October 1990.  I made a 40 year financial commitment to pay Sun Life of Canada £6.93 a month.  In return, they’d pay me £550 a month if I got very ill, and keep paying out until I’m 62.

It was a sound financial decision considering the situation I now face.  Had I ticked “index” on the form it would be paying out significantly more too!

Although they became Friends Life (who recently got taken over by Aviva) they did pay out after I’d been off sick for the agreed six months.

Excitingly, they guarantee to give me a 5% pay rise every year.  Tight in 1990.  Generous in 2017 low growth lowish inflation Britain.  I look forward to lording it over my former colleagues when they get their 2.5% rise!

The policy wording gives the insurer the right to review payment after two years.  Barring a cure, i’m unlikely to get better.  Yet they have imposed a quarterly telephone catch up on me.

I haven’t complained.  It seems rude to when they’re now my major source of income.  But the second call this morning had a similar path to the previous interjection.

“How are you?” – much the same.

“Has anything changed since we last spoke?” – just had a scan for a bit more pain being investigated.

A sort of embarrassed mutter from Rob on the other end of the line as he rather uncomfortably thanked me for my time, confirmed payments would continue and that he’d call again in November.

End of call.  All fairly pointless as far as I can see.  Unless that medical science breakthrough is made I’m not going to get miraculously healthier.

Which leads me to summise that the company manual has a line in it that says “Ring lung cancer claimants quarterly as there’s a decent chance that they’ll be dead next time you call”.

Cynical mind.  And I’m right.

Building up the Avios