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I planned to go on holiday with my girlfriend DM to Tenerife this autumn, and we were looking forward to it. Sadly, she died after an unexpected cancer diagnosis and I’m struggling to get my money back.

I booked last summer, originally for April, at a cost of £3,228, plus £253 for travel insurance with Allianz Assistance. We also paid an additional £220 premium for DM, who was in her early 80s with unrelated health conditions.

She was diagnosed with lung cancer in November and embarked on a course of chemotherapy, so we had to postpone the trip.

I was able to move it to September and contacted Allianz to alert it to the change, as well as DM’s diagnosis. I was told to contact the insurer again when the treatment was finished and she had been declared fit to fly.

Unfortunately, I DM died in April, so I had the sad task of cancelling our holiday. I followed the procedure in my travel documents and notified the travel agent and Allianz.

The latter asked me for a number of documents, including our original booking invoice, and a copy of her death certificate, all of which I sent by recorded delivery at the start of May.

I followed up two weeks later and was told by the insurer that it needed more information, including a medical certificate, a cancellation invoice from the travel agent and a grant of probate, even though we did not live together (this request was later withdrawn).

All told, I sent 40 A4 pages. I was able to obtain a medical certificate from her consultant and sent that in mid-June.

Since then I have not received a phone call, letter or email from Allianz. I am grieving, struggling to sleep and still have to deal with these people.

MG, Preston

After we contacted the insurer on your behalf, the wheels turned faster, and you have been refunded the £3,378 you were owed.

Allianz Assistance says: “We were very sorry to hear about the death and passed on our sincerest condolences when we were in communication with him.

“We also apologised for the additional stress caused by the delay in processing his claim, as this fell short of our normal high standards. We confirm we have sent a payment to the customer in full settlement of his claim.”

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at consumer.champions@theguardian.com or write to Consumer Champions, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions

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