Insurance + compensation


I'm making a short documentary about military insurance and compensation. I'm studying a Masters in TV Journalism.

While I've been reading up on this, I've come across some pretty shocking stuff. I don't think many people know that you guys have to take out your own private insurance. My cousin is in the TA and told me that although the MoD has its own insurance scheme, it does 'advise' you guys to take out additional insurance.

I'm trying to find some personnel who would not mind talking to me about this, for example did they get much advise from the MOD, how have they found the cost of the schemes, how did they know what schemes to go for, have they had to claim and how did they find the differences with the AFCS and their private choice, etc

If you or anyone you know would be able to explain your feelings on this very important issue, I'd be very grateful. If you are happy with it/not/indifferent, either way I' be really keen to get some info.

I think this is a really big issue which the general public is very ignorant to.

We are next week interviewing someone in the Royal British Legion who will talk to us about this, and they are working on the Campaign for the Military Covenant. But I'd really like to get the view of personnel.

Your help would be much appreciated.

Many thanks

For some reason you sent me a PM with the same text.

In answer. The MoD does not operate an insurance scheme. It self insures (as do all sufficiently large organisations). It does not insure servicemen. It offers a fixed level of compensation should injuries occur. Levels are fixed by Ministerial decree. These can be changed by a challenge in the High Court. As yet no-one has done so (successfully). The money comes from the current MoD budget (people on this site can tell you exactly from where).

The PAX insurance is recommended by MoD to serving personnel. It is an insurance product of the AIG group of the US. This product was designed for the low-loss ratios experienced by the British Armed Forces in operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, etc. It was not designed for high tempo warfighting.

AIG has recently (in the last 3 years) paid out settlements that exceed the entire profits for the last 10 years, thus making a large loss on the product. AIG are not a charity. AIG employees have a legal obligation to their shareholders to maximise profit. PAX was an excellent product. Sadly the tempo of operations, combined with the ever reducing size of the Royal Navy, Army and Crab Air mean that it is impossible to sustain without dramatic increases in premiums.

In an ideal world the need for PAX would not exist. But if the government covered injuries to the same extent it used to be possible under PAX, then other groups of society (fireman, posties, plod, accountants, etc) would complain that "effing hell! A squaddie only has to trip up on a wet nightclub floor and is rich for life".

The personal injuries 'market' in the UK is undergoing a period of tremendous flux (and has been for the last 6-8 years). As lawyers and courts get used to demanding and giving ever higher levels of compensation and punitive damages, so that the following will occur: 1. The Government will be unable to afford to maintain the compensation levels of its own scheme with those awarded by the courts. 2. cost of insurance will continue to increase until the actuaries are happy (e.g. a loss ratio of less than 60% on a closed bordereaux).

Both the public and recruits to the Armed Forces need to be educated about the situation. However it is far down on the list of things to do. Ask any 100 civvies some questions about the Army. I can guarantee you that a minimum of 30% will believe that HMF personnel pay no tax, food or accommodation charges.


PS I have been out of the Army since Sept 11, 2001. I have worked extensively with AIG in various emerging markets. They are professional and honour their contractual obligations, but (correctly) see no reason why they should be shafted because a stalinist who hates the Army currently resides in No10 Downing Street.

PPS Your time might be better employed speaking to Hackle and other BAFF characters on this site. The true scandal is not that soldiers buy their own insurance (it would be a scandal if they couldnt), but the way the MoD refuses to accept Court orders for compensation and reparations to injured soldiers. Why the MoD applies immense pressure on veterans to accept shabby settlements. In fact, why not do a show on how badly the MoD treats veterans from the Regs and TA who have been injured, discharged and forgotten by the 'system'? See if you can get any of the slippery people from MoD on camera (if so, please include their name and home address in the credits).

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