TheChauffeur.com reported in March 2012 on Chris Hargreaves, a chauffeur who has been battling for many years to claim on an income protection policy after ill health. The insurer had previously refused to pay out saying that the terms had been “misunderstood”.
He appeared on BBC’s Rip Off Britain this week to warn other chauffeurs about the risk of similar policies which may not be worth the paper they are written on. Scottish Provident had previously refused to pay out on Mr Hargreaves’ income protection policy, despite doctors confirming that Mr Hargreaves is unable to work.
After building up a chauffeur business for fifteen years, Chris suddenly went ill and spent three months in hospital with internal bleeding, a blood clot on the lung and suspected cancer. However, the insurance policy did not cover ‘own-occupation’ so it refused the payout.
Scottish Provident eventually paid out just over £4,000 on the policy following an order from the financial ombudsman – half than what was initially being claimed. However, his campaign has not stopped there as Chris has managed to gather thousands of followers on his twitter account which is aimed to raise awareness and change the way policies are worded.
In a tearful interview, Chris said; “One expert told me you would have to be in a coma for a payout. I set up this campaign to try and make a difference, but it’s still so upsetting and distressing that I’ve had to do it. It’s disgusting that anybody can be treated the way we have been treated.’
Scottish provident told the BBC, “Our policies have been extremely successful in providing many thousands of people with a secure financial future. This case showed us there is an industry wide issue around the assumptions customers make and their understanding of different levels of cover. We are working on changes to modernise work task definitions and review which occupations are eligible for our ‘own-occupation’ cover.”
You can follow Chris’s campaign on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/scotprovsaysno