For Prudential the prompt payment of claims to provide immediate help in time of emergency is a central part of customer service. Prudential collectors were always on hand to provide rapid financial relief to beneficiaries when calamity struck.
During the Second World War there was even a case in which a claim was paid to the heirs of a man killed in an air raid barely an hour after taking out a policy on his own life. Allowances were also made for cases in which claimants' policies and supporting documentation had been destroyed along with their other possessions.
The Sun newspaper's profile of Prudential, published in 1894, observed that ‘no serious accident occurs among the masses of people without including in its death-roll persons who are assured with the company'.
Localised disasters, such as the floods on the Lincolnshire and East Anglian coasts in 1953 brought out the gallantry and efficiency of the Prudential field staff, who were often among the first on the scene. More recently, claims have been paid following the grounding of the Braer oil tanker at Garth Ness, Shetland in 1993 and widespread flooding in 2000.
A wide range of claims has been covered by Prudential over the years, including fire, flood, marine, motor, railway, industrial and domestic accidents. Most notoriously, the sinking of the Titanic on 14 April 1912 resulted in the loss of over 1,500 lives; by June 1912, Prudential had paid £14,239 in claims for 324 lives.