This session is tailored for Life Insurance claims and covers key listening skills when dealing with our customers. All customers who are calling our claims team could be classed as vulnerable due to the situation they are now in, but there are some who are more vulnerable and may present different challenges.

Our claims assessors learn to identify that, and the best ways to direct the customer to help should they need it. It isn’t designed for claims assessors to offer counselling to the customer, but to be able to provide them information to support should they need it.

Conversation skills

This session is tailored for our Critical Illness claims, which includes the listening skills, and the addition of how to hold a conversation with our customers to ensure we can be as supportive as possible.

The Critical Illness claims team will have regular conversations with our customers throughout the claims journey and could have the potential to cause an emotional response. For instance, discussing medical history, lifestyle, and the possibility of having to decline the claim due to misrepresentation. Claims assessors learn how to structure these conversations, the key do’s and don’ts, and where to direct the customer should they need further support.

“Looking after our colleagues to ensure that they are best equipped to support our customers is so important to us. The Samaritans training and ongoing continued support will develop our skills further, to ensure we support our customers in their time of need” – Karen Fuge, Head of Claims for Retail Protection.

Lee Baldwin, Service Delivery Manager added: “Our people working in claims and speaking to bereaved or ill customers on a daily basis have to have some difficult conversations so being able to support their skills, knowledge and wellbeing is absolutely key. Partnering with a fantastic charity, such as the Samaritans, enables us to give our people some further tools and techniques to help them help our customers at the time they most need us.”

A typical claims call process

  • Family or customer calls claims team.
  • The initial conversation lasts 10-15 minutes to talk through the bereavement or diagnosis and an overview of the claims process.
  • The customer can be quite distressed or upset, which the team are trained on how to handle
  • Assessors talks through the claims form with the customer.
  • The assessor does all the work to contact the relevant parties to speed up the process e.g. GP/hospital for required documentation/confirmation. This is to help make the process as easy as possible for the customer.

Having the right support in place to provide financial breathing space for clients diagnosed with a critical illness or for those making a life insurance claim is so important. It’s there to help pay the rent or mortgage, bills or private treatment, and can go a long way to ease some of the stresses during a very difficult time.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For more information including signs, symptoms and support, please visit Breast Cancer Now | The research and care charity