Insurers refuse to pay out to soldiers widow

#1
The original thread about the death of Captain Ken Masters is locked but I thought this latest twist should be brought to Arrse's notice..
Independent
Insurers refuse to pay out to soldier's widow
By Ian Herbert
Published: 17 February 2007

An American company contracted to provide life insurance to British soldiers serving in Iraq is refusing to accept liability for the death of a military police officer because it does not accept that he died in service.

Captain Ken Masters, who led investigations into allegations of abuse against British troops in Basra, took his own life in October 2005 after the pressures of his position became too much for him. The coroner who presided over his inquest has asked the MoD to improve systems to deal with the kind of psychological damage he suffered. But AIG, which by arrangement with the Army receives payments direct from soldiers' salaries, does not include psychological harm within its definition of "bodily injury" covered by its policy and has now told Captain Masters' widow, Alison, that she has no entitlement.

The company, whose record £56.5m sponsorship of Manchester United is part of its attempts to increase its European presence, informed Mrs Masters last July that she was entitled to a payout and asked her to spend £700 obtaining a grant of probate, detailing her husband's estate, ahead of it. But on 2 February - seven months after the initial correspondence - AIG informed her that she would not be paid after all. Instead, it is offering her a single ex-gratia payment of £2,500 to compensate her for the way it has handled the case.

"We note that we gave you the impression that we would pay the claim," AIG told her. "We also understand that you occurred accountants' fees. We appreciate that caused you unnecessary distress and inconvenience at such a sad time."

Soldiers heading to Iraq are encouraged by the Ministry of Defence to take out life insurance and AIG is contracted to provide it. The firm advertises heavily in The Soldier magazine and has a presence in offices at British Army bases including Lisburn, Northern Ireland, where Capt Masters was based before leaving for Iraq. Soldiers typically contribute up to £46 a month for cover, which pays about £150,000 to their dependants if they are killed and as much as £750,000 if they are injured and need lifelong nursing care.

The firm reportedly introduced new exclusions to its policy in 2003, removing insurance for "dirty bomb" attacks because the threat of a terrorist incident was considered so high.

Like most other soldiers, Capt Masters signed up to 10 units which would pay out £100,000 should he die in Iraq. But it has taken the firm until now to tell Mrs Masters that she will not be paid. The delays prompted her to request a copy of the terms and conditions of the initial policy in November and - after these failed to materialise - she requested a conversation with a manager at the firm, on 9 January. A manager did call her several days later but it was a further month before the terms and conditions arrived - with the letter which told her that AIG would not be paying out.

Mrs Masters fears her struggle to establish some financial security for her two daughters is one that other widows may be experiencing. "It's just been a fight this last year," she said. "I badly want to ensure that the widows who will inevitably come up behind me will not face more of the same."

Nearly 18 months after Capt Masters' death, Mrs Masters also still awaits the results of the Army's Board of Inquiry into the death, which was held last November. This heard how the decorated Special Investigation Branch officer had told two GPs, a psychiatric nurse and an Army padre of his mental state in the weeks before he was found hanged in his barrack room in Basra.

Mrs Masters has expressed a desire to discuss the mental effects of the conflict with the MoD. After asking for a meeting with the Defence Secretary, Des Browne, to discuss her concerns, she was told via her MP last July that the MoD had "experienced some difficulty in obtaining a date for a meeting." Mr Browne was asked for an alternative date - but no meeting has been held.

The MoD said yesterday that though AIG was contracted to provide insurance, Army personnel were not allowed to push soldiers into taking out the firm's policies. "That must be a soldier's decision. He must make the approach," said an MoD spokesman. AIG was unable to discuss the case.

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/legal/article2278072.ece
 
#2
Thats really hard on Mrs Masters.

Suicide has always been a none payment by insurance companies, and unfortunately until PTSD is officially recognised they probably won't budge.

Excuse my ignorance, but is AIG and PAX one and the same now?
 
#3
When first reading this, I took the view that although very sad, Captain Ken Masters took his own life and if this wasn't covered under the plan then they were right not pay out.

However, I then read this.

The company... informed Mrs Masters last July that she was entitled to a payout and asked her to spend £700 obtaining a grant of probate, detailing her husband's estate, ahead of it. But on 2 February - seven months after the initial correspondence - AIG informed her that she would not be paid after all. Instead, it is offering her a single ex-gratia payment of £2,500 to compensate her for the way it has handled the case.
What the fuck? Having told her she's entitled, not paying out is nothing short of disgusting. They're dealing with a grieving widow, not a broken TV set and the payout is nothing but pennies to a company that large.

Cunts.
 
#5
S-D

If this is PAX I don't agree with you there it is a very good policy and there really is no alternative.

I've looked at various insurances, one in particular was very shadowy saying that i wasn't covered for specific aspects of the job, but refused to declare what those aspects were.

I doubt whether there is a policy out there that covers suicide, so AIG can hardly be held to book for following this.

I do think someone shoud get a right good kick in the pants for not knowing their own policy and AIG do appear to offer a form of apology, though i am sure this will mean nothing to Mrs Masters and my thoughts are certainly with her on this and not on the Insurance company.

Personally i think that suicide should be covered by the policy that is supposedly tailor made for the services that have to put up with stresses and strains that the normal civilian does not understand, this is what should be pushed by the hierarchy.

Pulling out altogether will leave alot of soldiers uncovered and alot of families really in the strife if the worst should happen.
 
#7
Suicides do seem to be a bar on payouts, also I wonder If services pensions will pay out in cases of Suicides ?
better look into that.

I know of a case , Its still ongoing at the moment so cannot name names, but sufficient to say a Policeman was suffering from stress from his job, considering the things most Policeman see I have every sympathy, deilberately walked into the road and killed himself, the Coronor and Police Chiefs are trying to make find ways to have it recorded as an accident so the Pension will payout to the widow, I hope the Pension trustees has agreed to payout.
 
#8
semper said:
Suicides do seem to be a bar on payouts, also I wonder If services pensions will pay out in cases of Suicides ?
better look into that.

I know of a case , Its still ongoing at the moment so cannot name names, but sufficient to say a Policeman was suffering from stress from his job, considering the things most Policeman see I have every sympathy, deilberately walked into the road and killed himself, the Coronor and Police Chiefs are trying to make find ways to have it recorded as an accident so the Pension will payout to the widow, I hope the Pension trustees has agreed to payout.
My life insurance with Legal and General does cover suicide, but I got this after I'd gotten out. Disgraceful conduct by AIG, MOD and the SoS.
 
#12
This is stupid. The MoD should provide an insurance pool for all military and then pass it through to a Lloyds Syndicate. what is the point of having Lloyds of London if it cannot insure risks for British miliary personnel ?
 
#16
GDav said:
Letterwritingman said:
just checked mine.......suicide is covered.
Bolleaux. Suicide is never covered - for very good and obvious reasons.
Not always GDav.

Each life insurance policy is different, but most contain a suicide provision. The suicide provision states that if the person covered by the life insurance policy dies as the result of suicide within two years from the policy issue date then any beneficiaries would not be able to collect the death benefit. Otherwise, after the two year suicide provision period, the policy should pay the death benefit to the beneficiaries. But, again, check the policy's exclusions section, since the suicide provision can be different for each policy.
From http://personalinsure.about.com/od/faq1/f/lifefaq5.htm
 
#17
Oracle said:
GDav said:
Letterwritingman said:
just checked mine.......suicide is covered.
Bolleaux. Suicide is never covered - for very good and obvious reasons.
Not always GDav.

Each life insurance policy is different, but most contain a suicide provision. The suicide provision states that if the person covered by the life insurance policy dies as the result of suicide within two years from the policy issue date then any beneficiaries would not be able to collect the death benefit. Otherwise, after the two year suicide provision period, the policy should pay the death benefit to the beneficiaries. But, again, check the policy's exclusions section, since the suicide provision can be different for each policy.
From http://personalinsure.about.com/od/faq1/f/lifefaq5.htm
No point in trying to argue the semantics of the case. Insurance companies will not pay out for suicide or any other form of self injury. I'd love to see the crack when somebody tried to claim for a death caused by a suicide attempt. You're on a beaten docket there mate, no matter how hard you try and argue it.
 
#18
GDav said:
Letterwritingman said:
just checked mine.......suicide is covered.
Bolleaux. Suicide is never covered - for very good and obvious reasons.
There is a lot of conflicting information on that question. Insurance companies will not, for good and obvious reasons, wish to encourage any expectation that they will ever pay out on a life policy in the event of the life assured taking his or her own life.

However, I have seen policies containing a suicide exclusion but limited to a period from the date of taking out the policy - as pointed out earlier by Oracle.

I have an actual example in front of me, although not from a recent policy. I am no insurance expert, but am guessing that the various forms of suicide exclusion tend to be stricter now than before. If I was giving any advice on this, it would be - do not assume after the event that an insurance company will never pay out under these circumstances.
 
#19
hansvonhealing said:
The original thread about the death of Captain Ken Masters is locked but I thought this latest twist should be brought to Arrse's notice..
Independent
Insurers refuse to pay out to soldier's widow
By Ian Herbert
Published: 17 February 2007

An American company contracted to provide life insurance to British soldiers serving in Iraq is refusing to accept liability for the death of a military police officer because it does not accept that he died in service.

Captain Ken Masters, who led investigations into allegations of abuse against British troops in Basra, took his own life in October 2005 after the pressures of his position became too much for him. The coroner who presided over his inquest has asked the MoD to improve systems to deal with the kind of psychological damage he suffered. But AIG, which by arrangement with the Army receives payments direct from soldiers' salaries, does not include psychological harm within its definition of "bodily injury" covered by its policy and has now told Captain Masters' widow, Alison, that she has no entitlement.

The company, whose record £56.5m sponsorship of Manchester United is part of its attempts to increase its European presence, informed Mrs Masters last July that she was entitled to a payout and asked her to spend £700 obtaining a grant of probate, detailing her husband's estate, ahead of it. But on 2 February - seven months after the initial correspondence - AIG informed her that she would not be paid after all. Instead, it is offering her a single ex-gratia payment of £2,500 to compensate her for the way it has handled the case.

"We note that we gave you the impression that we would pay the claim," AIG told her. "We also understand that you occurred accountants' fees. We appreciate that caused you unnecessary distress and inconvenience at such a sad time."

Soldiers heading to Iraq are encouraged by the Ministry of Defence to take out life insurance and AIG is contracted to provide it. The firm advertises heavily in The Soldier magazine and has a presence in offices at British Army bases including Lisburn, Northern Ireland, where Capt Masters was based before leaving for Iraq. Soldiers typically contribute up to £46 a month for cover, which pays about £150,000 to their dependants if they are killed and as much as £750,000 if they are injured and need lifelong nursing care.

The firm reportedly introduced new exclusions to its policy in 2003, removing insurance for "dirty bomb" attacks because the threat of a terrorist incident was considered so high.

Like most other soldiers, Capt Masters signed up to 10 units which would pay out £100,000 should he die in Iraq. But it has taken the firm until now to tell Mrs Masters that she will not be paid. The delays prompted her to request a copy of the terms and conditions of the initial policy in November and - after these failed to materialise - she requested a conversation with a manager at the firm, on 9 January. A manager did call her several days later but it was a further month before the terms and conditions arrived - with the letter which told her that AIG would not be paying out.

Mrs Masters fears her struggle to establish some financial security for her two daughters is one that other widows may be experiencing. "It's just been a fight this last year," she said. "I badly want to ensure that the widows who will inevitably come up behind me will not face more of the same."

Nearly 18 months after Capt Masters' death, Mrs Masters also still awaits the results of the Army's Board of Inquiry into the death, which was held last November. This heard how the decorated Special Investigation Branch officer had told two GPs, a psychiatric nurse and an Army padre of his mental state in the weeks before he was found hanged in his barrack room in Basra.

Mrs Masters has expressed a desire to discuss the mental effects of the conflict with the MoD. After asking for a meeting with the Defence Secretary, Des Browne, to discuss her concerns, she was told via her MP last July that the MoD had "experienced some difficulty in obtaining a date for a meeting." Mr Browne was asked for an alternative date - but no meeting has been held.

The MoD said yesterday that though AIG was contracted to provide insurance, Army personnel were not allowed to push soldiers into taking out the firm's policies. "That must be a soldier's decision. He must make the approach," said an MoD spokesman. AIG was unable to discuss the case.

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/legal/article2278072.ece
Tight clowns,disrespectful and damned ungrateful,boils my blood.
Anyway the answer to this is if his partner approaches a very good psychiatrist or maybe two, she will be able to prove that Ken was traumatised by his service in Iraq.

It is a long process yet she can get this to court and she will have a good chance of proving her case. She needs good legal representation.
This is just a hoop that many serving or ex-serving men and women have got to find the strength to jump through, to prove their condition is attributable to service.

I hope she sues them. Get it before a judge, get the Royal British Legion on board(they help for free and they are very good at fighting this kind of injustice ). She can get justice. I hope she finds the strength.

Insurance companies are not all the same-TIGHT SODDS.
:pissedoff:
 
#20
There is no point. If it is proved he knew he had the pre-existing mental condition of PTSD then the insurance policy will be deemed invalid.

You've got to be really careful with insurance companies. Sure they'll take your money but when it comes to paying out they will look for any clause they can enforce to avoid it. Anything to do with mental illnesses has them in a frenzy.
 

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