Brantham: Family’s fight for justice reaches Ombudsman
14:00 09 February 2013
AFTER a complex process, friends and family of Nic Hughes have handed a submission to the Financial Ombudsman asking for justice.
Mr Hughes, a graphic designer from Brantham, near Manningtree, was 44 when he died last October.
His family say he had taken out an insurance policy with Friends Life in good faith, convinced that he had given full disclosure and the insurer had carried out all the necessary pre-policy checks. But they were devastated to discover Friends Life refused to honour his critical illness policy and make payment to his widow and twin eight-year-olds.
Friends Life said after the discovery of “non-disclosure” it cancelled the policy and refunded the premiums it had received.
Mr Hughes’ friend, Kester Brewin, is leading the NicsFight campaign to make Friends Life reverse its decision. He said: “The submission process has been long, stressful and complex, with letters required from specialists and endless documents to gather, causing the family huge emotional and financial distress in the months immediately following Nic’s death.
“NicsFight was started with a simple purpose – to get Friends Life to meet with the Hughes family. They have totally refused even to do this.
“This is a company who have failed to show any human side to its business – and it is paying dearly, with a reputation in pieces.
“The financial ombudsman takes into account public opinion when they decide cases. So as it starts to review Nic’s case, let’s make sure that it understands just how strong public feeling remains.”
A Friends Life spokesman said: “We understand that the case has now been referred to the financial ombudsman and are awaiting official confirmation. The ombudsman is the recognised independent industry forum for disputes of this nature and the complaint procedure is free to the family.
“We will abide by any decision that the ombudsman makes and will do everything we can to make the process as rapid as possible.
“The resolution of this case is a private matter for the family involved.”