We won. We did it - #NicsFight has become #NicsWin! Last night we heard the fantastic news that Friends Life would be paying Nic's family what they're owed.
In late December we handed our petition of more than 60,000 names to the offices of Friends Life, asking them to meet with the Hughes family and sit down to resolve this case. But they refused, demanding instead that a submission be made to the Financial Ombudsman.
This was a huge task - assembling paperwork, retrieving documents, getting files from doctors - all while Nic's widow should have been free to grieve and spend time with their children. But in their resolute and dignified way, and bolstered by the huge waves of support from signers of our petition on Change.org, the family put their case forward.
It is with enormous joy and relief that they heard yesterday that the Financial Ombudsman had found entirely in their favour, writing:
"I explained to the firm that in my view it should not have cancelled the policy and declined the claim for the reasons it did. [Friends Life] accepts that any non-disclosure was not deliberate or relevant to the claim he later made – so the firm accepts it was not entitled to rely on that and it should have paid the critical illness claim when it was submitted."
This is a fantastic victory! It is also a huge vindication of the campaign and of the family's fight against a massive corporation who felt they could simply be cast aside. The Ombudsman have found entirely in the family's favour, and Friends Life will now be paying out on the policy in full.
The family want to express their enormous thanks to everyone who signed the petition and acted to publicise the campaign. This is a victory for all of us - for the common people who stood up and refused to be trampled on by big corporations. You made sure that Friends Life could not quietly get away with this terrible injustice.
We took on Goliath and won.
Nic was my best friend. He was a hugely talented guy, a fantastic dad and a loving husband. Nic died of cancer in October aged just 44 years old.
Instead of focusing on his family in his last few months of life, he was forced to spend it battling his life insurance firm Friends Life over his critical illness policy. Despite declaring all previous illnesses, conditions Friends Life cancelled his policy. Nic was convinced that he had given them full disclosure and that when they offered him the policy, they had done their checks. To put it simply, he died of cancer, but they refused to pay over pins and needles. His consultant is outraged at the way Friends Life have treated Nic, and has written to Friends Life, saying: "I think it cruel and highly distasteful that two irrelevant details from his medical history have been used as some sort of pretext to deny him a payment on his critical illness policy."
This has left his wife and kids inheriting a needless battle. Nic was unsure of how this battle would turn out - but I want to try and win it in his memory.
That’s why I’ve started a petition on Change.org demanding that Friends Life pay Nic’s family the money they are owed.
This petition won’t bring Nic back. But it could make a real difference to his family’s future. Please join me in telling Friends Life to do the right thing.
You can read more about this case here in The Observer . The Daily Mail have covered it too.
Stephen Fry, Russell Brand, Margaret Atwood, Miranda Hart, Ian Botham and Boy George, Alistair Campbell and Kirsty Gallacher have all tweeted about it too, as have many many others, reaching 10's of millions of followers.
Please sign to help change minds - people not profits. You can like our page on Facebook to get more updates, and find actions you can take on our website.
Thank you so much.