Lindsay Mason – A Claims Journey

Hi Everyone,

It’s episode 5 of season 2, and this week I am speaking with Lindsay Mason, my colleague at Cura, who has been through some significant events this year.

Please note that this episode could be quite emotional for some people to hear. We are talking about deaths caused by cancer, heart attack and coronavirus, and the feelings and difficulties that a family member can face when these things happen.

Lindsay will talk through how this year has been and how it can feel when you are faced with so many significant events in such a short period of time. She is talking about how it felt for her mum to place a terminal illness claim, to have that declined and then how it felt when she helped her dad to put forward a death claim this year. Lindsay also discusses how she was able to access Red Arc Nurses through her insurances and what that meant for her and her family.

My 3 key takeaways:

  1. The complex emotions that come with making a terminal illness claim.
  2. The financial difficulties that a family member can face until a life insurance claim is paid.
  3. The practical and emotional support that organisations like Red Arc can offer at the time of a claim and beyond.

Please let me know what you think of the podcast and if there is anything that you would like me to feature in the future.

Next time I will be chatting with Alan Knowles from Cura. We will be talking through a mix of case studies where he has arranged protection insurance for people that are considered a high insurance risk. We will also be discussing his role as the Chair of the PDG and his membership of the Access to Insurance working group.

Kathryn:       Hi everyone, today I have our very own Lindsay Mason with me from Cura.  Hi Lindsay!

Lindsay:       Hi Kathryn!

Kathryn:       We are going to be talking about Lindsay’s experiences this year which I think everyone is going to agree have been quite intense.  It’s going to be a very emotional podcast so please prepare yourselves that we are going to be talking about people having passed away, sort of generally things that have happened during lockdown and I hope you’re all okay listening but we’re also going to be talking about how things were when Lindsay made an insurance claim and some of the support services that she was able to access.  This is the Practical Protection podcast.  So Lindsay, how are you doing?  I know we’re obviously going to be talking about something quite emotional but let’s just sort of get into things nice and gently.  How has your weekend been?  How are you doing?

Lindsay:       Yeah I’m doing okay I think.  I think that’s the answer I give through lockdown for people asking if I’m okay.  I’m like, “I think I’m okay.”  But yeah, we’ve had a good weekend.  The weather’s turned a bit grey on the Yorkshire coast this weekend but we managed to get out and go down to the beach, do a bit of fossil hunting but we was unsuccessful in finding some gems but some milkshake and some chips were a good consolation afterwards, so yeah.

Kathryn:       Absolutely.  Quickly distract the kids, there’s no fossils but it’s okay, milkshake.  Absolutely best distraction technique.  I always find when we go to the beach here, that like I come back with – I have to take freezer bags down for the kids to fill with just random rocks and shells and, you know, they try and convince me that some of them are fossils and things and it’s just like – you just end up with like so many rocks in the car and it’s like, okay –

Lindsay:       That’s it or they’re really pretty – they’ll say, “Oh they’re so pretty – this rock,” and you’re like, “Hmm, okay.”

Kathryn:       It’s beige, yes.  Right before we get really into things and everything, we do have our truth or lie feature from the last podcast and in that Sue Kinsella said that her favourite chocolate bar was a Mars Bar and I said that my favourite chocolate bar was a Twix.  So who do you think is telling the truth?

Lindsay:       Okay, I’m going to go with a pattern here –

Kathryn:       Okay.

Lindsay:       And say that you were lying Kathryn because I know you like the finer things in life and the finer chocolate in life and a Twix is not one of them.

Kathryn:       That is true.  So I’m going to have to catch people out at some point.  I’m getting actually a bit personally offended that I’m not catching anyone out with these.  I do like the rather nice chocolates.  I do like the finer things but I say though, I did have a Twix the other day.  It was mainly because we didn’t have any of the – sort of like the nicer sort of like fancy dark chocolates in and I went to the kids’ chocolate thing and I was just like, “You know what, I’ll have a Twix, I’ve not had one of them in years.”  It was lovely.  It was lovely and then afterwards it was just like, “I really didn’t need that.”  And actually it really wasn’t that lovely.

Lindsay:       No.  It wasn’t a Green & Blacks, no.

Kathryn:       No, it wasn’t a Green & Blacks.  So Lindsay, obviously you work at Cura as our marketing executive and I’m sure that most of our listeners have seen you on social media and seen all the incredible stuff you’ve done in regards to charity work on behalf of Cura and personally and obviously as well all about branding and everything you’ve just come on and absolutely stormed it this past year, it’s been incredible.

Lindsay:       Thank you.

Kathryn:       Well you definitely deserve it and obviously you do all this stuff for me now with the podcasting and everything like that.  It’s absolutely brilliant but today we’re not going to be focusing upon your work even though we should absolutely have a podcast episode focused upon you.  We’re going to be focusing about things that have been happening to you this year.  Are you okay to talk about things with everybody?

Lindsay:       Yeah, absolutely, yeah.

Kathryn:       Okay, well just as you’re ready then you just let us know and tell us what’s been going on.

Lindsay:       Right well I’ll start maybe a few more years back.  My mum was diagnosed with cancer of the colon and secondary cancer of the liver back in June of 2018.  An absolute complete shock I think ‘cos it is with anyone who has that diagnosis that, you know, to her and to all of us as a family really, you know, we’d never really been affected by cancer so closely before and you just sort of mosey on through life, you know, you hear of these things happening and you feel kind of untouchable and I felt quite guilty feeling like that as well.  But it can just happen to anyone, that’s the scary thing.  My mum was I’d say a healthy woman, you know, in her 60s but yeah, so a complete bolt out of the blue really, a complete shock.  So she quickly started chemotherapy but was told that the cancer was incurable.  It was just a case of this treatment was going to stop any spread and just sort of manage it the best way that it could really to give her a bit more of a prolonged life.  And I mean she was incredible, just took it all in her stride –

Kathryn:       She really did.

Lindsay:       Kept so positive and that just resonated through us all and we just – that positivity was such a strength and even a consultant had said to her, you know, “Your attitude is going to help you through this massively.”  So yeah, but sort of after various treatments and the ups and downs of chemo with various infections and sometimes her temperature was too high for the treatment so yeah, it wasn’t completely smooth sailing as I imagine it isn’t for a lot of people, so Mum passed away this year in February, just 2ndFebruary.  She had a week’s stay in our local hospice.  It’s something that she had wanted to do.  She wanted to go to the hospice so we all respected that decision and, you know, we were able to have that week with Mum and sort of make memories even in that last week, you know, took the kids up there and we shared ice cream together and, you know, I stayed with her overnight and my dad was able to be her husband, not essentially number one carer and it was, you know, such a wonderful place, so special.  And so yeah, Mum passed away early Feb.  We organised her funeral for end of Feb which we just did, you know, as you would do planning any funeral.  We had – the church was packed, you know, it was so wonderful seeing so many friends and family’s faces as we walked into the church and it just felt like everyone’s arms around me and our family which was such a comfort really and we – giving Mum that funeral was such a big part of the whole grieving process for us all.  But then a month later, sort of lockdown –

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       And that was taken away from so many people – that ability to have that sort of closure and the funeral that they wanted for people and my heart just went out to all those families that couldn’t do that and we felt grateful that we could do that for Mum.

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       Almost lucky but not lucky as well.

Kathryn:       I know.

Lindsay:       It’s a very, very strange circumstance so –

Kathryn:       But at the same point very tough for you guys as well because you’d only just – you’d only just lost your mum and then you had to go into lockdown so even though you’d had that time to sort of take into account everything that was happening and obviously go to the funeral and start to process everything, a month still isn’t a significant amount of time and so obviously there was you, there was your dad, there was your nana – your mum’s mum, you know, and obviously you were suddenly all unable to comfort each other as well.  I mean, that’s tough.

Lindsay:       Yeah and that – I think my Gran felt that isolation massively at the beginning of lockdown.  It was awful really and it’s a time where you want to be together and comfort each other through this so yeah, it was very, very strange and I almost locked my grief up in a box for a bit and put it on the shelf because everything was corona virus, lockdown, rules, you know, schools closure and so yeah, it was such a strange shift but as well as my mum passing away, my husband’s grandad unexpectedly passed away a week before Mum of a heart attack so that – we were all preparing ourselves for Mum’s passing and then suddenly we’ve got this, you know, other family bereavement and it’s just like, gosh, we just wouldn’t expect that and then as lockdown happened, Damien lost his great-uncle to corona virus and it was just this constant sort of roundabout of grief and death essentially.  It was on the news all the time and so close to the family as well and also my husband’s father, my father-in-law has been diagnosed with similar cancer to my mum at the beginning of the year so he’s having chemo now and luckily his treatment has been able to continue through lockdown which I know is amazing ‘cos I hear of a lot of people whose treatment has had to stop because of corona virus.  So yeah, you know, he’s – we’ve essentially got this all to come again at some point, you know, so it’s been – yeah, it’s not been the year I expected 2020 to be, that’s for sure.

Kathryn:       No, no I just – like I’ve said to you before, I just wish I could erase this year for you in a way.  It’s just there’s been so, so much going on and it’s – and I think another thing as well because obviously I’ve seen you going through a lot of this, obviously, you know, from a kind of a distance in some ways –

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       You know, because of lockdown and everything but, you know, seeing how you’ve been able – well having to cope with all of this.  You’re having to cope with lockdown, so the changes of that to suddenly home schooling two kids too – it just feels like it’s been a very, very intense year for you and, you know, you’re not just there as – it’s not just you that you are looking after.  You are looking after the emotional side of things for your children because, you know, they’re seeing obviously – yes a lot of death this year and that’s quite intense for them and especially with corona virus as well and I think your children are the age the same as some of mine where they know what that means.  They know that corona virus means death and, you know, that – obviously not to everybody, I’ve got to be very clear with that as well, I don’t want to sort of like cause like any kind of like confusion about that but, you know, to a child, they’re hearing this and they’re picking up snippets because we’re trying to protect them but, you know, there’s just this intense thing, you know, and it’s such a change for them and then you’re obviously there for your dad, for your nana, for your brother as well, you know, you’re just holding everyone together – and your husband and obviously you’ve been doing this as well while Damien’s been shift-working as well so it’s just been, you know, it’s incredible that you’ve got through this with the –

Lindsay:       Thank you.

Kathryn:       With the same – the fact that you’re here and able to kind of laugh in a sense in some ways, that’s just a huge testament to your – to your, you know, your positivity, you know, I think you must get that –

Lindsay:       Thank you.

Kathryn:       From your mum.

Lindsay:       Definitely, I would say so.

Kathryn:       Definitely.

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       And your outlook, it’s brilliant.

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       So, I mean thank you so much for being so open about everything.

Lindsay:       You’re welcome.

Kathryn:       As I say, you really have had an incredible year and I think it’s a good thing for our listeners.  Now I’m assuming quite a lot of our listeners will have had, you know, an experience of somebody close to them dying or different things like that, but I think it’s important that not everybody will have done.  You know, sometimes we can suddenly – I think everyone kind of assumes I think that I think people have experienced death at some point in their life from a young age but that actually isn’t really the case.  You know, some people – it can be a long time before they experience that.  So I think it’s possibly a good thing if you can maybe tell us in a sense what things felt like when your mum passed away and I know that your parents had some life insurance and kind of like – that kind of process of sort of like, “Right, Mum’s passed away,” when in a sense did the thought of, “Ooh well she had life insurance out and maybe we should put in a claim for that,” that kind of thing.  I’m assuming it’s not the first thing that pops into your head.  Maybe for some people it would be.

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       But and also how it felt like the idea of putting that claim forward.  What goes through your mind through all of that?

Lindsay:       With her mortgage provider, they had some insurance with their mortgage which was able to pay a part of the mortgage payments for Mum and Dad which helped a lot with their financial situation as my dad had to take early retirement to be sort of Mum’s full-time carer and I know that the Macmillan Unit at the hospital were a great support to Mum and Dad with any sort of financial concerns and helping them with any forms that needed doing.  With regards to her life insurance, it had terminal illness included in that so she did make contact with them at the time of the diagnosis but she personally didn’t want to know her prognosis and we all respected that decision.  I think that would – for me, I don’t know what I would want to do in that situation either.  I don’t know whether I would want to know how long I had left to live or not so –

Kathryn:       Yeah.  Is it – I was going to say, that’s a very difficult one isn’t it?  Because it’s that thing of, you know, and I think probably we don’t necessarily think of it that way straight away but, you know, that sort of thing of like, you want to know if you are able to make the claim on the insurance but you also don’t want to know if you’re terminally ill.  And it’s that really hard kind of balance to it isn’t it because if you’re going forward for the claim then you know some people would sort of like say if you’re going forward to the claim then you must sort of like think that you’re potentially terminally ill but then it’s – I suppose that’s really difficult isn’t it because there’s such mixed feelings that sort of like you want to know if you can make the claim –

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       But you don’t want to know if you’re terminally ill and that must be such a hard thing to try and go through and obviously the time that you put that claim in until you hear that answer as well, I imagine that’s a very difficult time period.

Lindsay:       Definitely, and so Mum said to the insurer, “Look, I don’t want to know my prognosis.”  Obviously it’s something that the insurer would need to know.

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       So they said they could contact her consultant to get the information from her medical records so she was, “Yeah, that’s fine.”  So they made contact with them and then they got back in touch with Mum, told her that because she was having some new treatment that the claim wouldn’t pay out because essentially this new treatment is prolonging her life over twelve months so Mum sort of put two and two together and thought, “Okay, so if I’m not having this new treatment, I’m going to have less than twelve months to live.”

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       And I think she wasn’t prepared to be faced with that over the phone.

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       You know, in that situation, it was – it really hit her really hard and then the cogs start turning in your head and sort of that positivity that she had, it really knocked that massively.

Kathryn:       Did they offer any kind of support or anything after having that conversation or –

Lindsay:       No.

Kathryn:       Did they – no.

Lindsay:       No.

Kathryn:       I was going to say, that’s a very – I don’t think that’s necessarily a situation where people would, you know, sort of like looking at it from like an insurance point of view –

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       And obviously very strange to do that obviously I know you and I knew your mum a bit as well –

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       It was like that thing of like, you know, I know some people would listen and go, “Right well actually you went forward for a terminal illness claim so you must have thought that it could have been terminal illness and if they came back and said yes, then you would have known anyway that it was potentially less than twelve months that she had left –”

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       But I don’t think people understand the amount of emotional complexity around that.  Just like, you know, what your mum experienced and also that thing of being that phone call to say, you know, essentially, “Well actually, you know, if you hadn’t had this treatment, then yes you could make a claim but because you’re having this, you’re going to have another year or so possibly.”  That’s a very, very – there’s a negative aspect to that conversation.  It’s a very positive –

Lindsay:       Of course, yeah.

Kathryn:       Thing to say, you know, but there’s also a negative connotation in that as well that, “Right, so what could this have meant?” and also, “Wow, I have a year.”

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       And, you know, that’s a huge thing for someone who isn’t – I imagine, you know, the person who you spoke to possibly wasn’t trained as a counsellor or anything like that.  That’s a huge responsibility to put on that person to tell her and also to have your mum in that situation too.

Lindsay:       Of course, and she’d kind of had said to me, you know, “The chap on the phone probably was just reading what was on the screen, you know, and then they didn’t mean any harm in what he was saying at all.”

Kathryn:       Of course not.

Lindsay:       But I think more compassion and sensitivity around that conversation would have gone a long way really in how that information was delivered to Mum.

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       It could have been better, you know, so what we tried to take from that is, like you say, the positive aspect where, okay so you’re having this new targeted therapy treatment which is great because she was able to have that and, you know, it did prolong her life a little bit longer so yeah, I think once we’d got over that initial like shock of that conversation it was, you know, we’re back on track really.  But yeah, it was – it’s a tough one.

Kathryn:       It’s always going to be emotional going forward for claims and stuff like that but I think, you know, something that we’re saying all the time and not just us obviously at Cura but across the industry, is that that need to be, you know, very compassionate and to – and I don’t think there’s any kind of like one size fits all, you know.  Somebody may have heard the same thing as your mum and been okay but it’s, you know, it’s understanding that not everyone will be and sometimes there maybe needs to be just a little bit extra done just to make sure that someone’s okay, especially after those phone calls.

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       So I know obviously we’ve said, you know, your mum passed earlier this year and it was a very, very difficult time for you all.  So obviously I know you did go ahead with a life insurance claim once your mum did pass away.  You did that on behalf of your dad.  How did it feel and sort of what was the process and everything that you went through for that claim and especially after you’d already had that kind of experience before sort of last year with the terminal illness sort of like claim?

Lindsay:       Yeah so when Mum passed away we sort of set up a HQ in the dining room with all the paperwork and all the various places we needed to contact and obviously contacting the insurer was one of them.  I felt a little apprehension calling them because of what Mum had experienced the year before but, you know, I think I’d got so numb to all these phone calls over time I was like okay, I was treating it like as a job essentially, like looking – thinking, “Right, okay, I’ve rung them now I need to ring this person.”  And just doing a tick list really but – and then I’d get into the phone call and every now and then I’d really get caught off guard and the emotion would sort of wave over me but I must admit they’d pulled up Mum’s record and seen that I’d contacted them before –

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       I did feel that there was more compassion there and it felt better, you know.

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       And then because they’d contacted a consultant before, they did have a lot of information already which helped a little bit and then, yeah, it was just a case of waiting then for the claim to be made.  I felt like it did take a little bit longer than I thought it would have, knowing as well that they already had a lot of information already.  I didn’t think it would take as long as it did and Dad was worried ‘cos a lot of the benefits and help with, you know, financial help had stopped.  Carer’s allowance stopped, disability allowance had stopped, Mum’s sick pay had stopped so suddenly that was all just taken away from him but he still had the financial concerns to deal with so it was definitely a sense of urgency was needed a bit more I think in that circumstance and I know it got to the point where we turned to you, Kathryn, just to get some help as me and Dad were just so mentally drained, exhausted from all these phone calls that the thought of another phone call was just, ugh, we just couldn’t face it.  So we were just grateful that you sort of took the reins for us and it just felt like that pressure was off us a bit and I know that when you did call them, it was quite a straightforward phone call.  They were like, “Oh yes, it’s –”

Kathryn:       Oh yes, it was.  I was going to say, I was prepared to go full-on mama bear with somebody, you know, kind of thing.  I was, you know, and yeah the – I rang up and I was just like, you know, very clearly, you know, it was a case of, “What’s happening?” and they said, “Oh let’s just check,” and then I think they paid it within about like – it was about three days later.

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       Which was just incredible but I have to say the look on your dad’s face – obviously it was the first time I’d met him properly, you know, I think we’d met each other at his house for like a – we did a coffee morning I think didn’t we for your mum to raise money for the hospice as well?  But I’d not met him properly but this was the first time we’d met each other and obviously not the most positive of situations but bless him, the sheer relief when I turned around and I just said that it’s being paid, he just – his entire body just, you know, and I remember him crying bless him and it was just like –

Lindsay:       I know.

Kathryn:       It just absolutely, you know, I’m getting shivery thinking about it.

Lindsay:       I know, it’s just that weight just lifted off him didn’t it?

Kathryn:       It did, and you as well.

Lindsay:       And just – oh god yeah, ‘cos obviously I was worried about Dad and just wanted to get that sorted out for him and yeah, I think it was just that pressure was just taken off then and already dealing with grief, you don’t want to be worrying about other things on top of that because it’s then – it’s just a catalyst for a downward spiral I think, you know, it mounts up doesn’t it and yeah, but yeah, just the relief, you could just see that so clearly and he – I think he just – as soon as that – the claim was paid straight into the bank, he paid the mortgage off.  Once he’d got that done, it was kind of, “Okay, I can deal with or try to deal with coming to terms now with life without Mum.”  So yeah.

Kathryn:       I was going to say, there’s all that emotional side of things as well, you know, it’s not just the person.  You’ve not just lost a person, you’ve got all the – all that paperwork obviously that I know you were doing and everything as well and then you’ve got the finances.  It’s like you say, you’ve suddenly lost a significant amount of income, he’s still got a mortgage to pay, I think it still took a couple of months for it to pay even though it was a very clear – very clear case of yes, this will be a paid claim and, like you say, you can’t then – you can’t then move on and sort of like – and I’m not saying move on in a sense of moving on from your mum –

Lindsay:       No.

Kathryn:       But just get to that next stage of being able to – “Right, the finances, I don’t need to worry about that so half of my heart and half of my mind isn’t focused upon the finances.  I can now devote my entire self to process what’s happened,” and truly start to get to a stage where obviously, you know, he’s not going to feel okay –

Lindsay:       No, no.

Kathryn:       But just to a stage where he can just start to become himself again a bit.

Lindsay:       Yeah.  I agree.

Kathryn:       So I know that obviously as well you had some of the insurances that you have obviously through ourselves – you’ve got some value added benefits that you were able to access and it’s for both you, for your husband Damien and your children that you can access these.  Can you tell us a bit more about what that involved following everything that was happening and in a sense what that meant to you?

Lindsay:       Yeah so during Mum’s illness I was thinking, “How am I going to relay this to the kids?”  This was my main concern at the time.  I mean, we did tell them that she had cancer and she was having treatment.  ‘Cos we were all so close they were going to see the physical side effects of the treatment and I wanted them to know as much as I possibly could tell them without scaring them and I think that’s a really fine line.  So through one of my policies I had the benefit of the RedArc Nurses and I rang my insurance provider, they were very quick to get in touch with RedArc and one of the nurses called me back quite soon and obviously knew a little bit about why I was calling.  My main purpose was for the kids really and knowing how much experience and information and materials they had that they were going to give me the best advice possible and guide – help me – guide me through the process really and yeah, they were incredible.  They sent out some really beautiful books for the kids for them to write down their memories of their grandma and reading material for me but then as the phone calls went on, it suddenly dawned on me that I needed this as well.

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       You know, and I think I’m so consumed with making sure everyone else is okay that they could identify that I needed this as well and with the build-up to the funeral and things like that, you know, that they were really there to support me through that and yeah, the care, the compassion that I could feel down the phone was amazing and I remember I sent the nurse who I was talking to at the time the order of service for my mum’s funeral ‘cos I felt so connected with her and she did with me and yeah, it was so lovely to have that support and they almost know when to ring you.  It’s so strange, if I’m feeling down, yeah, I’d get a phone call.  I recognised the area code.  It’s from the RedArc and I’m like, “Oh, thank goodness they’re calling me ‘cos I really need this right now.”  And yeah, it’s been incredible and it’s made me realise I need to take more care of myself mentally as well.  It really has, and now they have paired me up with an independent counsellor which is great.  I’m having – I’ve just started doing that now online and knowing that they know me, they’ve been able to sort of pair me up with the right person as well whereas if I was going out on my own looking for a counsellor, I don’t know how comfortable I would feel just contacting somebody and trying to make that connection.  I feel like they’ve really got to know me and my situation and already after two sessions of counselling I feel really connected with the counsellor which is a huge part of that process isn’t it?

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       Sort of to open up so – and I think speaking to somebody outside of the family network is better, you know, because I don’t want to burden any of my other family members with my – even though, you know, we do talk a lot, we’re very close –

Kathryn:       Of course.

Lindsay:       But we’re all grieving as well, you know, in our own way so yeah, it’s been brilliant and I’m just so amazed that this has come with my policy and I tell people all the time, I’m like, you know, “This is amazing.”

Kathryn:       I say, it sounds like it, you know, like a big thing as well there just from what you say ‘cos I know what you’re like as well, just knowing you and how much you’re sort of like just constantly going.  You just never ever stop and I think that thing of them calling you, you know, every now and then, you know, I’m really glad that they do that because, you know, even me I can think why that’s brilliant ‘cos it’s going to make Lindsay think about herself because you do – you are constantly doing stuff for everybody all the time and I know that if anybody ever asks you anything, that you’ll just put a big smile on your face and go, “Yeah I’ll do that.”

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       You know and you want to be helpful and, you know, at some point it’s doing that and I think that lovely thing of, you know, I’d not thought of that before when you’d said about how they’d paired you up with somebody and how that kind of gives you that confidence, you know, to sort of think, “Well actually this person’s kind of been hand selected for me.”

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       And yeah, it’s just an extra extension to that support.

Lindsay:       Oh it really is.

Kathryn:       It just sounds incredible.

Lindsay:       Yeah, I’m bowled over really that wow, this is actually in with my policy, you know?  My policy – you get an insurance policy for sort of one reason, to protect yourself and your family and the things you love and, you know, that – for that benefit to come with it and you’re not paying any extra on top, you know, it’s amazing.  That’s why I sort of want to shout it from the rooftops and tell everyone that these –

Kathryn:       Absolutely.

Lindsay:       And also to check as well, check your policies.  Are they already there and you’re unaware of them?

Kathryn:       Absolutely.

Lindsay:       In fact for my husband, he has a similar policy where he can access RedArc and I do say to him, you know, “It’s there for you as well, you know, if you need that further down the line.”  So yeah, yeah, it’s helping a lot.

Kathryn:       Good, I’m really, really glad to hear that and obviously as well, just thinking of the timeframe, you know, ‘cos we know it and we’re seeing it all the time but for people who are listening, you know, this is six to seven months’ worth of support.  That’s support materials for the children, for you, you know, for that regular contact just to make sure that you’re okay to then setting you up with a counsellor.  That’s all there, it’s not paid extra, you know, it’s all stuff that is just there to be able to access when you need it.  So you are going to be doing something quite incredible shortly.  I’m always sort of like again in awe of all the things that you do.  Listeners, she literally never, ever stops.  So do you want to tell everybody what you are due to be doing?  I think it’s next month isn’t it?

Lindsay:       It is, yeah.  So I – me and my brother decided that we would do the Great North Run this year for our local hospice, Saint Catherine’s Hospice in Scarborough, but obviously it’s had to be cancelled so I thought, “Well, do you know what, I might just do it anyway.”

Kathryn:       Why not?

Lindsay:       “I might just do it anyway,” and do it at home, obviously locally.  So there are a group of other people who live nearby me that want to do the run as well that day.  So yeah, there’s going to be a little group of us going out and doing the half marathon so yeah, I’ve set up a Justgiving page ‘cos I mean my – like I say, my heart just went out to families going through similar situations to myself in lockdown.  Like the thought of not being able to be close to Mum at the hospice or, you know, I was able to hold her hand.  I could kiss her face, you know, I didn’t have to wear a mask and gloves and I think that – I needed that for me and to know that I was there for her, you know, right to the end and I just all think, all these families that have had to go through such an already traumatic and difficult time to then have, you know, these rules and regulations of corona virus and with the hospice losing funding through their charity shops being closed, events being cancelled, immediately, you know, I just thought, “We need to do something.  We need to show them the same support that they showed us.”  So I will be doing the half marathon on 13th September.  Yeah, I’ve been trying to get out running.  It’s a bit hard when my husband works away with the kids.  I did drag the kids out last night actually.  It wasn’t a great run but I moved.

Kathryn:       Yeah exactly, you did it, you did it, good for you.  I mean, the thing is again, it’s just absolutely incredible that you’re just being able at the moment to channel everything into such a positive thing and to support obviously the hospice and we’ll put the links to the hospice and everything in our – sort of like in our podcast kind of outreach and stuff so if anybody –

Lindsay:       Brilliant.

Kathryn:       Is able to offer any kind of support, you know, that would be absolutely incredible for Lindsay and obviously for the local Saint Catherine’s Hospice which are – they are an incredible support service in our local area.  We’re sort of – we’re in the Scarborough/Filey area in North Yorkshire and I have to say we don’t have the – access to the lots and lots of medical support services –

Lindsay:       No.

Kathryn:       And things like that so, you know, it was nothing like you would get if you were in a city but yeah, they are something that’s – they’ve been in our area for decades and the amount of people they’ve supported is just absolutely incredible.

Lindsay:       Yeah, and the thing is you just never know when you’re going to need them.  We certainly didn’t think we would need them, you know, as a family and just so grateful that they’re there.

Kathryn:       Brilliant.  Well obviously good luck with it.  Now –

Lindsay:       Thank you.

Kathryn:       We weren’t sure whether or not to do a truth or lie feature but you quite liked the idea of doing one didn’t you?

Lindsay:       I did.

Kathryn:       So we will do our truth or lie feature again to sort of like to start to close up the episode.  So Lindsay, would you like to say what your truth or lie is please?

Lindsay:       Okay, my truth or lie is that my office nickname at Cura is Tigger.

Kathryn:       And my truth or lie is that my office nickname is Cake Tin.  So, thank you everyone for listening and thank you Lindsay for joining me.  It’s been really, obviously lovely – it’s always – it’s lovely to speak to you but just also to get that message out there about everything that, you know, sense that you have been going through, how incredible you’ve been through this time and also, you know, all these extras that you’ve been able to access that have really, really supported you.  I’m going to be back in two weeks with Alan Knowles from Cura and we’re going to be talking through a mix of case studies where he’s arranged insurance for people that are considered to have been a high risk.  We’re also going to be chatting about his role as the Chair of the PDG and his membership of the Access to Insurance working group.  If you’d like a reminder of the next episode please drop me a message on social media or visit the website www.practical-protection.co.uk and don’t forget that if you have been listening, you can claim a CPD certificate on the website for this too.  Thank you, Lindsay.

Lindsay:       Thanks, Kathryn.

Kathryn:       Bye.

Lindsay:       Bye!

SUBSCRIBE ON YOUR FAVOURITE PODCAST PLAYER!

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Lindsay Mason - A Claims Journey

Hi Everyone,

It's episode 5 of season 2, and this week I am speaking with Lindsay Mason, my colleague at Cura, who has been through some significant events this year.

Please note that this episode could be quite emotional for some people to hear. We are talking about deaths caused by cancer, heart attack and coronavirus, and the feelings and difficulties that a family member can face when these things happen.

Lindsay will talk through how this year has been and how it can feel when you are faced with so many significant events in such a short period of time. She is talking about how it felt for her mum to place a terminal illness claim, to have that declined and then how it felt when she helped her dad to put forward a death claim this year. Lindsay also discusses how she was able to access Red Arc Nurses through her insurances and what that meant for her and her family.

My 3 key takeaways:

  1. The complex emotions that come with making a terminal illness claim.
  2. The financial difficulties that a family member can face until a life insurance claim is paid.
  3. The practical and emotional support that organisations like Red Arc can offer at the time of a claim and beyond.

Please let me know what you think of the podcast and if there is anything that you would like me to feature in the future.

Next time I will be chatting with Alan Knowles from Cura. We will be talking through a mix of case studies where he has arranged protection insurance for people that are considered a high insurance risk. We will also be discussing his role as the Chair of the PDG and his membership of the Access to Insurance working group.

Kathryn:       Hi everyone, today I have our very own Lindsay Mason with me from Cura.  Hi Lindsay!

Lindsay:       Hi Kathryn!

Kathryn:       We are going to be talking about Lindsay’s experiences this year which I think everyone is going to agree have been quite intense.  It’s going to be a very emotional podcast so please prepare yourselves that we are going to be talking about people having passed away, sort of generally things that have happened during lockdown and I hope you’re all okay listening but we’re also going to be talking about how things were when Lindsay made an insurance claim and some of the support services that she was able to access.  This is the Practical Protection podcast.  So Lindsay, how are you doing?  I know we’re obviously going to be talking about something quite emotional but let’s just sort of get into things nice and gently.  How has your weekend been?  How are you doing?

Lindsay:       Yeah I’m doing okay I think.  I think that’s the answer I give through lockdown for people asking if I’m okay.  I’m like, “I think I’m okay.”  But yeah, we’ve had a good weekend.  The weather’s turned a bit grey on the Yorkshire coast this weekend but we managed to get out and go down to the beach, do a bit of fossil hunting but we was unsuccessful in finding some gems but some milkshake and some chips were a good consolation afterwards, so yeah.

Kathryn:       Absolutely.  Quickly distract the kids, there’s no fossils but it’s okay, milkshake.  Absolutely best distraction technique.  I always find when we go to the beach here, that like I come back with – I have to take freezer bags down for the kids to fill with just random rocks and shells and, you know, they try and convince me that some of them are fossils and things and it’s just like – you just end up with like so many rocks in the car and it’s like, okay –

Lindsay:       That’s it or they’re really pretty – they’ll say, “Oh they’re so pretty – this rock,” and you’re like, “Hmm, okay.”

Kathryn:       It’s beige, yes.  Right before we get really into things and everything, we do have our truth or lie feature from the last podcast and in that Sue Kinsella said that her favourite chocolate bar was a Mars Bar and I said that my favourite chocolate bar was a Twix.  So who do you think is telling the truth?

Lindsay:       Okay, I’m going to go with a pattern here –

Kathryn:       Okay.

Lindsay:       And say that you were lying Kathryn because I know you like the finer things in life and the finer chocolate in life and a Twix is not one of them.

Kathryn:       That is true.  So I’m going to have to catch people out at some point.  I’m getting actually a bit personally offended that I’m not catching anyone out with these.  I do like the rather nice chocolates.  I do like the finer things but I say though, I did have a Twix the other day.  It was mainly because we didn’t have any of the – sort of like the nicer sort of like fancy dark chocolates in and I went to the kids’ chocolate thing and I was just like, “You know what, I’ll have a Twix, I’ve not had one of them in years.”  It was lovely.  It was lovely and then afterwards it was just like, “I really didn’t need that.”  And actually it really wasn’t that lovely.

Lindsay:       No.  It wasn’t a Green & Blacks, no.

Kathryn:       No, it wasn’t a Green & Blacks.  So Lindsay, obviously you work at Cura as our marketing executive and I’m sure that most of our listeners have seen you on social media and seen all the incredible stuff you’ve done in regards to charity work on behalf of Cura and personally and obviously as well all about branding and everything you’ve just come on and absolutely stormed it this past year, it’s been incredible.

Lindsay:       Thank you.

Kathryn:       Well you definitely deserve it and obviously you do all this stuff for me now with the podcasting and everything like that.  It’s absolutely brilliant but today we’re not going to be focusing upon your work even though we should absolutely have a podcast episode focused upon you.  We’re going to be focusing about things that have been happening to you this year.  Are you okay to talk about things with everybody?

Lindsay:       Yeah, absolutely, yeah.

Kathryn:       Okay, well just as you’re ready then you just let us know and tell us what’s been going on.

Lindsay:       Right well I’ll start maybe a few more years back.  My mum was diagnosed with cancer of the colon and secondary cancer of the liver back in June of 2018.  An absolute complete shock I think ‘cos it is with anyone who has that diagnosis that, you know, to her and to all of us as a family really, you know, we’d never really been affected by cancer so closely before and you just sort of mosey on through life, you know, you hear of these things happening and you feel kind of untouchable and I felt quite guilty feeling like that as well.  But it can just happen to anyone, that’s the scary thing.  My mum was I’d say a healthy woman, you know, in her 60s but yeah, so a complete bolt out of the blue really, a complete shock.  So she quickly started chemotherapy but was told that the cancer was incurable.  It was just a case of this treatment was going to stop any spread and just sort of manage it the best way that it could really to give her a bit more of a prolonged life.  And I mean she was incredible, just took it all in her stride –

Kathryn:       She really did.

Lindsay:       Kept so positive and that just resonated through us all and we just – that positivity was such a strength and even a consultant had said to her, you know, “Your attitude is going to help you through this massively.”  So yeah, but sort of after various treatments and the ups and downs of chemo with various infections and sometimes her temperature was too high for the treatment so yeah, it wasn’t completely smooth sailing as I imagine it isn’t for a lot of people, so Mum passed away this year in February, just 2ndFebruary.  She had a week’s stay in our local hospice.  It’s something that she had wanted to do.  She wanted to go to the hospice so we all respected that decision and, you know, we were able to have that week with Mum and sort of make memories even in that last week, you know, took the kids up there and we shared ice cream together and, you know, I stayed with her overnight and my dad was able to be her husband, not essentially number one carer and it was, you know, such a wonderful place, so special.  And so yeah, Mum passed away early Feb.  We organised her funeral for end of Feb which we just did, you know, as you would do planning any funeral.  We had – the church was packed, you know, it was so wonderful seeing so many friends and family’s faces as we walked into the church and it just felt like everyone’s arms around me and our family which was such a comfort really and we – giving Mum that funeral was such a big part of the whole grieving process for us all.  But then a month later, sort of lockdown –

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       And that was taken away from so many people – that ability to have that sort of closure and the funeral that they wanted for people and my heart just went out to all those families that couldn’t do that and we felt grateful that we could do that for Mum.

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       Almost lucky but not lucky as well.

Kathryn:       I know.

Lindsay:       It’s a very, very strange circumstance so –

Kathryn:       But at the same point very tough for you guys as well because you’d only just – you’d only just lost your mum and then you had to go into lockdown so even though you’d had that time to sort of take into account everything that was happening and obviously go to the funeral and start to process everything, a month still isn’t a significant amount of time and so obviously there was you, there was your dad, there was your nana – your mum’s mum, you know, and obviously you were suddenly all unable to comfort each other as well.  I mean, that’s tough.

Lindsay:       Yeah and that – I think my Gran felt that isolation massively at the beginning of lockdown.  It was awful really and it’s a time where you want to be together and comfort each other through this so yeah, it was very, very strange and I almost locked my grief up in a box for a bit and put it on the shelf because everything was corona virus, lockdown, rules, you know, schools closure and so yeah, it was such a strange shift but as well as my mum passing away, my husband’s grandad unexpectedly passed away a week before Mum of a heart attack so that – we were all preparing ourselves for Mum’s passing and then suddenly we’ve got this, you know, other family bereavement and it’s just like, gosh, we just wouldn’t expect that and then as lockdown happened, Damien lost his great-uncle to corona virus and it was just this constant sort of roundabout of grief and death essentially.  It was on the news all the time and so close to the family as well and also my husband’s father, my father-in-law has been diagnosed with similar cancer to my mum at the beginning of the year so he’s having chemo now and luckily his treatment has been able to continue through lockdown which I know is amazing ‘cos I hear of a lot of people whose treatment has had to stop because of corona virus.  So yeah, you know, he’s – we’ve essentially got this all to come again at some point, you know, so it’s been – yeah, it’s not been the year I expected 2020 to be, that’s for sure.

Kathryn:       No, no I just – like I’ve said to you before, I just wish I could erase this year for you in a way.  It’s just there’s been so, so much going on and it’s – and I think another thing as well because obviously I’ve seen you going through a lot of this, obviously, you know, from a kind of a distance in some ways –

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       You know, because of lockdown and everything but, you know, seeing how you’ve been able – well having to cope with all of this.  You’re having to cope with lockdown, so the changes of that to suddenly home schooling two kids too – it just feels like it’s been a very, very intense year for you and, you know, you’re not just there as – it’s not just you that you are looking after.  You are looking after the emotional side of things for your children because, you know, they’re seeing obviously – yes a lot of death this year and that’s quite intense for them and especially with corona virus as well and I think your children are the age the same as some of mine where they know what that means.  They know that corona virus means death and, you know, that – obviously not to everybody, I’ve got to be very clear with that as well, I don’t want to sort of like cause like any kind of like confusion about that but, you know, to a child, they’re hearing this and they’re picking up snippets because we’re trying to protect them but, you know, there’s just this intense thing, you know, and it’s such a change for them and then you’re obviously there for your dad, for your nana, for your brother as well, you know, you’re just holding everyone together – and your husband and obviously you’ve been doing this as well while Damien’s been shift-working as well so it’s just been, you know, it’s incredible that you’ve got through this with the –

Lindsay:       Thank you.

Kathryn:       With the same – the fact that you’re here and able to kind of laugh in a sense in some ways, that’s just a huge testament to your – to your, you know, your positivity, you know, I think you must get that –

Lindsay:       Thank you.

Kathryn:       From your mum.

Lindsay:       Definitely, I would say so.

Kathryn:       Definitely.

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       And your outlook, it’s brilliant.

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       So, I mean thank you so much for being so open about everything.

Lindsay:       You’re welcome.

Kathryn:       As I say, you really have had an incredible year and I think it’s a good thing for our listeners.  Now I’m assuming quite a lot of our listeners will have had, you know, an experience of somebody close to them dying or different things like that, but I think it’s important that not everybody will have done.  You know, sometimes we can suddenly – I think everyone kind of assumes I think that I think people have experienced death at some point in their life from a young age but that actually isn’t really the case.  You know, some people – it can be a long time before they experience that.  So I think it’s possibly a good thing if you can maybe tell us in a sense what things felt like when your mum passed away and I know that your parents had some life insurance and kind of like – that kind of process of sort of like, “Right, Mum’s passed away,” when in a sense did the thought of, “Ooh well she had life insurance out and maybe we should put in a claim for that,” that kind of thing.  I’m assuming it’s not the first thing that pops into your head.  Maybe for some people it would be.

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       But and also how it felt like the idea of putting that claim forward.  What goes through your mind through all of that?

Lindsay:       With her mortgage provider, they had some insurance with their mortgage which was able to pay a part of the mortgage payments for Mum and Dad which helped a lot with their financial situation as my dad had to take early retirement to be sort of Mum’s full-time carer and I know that the Macmillan Unit at the hospital were a great support to Mum and Dad with any sort of financial concerns and helping them with any forms that needed doing.  With regards to her life insurance, it had terminal illness included in that so she did make contact with them at the time of the diagnosis but she personally didn’t want to know her prognosis and we all respected that decision.  I think that would – for me, I don’t know what I would want to do in that situation either.  I don’t know whether I would want to know how long I had left to live or not so –

Kathryn:       Yeah.  Is it – I was going to say, that’s a very difficult one isn’t it?  Because it’s that thing of, you know, and I think probably we don’t necessarily think of it that way straight away but, you know, that sort of thing of like, you want to know if you are able to make the claim on the insurance but you also don’t want to know if you’re terminally ill.  And it’s that really hard kind of balance to it isn’t it because if you’re going forward for the claim then you know some people would sort of like say if you’re going forward to the claim then you must sort of like think that you’re potentially terminally ill but then it’s – I suppose that’s really difficult isn’t it because there’s such mixed feelings that sort of like you want to know if you can make the claim –

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       But you don’t want to know if you’re terminally ill and that must be such a hard thing to try and go through and obviously the time that you put that claim in until you hear that answer as well, I imagine that’s a very difficult time period.

Lindsay:       Definitely, and so Mum said to the insurer, “Look, I don’t want to know my prognosis.”  Obviously it’s something that the insurer would need to know.

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       So they said they could contact her consultant to get the information from her medical records so she was, “Yeah, that’s fine.”  So they made contact with them and then they got back in touch with Mum, told her that because she was having some new treatment that the claim wouldn’t pay out because essentially this new treatment is prolonging her life over twelve months so Mum sort of put two and two together and thought, “Okay, so if I’m not having this new treatment, I’m going to have less than twelve months to live.”

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       And I think she wasn’t prepared to be faced with that over the phone.

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       You know, in that situation, it was – it really hit her really hard and then the cogs start turning in your head and sort of that positivity that she had, it really knocked that massively.

Kathryn:       Did they offer any kind of support or anything after having that conversation or –

Lindsay:       No.

Kathryn:       Did they – no.

Lindsay:       No.

Kathryn:       I was going to say, that’s a very – I don’t think that’s necessarily a situation where people would, you know, sort of like looking at it from like an insurance point of view –

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       And obviously very strange to do that obviously I know you and I knew your mum a bit as well –

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       It was like that thing of like, you know, I know some people would listen and go, “Right well actually you went forward for a terminal illness claim so you must have thought that it could have been terminal illness and if they came back and said yes, then you would have known anyway that it was potentially less than twelve months that she had left –”

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       But I don’t think people understand the amount of emotional complexity around that.  Just like, you know, what your mum experienced and also that thing of being that phone call to say, you know, essentially, “Well actually, you know, if you hadn’t had this treatment, then yes you could make a claim but because you’re having this, you’re going to have another year or so possibly.”  That’s a very, very – there’s a negative aspect to that conversation.  It’s a very positive –

Lindsay:       Of course, yeah.

Kathryn:       Thing to say, you know, but there’s also a negative connotation in that as well that, “Right, so what could this have meant?” and also, “Wow, I have a year.”

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       And, you know, that’s a huge thing for someone who isn’t – I imagine, you know, the person who you spoke to possibly wasn’t trained as a counsellor or anything like that.  That’s a huge responsibility to put on that person to tell her and also to have your mum in that situation too.

Lindsay:       Of course, and she’d kind of had said to me, you know, “The chap on the phone probably was just reading what was on the screen, you know, and then they didn’t mean any harm in what he was saying at all.”

Kathryn:       Of course not.

Lindsay:       But I think more compassion and sensitivity around that conversation would have gone a long way really in how that information was delivered to Mum.

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       It could have been better, you know, so what we tried to take from that is, like you say, the positive aspect where, okay so you’re having this new targeted therapy treatment which is great because she was able to have that and, you know, it did prolong her life a little bit longer so yeah, I think once we’d got over that initial like shock of that conversation it was, you know, we’re back on track really.  But yeah, it was – it’s a tough one.

Kathryn:       It’s always going to be emotional going forward for claims and stuff like that but I think, you know, something that we’re saying all the time and not just us obviously at Cura but across the industry, is that that need to be, you know, very compassionate and to – and I don’t think there’s any kind of like one size fits all, you know.  Somebody may have heard the same thing as your mum and been okay but it’s, you know, it’s understanding that not everyone will be and sometimes there maybe needs to be just a little bit extra done just to make sure that someone’s okay, especially after those phone calls.

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       So I know obviously we’ve said, you know, your mum passed earlier this year and it was a very, very difficult time for you all.  So obviously I know you did go ahead with a life insurance claim once your mum did pass away.  You did that on behalf of your dad.  How did it feel and sort of what was the process and everything that you went through for that claim and especially after you’d already had that kind of experience before sort of last year with the terminal illness sort of like claim?

Lindsay:       Yeah so when Mum passed away we sort of set up a HQ in the dining room with all the paperwork and all the various places we needed to contact and obviously contacting the insurer was one of them.  I felt a little apprehension calling them because of what Mum had experienced the year before but, you know, I think I’d got so numb to all these phone calls over time I was like okay, I was treating it like as a job essentially, like looking – thinking, “Right, okay, I’ve rung them now I need to ring this person.”  And just doing a tick list really but – and then I’d get into the phone call and every now and then I’d really get caught off guard and the emotion would sort of wave over me but I must admit they’d pulled up Mum’s record and seen that I’d contacted them before –

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       I did feel that there was more compassion there and it felt better, you know.

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       And then because they’d contacted a consultant before, they did have a lot of information already which helped a little bit and then, yeah, it was just a case of waiting then for the claim to be made.  I felt like it did take a little bit longer than I thought it would have, knowing as well that they already had a lot of information already.  I didn’t think it would take as long as it did and Dad was worried ‘cos a lot of the benefits and help with, you know, financial help had stopped.  Carer’s allowance stopped, disability allowance had stopped, Mum’s sick pay had stopped so suddenly that was all just taken away from him but he still had the financial concerns to deal with so it was definitely a sense of urgency was needed a bit more I think in that circumstance and I know it got to the point where we turned to you, Kathryn, just to get some help as me and Dad were just so mentally drained, exhausted from all these phone calls that the thought of another phone call was just, ugh, we just couldn’t face it.  So we were just grateful that you sort of took the reins for us and it just felt like that pressure was off us a bit and I know that when you did call them, it was quite a straightforward phone call.  They were like, “Oh yes, it’s –”

Kathryn:       Oh yes, it was.  I was going to say, I was prepared to go full-on mama bear with somebody, you know, kind of thing.  I was, you know, and yeah the – I rang up and I was just like, you know, very clearly, you know, it was a case of, “What’s happening?” and they said, “Oh let’s just check,” and then I think they paid it within about like – it was about three days later.

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       Which was just incredible but I have to say the look on your dad’s face – obviously it was the first time I’d met him properly, you know, I think we’d met each other at his house for like a – we did a coffee morning I think didn’t we for your mum to raise money for the hospice as well?  But I’d not met him properly but this was the first time we’d met each other and obviously not the most positive of situations but bless him, the sheer relief when I turned around and I just said that it’s being paid, he just – his entire body just, you know, and I remember him crying bless him and it was just like –

Lindsay:       I know.

Kathryn:       It just absolutely, you know, I’m getting shivery thinking about it.

Lindsay:       I know, it’s just that weight just lifted off him didn’t it?

Kathryn:       It did, and you as well.

Lindsay:       And just – oh god yeah, ‘cos obviously I was worried about Dad and just wanted to get that sorted out for him and yeah, I think it was just that pressure was just taken off then and already dealing with grief, you don’t want to be worrying about other things on top of that because it’s then – it’s just a catalyst for a downward spiral I think, you know, it mounts up doesn’t it and yeah, but yeah, just the relief, you could just see that so clearly and he – I think he just – as soon as that – the claim was paid straight into the bank, he paid the mortgage off.  Once he’d got that done, it was kind of, “Okay, I can deal with or try to deal with coming to terms now with life without Mum.”  So yeah.

Kathryn:       I was going to say, there’s all that emotional side of things as well, you know, it’s not just the person.  You’ve not just lost a person, you’ve got all the – all that paperwork obviously that I know you were doing and everything as well and then you’ve got the finances.  It’s like you say, you’ve suddenly lost a significant amount of income, he’s still got a mortgage to pay, I think it still took a couple of months for it to pay even though it was a very clear – very clear case of yes, this will be a paid claim and, like you say, you can’t then – you can’t then move on and sort of like – and I’m not saying move on in a sense of moving on from your mum –

Lindsay:       No.

Kathryn:       But just get to that next stage of being able to – “Right, the finances, I don’t need to worry about that so half of my heart and half of my mind isn’t focused upon the finances.  I can now devote my entire self to process what’s happened,” and truly start to get to a stage where obviously, you know, he’s not going to feel okay –

Lindsay:       No, no.

Kathryn:       But just to a stage where he can just start to become himself again a bit.

Lindsay:       Yeah.  I agree.

Kathryn:       So I know that obviously as well you had some of the insurances that you have obviously through ourselves – you’ve got some value added benefits that you were able to access and it’s for both you, for your husband Damien and your children that you can access these.  Can you tell us a bit more about what that involved following everything that was happening and in a sense what that meant to you?

Lindsay:       Yeah so during Mum’s illness I was thinking, “How am I going to relay this to the kids?”  This was my main concern at the time.  I mean, we did tell them that she had cancer and she was having treatment.  ‘Cos we were all so close they were going to see the physical side effects of the treatment and I wanted them to know as much as I possibly could tell them without scaring them and I think that’s a really fine line.  So through one of my policies I had the benefit of the RedArc Nurses and I rang my insurance provider, they were very quick to get in touch with RedArc and one of the nurses called me back quite soon and obviously knew a little bit about why I was calling.  My main purpose was for the kids really and knowing how much experience and information and materials they had that they were going to give me the best advice possible and guide – help me – guide me through the process really and yeah, they were incredible.  They sent out some really beautiful books for the kids for them to write down their memories of their grandma and reading material for me but then as the phone calls went on, it suddenly dawned on me that I needed this as well.

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       You know, and I think I’m so consumed with making sure everyone else is okay that they could identify that I needed this as well and with the build-up to the funeral and things like that, you know, that they were really there to support me through that and yeah, the care, the compassion that I could feel down the phone was amazing and I remember I sent the nurse who I was talking to at the time the order of service for my mum’s funeral ‘cos I felt so connected with her and she did with me and yeah, it was so lovely to have that support and they almost know when to ring you.  It’s so strange, if I’m feeling down, yeah, I’d get a phone call.  I recognised the area code.  It’s from the RedArc and I’m like, “Oh, thank goodness they’re calling me ‘cos I really need this right now.”  And yeah, it’s been incredible and it’s made me realise I need to take more care of myself mentally as well.  It really has, and now they have paired me up with an independent counsellor which is great.  I’m having – I’ve just started doing that now online and knowing that they know me, they’ve been able to sort of pair me up with the right person as well whereas if I was going out on my own looking for a counsellor, I don’t know how comfortable I would feel just contacting somebody and trying to make that connection.  I feel like they’ve really got to know me and my situation and already after two sessions of counselling I feel really connected with the counsellor which is a huge part of that process isn’t it?

Kathryn:       Yeah.

Lindsay:       Sort of to open up so – and I think speaking to somebody outside of the family network is better, you know, because I don’t want to burden any of my other family members with my – even though, you know, we do talk a lot, we’re very close –

Kathryn:       Of course.

Lindsay:       But we’re all grieving as well, you know, in our own way so yeah, it’s been brilliant and I’m just so amazed that this has come with my policy and I tell people all the time, I’m like, you know, “This is amazing.”

Kathryn:       I say, it sounds like it, you know, like a big thing as well there just from what you say ‘cos I know what you’re like as well, just knowing you and how much you’re sort of like just constantly going.  You just never ever stop and I think that thing of them calling you, you know, every now and then, you know, I’m really glad that they do that because, you know, even me I can think why that’s brilliant ‘cos it’s going to make Lindsay think about herself because you do – you are constantly doing stuff for everybody all the time and I know that if anybody ever asks you anything, that you’ll just put a big smile on your face and go, “Yeah I’ll do that.”

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       You know and you want to be helpful and, you know, at some point it’s doing that and I think that lovely thing of, you know, I’d not thought of that before when you’d said about how they’d paired you up with somebody and how that kind of gives you that confidence, you know, to sort of think, “Well actually this person’s kind of been hand selected for me.”

Lindsay:       Yeah.

Kathryn:       And yeah, it’s just an extra extension to that support.

Lindsay:       Oh it really is.

Kathryn:       It just sounds incredible.

Lindsay:       Yeah, I’m bowled over really that wow, this is actually in with my policy, you know?  My policy – you get an insurance policy for sort of one reason, to protect yourself and your family and the things you love and, you know, that – for that benefit to come with it and you’re not paying any extra on top, you know, it’s amazing.  That’s why I sort of want to shout it from the rooftops and tell everyone that these –

Kathryn:       Absolutely.

Lindsay:       And also to check as well, check your policies.  Are they already there and you’re unaware of them?

Kathryn:       Absolutely.

Lindsay:       In fact for my husband, he has a similar policy where he can access RedArc and I do say to him, you know, “It’s there for you as well, you know, if you need that further down the line.”  So yeah, yeah, it’s helping a lot.

Kathryn:       Good, I’m really, really glad to hear that and obviously as well, just thinking of the timeframe, you know, ‘cos we know it and we’re seeing it all the time but for people who are listening, you know, this is six to seven months’ worth of support.  That’s support materials for the children, for you, you know, for that regular contact just to make sure that you’re okay to then setting you up with a counsellor.  That’s all there, it’s not paid extra, you know, it’s all stuff that is just there to be able to access when you need it.  So you are going to be doing something quite incredible shortly.  I’m always sort of like again in awe of all the things that you do.  Listeners, she literally never, ever stops.  So do you want to tell everybody what you are due to be doing?  I think it’s next month isn’t it?

Lindsay:       It is, yeah.  So I – me and my brother decided that we would do the Great North Run this year for our local hospice, Saint Catherine’s Hospice in Scarborough, but obviously it’s had to be cancelled so I thought, “Well, do you know what, I might just do it anyway.”

Kathryn:       Why not?

Lindsay:       “I might just do it anyway,” and do it at home, obviously locally.  So there are a group of other people who live nearby me that want to do the run as well that day.  So yeah, there’s going to be a little group of us going out and doing the half marathon so yeah, I’ve set up a Justgiving page ‘cos I mean my – like I say, my heart just went out to families going through similar situations to myself in lockdown.  Like the thought of not being able to be close to Mum at the hospice or, you know, I was able to hold her hand.  I could kiss her face, you know, I didn’t have to wear a mask and gloves and I think that – I needed that for me and to know that I was there for her, you know, right to the end and I just all think, all these families that have had to go through such an already traumatic and difficult time to then have, you know, these rules and regulations of corona virus and with the hospice losing funding through their charity shops being closed, events being cancelled, immediately, you know, I just thought, “We need to do something.  We need to show them the same support that they showed us.”  So I will be doing the half marathon on 13th September.  Yeah, I’ve been trying to get out running.  It’s a bit hard when my husband works away with the kids.  I did drag the kids out last night actually.  It wasn’t a great run but I moved.

Kathryn:       Yeah exactly, you did it, you did it, good for you.  I mean, the thing is again, it’s just absolutely incredible that you’re just being able at the moment to channel everything into such a positive thing and to support obviously the hospice and we’ll put the links to the hospice and everything in our – sort of like in our podcast kind of outreach and stuff so if anybody –

Lindsay:       Brilliant.

Kathryn:       Is able to offer any kind of support, you know, that would be absolutely incredible for Lindsay and obviously for the local Saint Catherine’s Hospice which are – they are an incredible support service in our local area.  We’re sort of – we’re in the Scarborough/Filey area in North Yorkshire and I have to say we don’t have the – access to the lots and lots of medical support services –

Lindsay:       No.

Kathryn:       And things like that so, you know, it was nothing like you would get if you were in a city but yeah, they are something that’s – they’ve been in our area for decades and the amount of people they’ve supported is just absolutely incredible.

Lindsay:       Yeah, and the thing is you just never know when you’re going to need them.  We certainly didn’t think we would need them, you know, as a family and just so grateful that they’re there.

Kathryn:       Brilliant.  Well obviously good luck with it.  Now –

Lindsay:       Thank you.

Kathryn:       We weren’t sure whether or not to do a truth or lie feature but you quite liked the idea of doing one didn’t you?

Lindsay:       I did.

Kathryn:       So we will do our truth or lie feature again to sort of like to start to close up the episode.  So Lindsay, would you like to say what your truth or lie is please?

Lindsay:       Okay, my truth or lie is that my office nickname at Cura is Tigger.

Kathryn:       And my truth or lie is that my office nickname is Cake Tin.  So, thank you everyone for listening and thank you Lindsay for joining me.  It’s been really, obviously lovely – it’s always – it’s lovely to speak to you but just also to get that message out there about everything that, you know, sense that you have been going through, how incredible you’ve been through this time and also, you know, all these extras that you’ve been able to access that have really, really supported you.  I’m going to be back in two weeks with Alan Knowles from Cura and we’re going to be talking through a mix of case studies where he’s arranged insurance for people that are considered to have been a high risk.  We’re also going to be chatting about his role as the Chair of the PDG and his membership of the Access to Insurance working group.  If you’d like a reminder of the next episode please drop me a message on social media or visit the website www.practical-protection.co.uk and don’t forget that if you have been listening, you can claim a CPD certificate on the website for this too.  Thank you, Lindsay.

Lindsay:       Thanks, Kathryn.

Kathryn:       Bye.

Lindsay:       Bye!

SUBSCRIBE ON YOUR FAVOURITE PODCAST PLAYER!