Brantham: Widow Susannah Hancock steps up fight for insurance payout for husband Nic Hughes

A WIDOW is stepping up her fight to try and get insurers to honour a �100,000 payout following the death of her husband.

Susannah Hancock, of Brantham, near Manningtree, hopes to hand a petition totalling almost 60,000 names into the London offices of Friends Life tomorrow.

Her campaign, which has been backed by a host of famous names including Stephen Fry and Miranda Hart, is urging the insurance company to pay out the money following the death of her husband, Nic Hughes, from cancer last October.

Mr Hughes, who was only 44 when he died, had carried out necessary pre-checks before taking out an insurance policy with Friends Life.

But the firm has cancelled the policy as it claims Mr Hughes, who also left behind twin eight-year-old sons, did not tell them about two medical matters, which the family says are unrelated.

Friends Life argues Mr Hughes, who died of gall bladder cancer, failed to inform them about pins-and-needles or an occasion when his GP warned him over his drinking.

Kester Brewin, a close friend of Mr Hughes, said: “The way things are going, the petition keeps growing and it will be up to 60,000 shortly.

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“Susannah is going to hand over the petition to Friends Life in London.

“It’s already a victory for the people who are quite convinced the payment will happen.

“Whether they do it or not, we will have to wait and see.”

The organisers of the petition want to reach a total of 75,000 signatures.

A spokesman for Friends Life said, had the company known of Mr Hughes’s symptoms, it would not have signed the insurance policy.

He said: “We are aware of the current social media activity and the case in question continues to be a priority for senior management. We are listening and fully understand the sentiment around these difficult circumstances.

“However, when we consider an application for critical illness cover, we need to have full disclosure of all conditions and their symptoms so that we can properly assess the case.”

He said Friends Life would continue to liaise with the family and would look for a swift response from the Financial Ombudsman.