Life Insurance.....when can you claim?

Hiya all,

Im sorry if this is a bit of a sensitive question but can anyone advise me when you can claim on your life insurance?

I have just been diagnosed with liver secondaries which I know now makes me classed as “terminally ill” even though hopefully treatment will work for me and keep me going for a few more years.

I have read the insurance forms that state that to be paid out you must have been diagnosed as terminally ill and must be classed as not having any longer than 12 months to live.

Do we automatically get a certain prognosis time depending on where we have the secondary or is it all down to how extensive your secondary is?
I am seeing my Onc on weds to discuss starting Xoleda possibly on Thurs or Fri so will take the forms with me and ask him his opinion (im scared of the reply though!)

It would help me and partner soooooo much if we could claim on my life insurance as I was made redundant in Jue last year and have been living off Incapacity Benefits. I would be able to relax (well, as much as possible) knowing that we could pay our mortgage off and have no money worries.

Please someone give me good news and tell me that I can qualify to cash it in?!!!




Hi Julie,

I dont have experience of this myself, but there have been a number of posts over past few months that may help. If you put the words critical illness insurance into the search box you will find the posts. I also think that if you speak to your insurance company and explain that you have just been dx with secondaries you will find they do pay out.

Anyway I am sure others will be along to offer their advice. Good luck.

Also have you enquired about Disability Living Allowance. You should be entitled to this under Special Rules DS1500 which your oncologist can sign for you. Don’t be put off by the fact that they are stating you may only have 6 mths - this is standard and many of us are claiming some years on which the Govt. body recognise happens. They pay at the higher rate of £67 p.w. and it is not affected by earnings, savings etc. and is tax free.


Hi Julie

There is a difference I believe between critical illness insurance and life insurance. Critical illness insurance should pay up without any problem but believe you are talking about cashing in life insurance early because of a terminal diagnosis. Think this may vary from policy to policy - need to go check mine but I don’t think mine will pay up at all until I die. Not much good to me then LOL. I think you are right to take the forms and speak to your onc - some oncs are much more willing to sign such forms than others. The problem is really that they don’t know really how quickly any one disease will progress - there are a couple of ladies on here who were given fairly bleak news at some stage and told to put their affairs in order, but are still around several years later. So it will probably depend on how literally your onc takes the 12 month thing.

But do apply for DLA as Dawn suggests. My onc wouldn’t sign the DS1500 because he said I wasn’t ill enough but my gp was willing because he said that it said I MAY only have 6 months (said he could say that about anyone in fact because no-one knew what was going to happen - he’s lovely and has a great sense of humour!!).

Off to check my own life insurance…

Kay xx

Hi Julie , critical illness insurance and life insurance !!! critical illness paids out when first dignosed as long as it a certain type … mine did… then the insurance stops… if life insurance you will have to check on my life insurance is still running cant claim as far as no …mind were to different polices …as long as you tell the specialist what it says on policy they normally write letter to may sure you get it… good luck sophie …

Hi Julie

I got the full amount of the mortgage paid to me as i had critical illness attached to the mortgage policy when i was first diagnosed. Take a look at your life policies to see if they say critical illness my husband and i have a joint policy and it only pays out on the 1st person named. I too get dla of 113 pounds per week under the special rules. Hope this helps

Hi Julie,

I got my mortgage paid off on the critical illness clause and then tried to claim on my Life Insurance policy. They went through my details with a fine tooth comb and turned me down saying I had not told the truth about when I stopped smoking (somewhere in 1999-2000 on becoming pregnant) and not reporting a tumour when I had appendicitis (hospital never explained this to me - were they saying it was cancerous? I still don’t know…) So before I knew it, they had repaid any premiums we had paid and cancelled the policy. For some time I thought about fighting this, but did not have the energy really. I didn’t know how long I might live and didn’t want to spend that time involved in some legal battle. I am still angry about this matter and on good days, wonder about fighting my case - could have really used £100 grand! It was quite sad when the mortgage was paid off, but now it is water under the bridge and one less thing to worry about.

So my advice is: check the small print carefully and then go for it.

Good Luck!


I heard on Friday that my terminal illness insurance will be paid within 10 working days. I had checked with my onc that my brain mets were officially ‘terminal’, he said yes (although he was giving me no guarantees that I will die within a specified period), so I put in my claim and it was very easy & straightforward. Norwich Union were very good & efficient.
Have also got Disability Living Allowance because of walking/balance problems (the Macmillan Nurse was very helpful with the forms) so hubby should be getting carers allowance through soon.
Best of luck with your claim.