Have I just put 20+ years of premiums down the pan?? :-(

In the mid  1980's  I was a driving instructor and took a loan out to but a new car. I covered the loan with a short term income protection plan ( sickness and unemployment) that I probably  bought through an independent  broker.
I kept the policy going because I kept on renewing my cars. I think the original insurer  then sold all this type of business and the policy  was taken over by Assurant solutions in 2007. I know that in  2012 Assurant solutions sent me a policy review which indicated they did not know my profession or the value of the protection needed, the policy review also indicated that this is a payment protection policy, but I have also found some Assurant solutions documents indicating it is an income protection policy.

In 1991 I gave up my self employment as a driving instructor but basically remained self employed until I became employed in the education sector 2001. Health & Sickness cover in this profession is very good and I then probably didn't need the policy, ...ie having 6 months sickness available through my employer. 
Since 2001 I have have been class1 employed with good sickness cover. I am now nearly 64 years old and until now, I have never had reason to claim on this policy.

I have chronic arthritis in my hands and and fingers  and despite my own and my employers best efforts to make reasonable adjustments,  I can no longer continue in my recent profession as a hands on care-taker, so I have had to resign.  I am now unemployed.  

I have spoken to the insurer to enquire if I can make a claim on the policy. I have asked if they can tell me when the original policy was taken out and they only can tell me when their  policy started. They don't seem to be able to provide any original booklets or information on this policy.
I have been asked to complete both an illness/sickness claim and an unemployment claim. At this stage nobody at Assurant could tell me if my own resignation would invalidate my unemployment claim.... and then asking my arthritis consultant surgeon and my GP to complete  forms indicating I am unemployable due to my condition seems extreme.
I am now wondering if the total mismanagement of this policy was all down to me. ...for some 20 years I probably didn't need it as I  had cover through my employer.


Comments

  • Your history of premiums isn't relevant and old policy documents will have long been superseded.

    All you need to do now is put your claim in and see if you are covered under your current terms. 
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,451
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    les111a said:
    At this stage nobody at Assurant could tell me if my own resignation would invalidate my unemployment claim.... and then asking my arthritis consultant surgeon and my GP to complete  forms indicating I am unemployable due to my condition seems extreme.

    From what I understand it seems reasonable that the medical status needs to be verified as that is the very basis of any claim and the difference between "cover may apply - resignation was because no other option" and "cover does not apply - you simply chose to stop work"
  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Posts: 115,734
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     the policy review also indicated that this is a payment protection policy, but I have also found some Assurant solutions documents indicating it is an income protection policy.
    It would be a PPI policy.    Income protection comes in two forms. PPI version (the budget type) and PHI (the quality type).  Assurant did the former.

     I have asked if they can tell me when the original policy was taken out and they only can tell me when their  policy started.
    If it was not sold by one of their staff, they wouldn't know when it was taken out. Just the commencement date.

    They don't seem to be able to provide any original booklets or information on this policy.
    I doubt they hold any original booklets from that era and wouldn't be expected to.  Policy information would have long gone electronic.

     At this stage nobody at Assurant could tell me if my own resignation would invalidate my unemployment claim
    Not unexpected as the immediate staff wouldn't want to prejudice the claim on the policy and as its a very old plan, they wouldn't know anyway.

    I am now wondering if the total mismanagement of this policy was all down to me. ...for some 20 years I probably didn't need it as I  had cover through my employer.
    You are responsible for your finances.   You need to complete the claims process and wait and see.  Resignation and unable to work due to illness are two different things.



    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • well thanks for the confirmation of my thoughts, it looks like i have thrown away year and year of premiums unnecessarily, I'll have to complete the claim forms and see what happens,  I had hoped that the new provider had some sort of  limited responsibility in ensuring that the policy was still fit for  purpose and that they could supply me with the original terms and conditions under which the policy had bee purchased.
     
  • Sandtree
    Sandtree Posts: 10,628
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    les111a said:
    well thanks for the confirmation of my thoughts, it looks like i have thrown away year and year of premiums unnecessarily, I'll have to complete the claim forms and see what happens,  I had hoped that the new provider had some sort of  limited responsibility in ensuring that the policy was still fit for  purpose and that they could supply me with the original terms and conditions under which the policy had bee purchased.
     
    So you would have preferred to have been ill or unemployed?

    Most people buy insurance hoping that they never need to make a claim, same as equipment to deal with fires/emergencies etc. It doesnt mean the money was "wasted" as you have the peace of mind that protection was there if the worst happened.

    As you identified, you bought an ASU policy which is also known as PPI. This is an annual policy (unlike PHI) and so what the terms were 20 years ago when you bought your first policy is irrelevant, its the terms that are in force for this year's policy that will be used to determine if either of your claims are payable. 

    Havent looked at an ASU policy for some time but ordinarily resignation will result in a decline however there can be exceptions. Why did you take this root rather than going through the process with your employer and have them dismiss you for being unable to do the job?

    ASU is not medically underwritten at inception, another difference to PHI, and so its perfectly normal for them to require a reasonable amount of information from your doctors at the point of claim. For a start they want to know if the condition predates the policy, if the docs agree your condition stops you working etc.
  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Posts: 115,734
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     I had hoped that the new provider had some sort of  limited responsibility in ensuring that the policy was still fit for  purpose and that they could supply me with the original terms and conditions under which the policy had bee purchased.
    No.  The provider is a product manufacturer (think of them like any other retail product).  You buy the product but even then they do not need to ensure suitability.   The seller, if advised, has to ensure suitability.   If you bypass an adviser then you take on that responsibility.   

    Only if you employed an adviser on an ongoing basis would they be expected to ensure ongoing suitability.    That is very unusual with insurance products.  Far more common with investment and pension products.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • Why did you take this root rather than going through the process with your employer and have them dismiss you for being unable to do the job?
    i resigned because i thought it was the proper thing to do.... i respect the employer greatly and they worked hard to keep me ...making all the reasonable adjustment that they could do.... but in the end my hands and fingers became just too painful.... and nothing more could be done... i am now awaiting new finger joints.... i just thought out of respect for the employer  and to keep things simple it was the proper thing to do.  ....in retrospect i can now see i should have been dismissed.
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