WARNING TO ALL ref Hospital Plan Assurance Services

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Resources' started by Helena, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    715
    WARNING to everyone to check both theirs and their parents have not taken out policies from

    Hospital Plan and Life Assurances Services
    44,Baker St
    London

    It seems they operate on the "free for a year " principal probably sent out via Saga or from a Building Society but with a Direct Debit for £1.75 or £3.95 a month thereafter which the elderly forget to cancel and simply do not understand the terms and conditions

    My Mother had both of these policies and as you know she spent 5 weeks in hospital after a fall due to a mini stroke and thus contracting pneumonia and then cellulitis and clostridium difficile all of which turned mild occasional confusion states to total confusion /dementia and death

    Hospital Plan are refusing to pay out the paltry sum of £100 a month less 30% because she is over 80 on the grounds that the ward she was in is not a surgical ward

    Basically any policy this bunch produce is not worth the paper its written on and may well have been misold
     
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    #2 jenniferpa, Dec 7, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2006
    FYI this is an extract from Moneybox 2004 (slightly different name, but same address)

    Complete transcript http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/programmes/money_box/transcripts/04_01_31.txt

    "LEWIS: Robert Chote from the Institute for Fiscal Studies
    thanks and as I said the budget will be on Wednesday March 17th. Now
    people who?ve signed a direct debit instruction thinking they were just
    claiming a cash prize could get their money back under the direct debit
    guarantee. Two weeks ago Money Box reported on Hospital Plan
    Insurance Services. It uses direct mail letters to market an insurance
    policy but the letters say simply you?ve won a cash prize. It asks you to
    fill in a prize claim form at the bottom of your letter but the form is also
    a direct debit instruction and by filling it in you do get the prize
    normally £5 but you?re also signing up for the company?s insurance
    policy and authorising monthly direct debits from your bank account.
    Well Money Box showed a letter containing the claim form to the direct
    debit scheme run by the banks. They told us it didn?t comply with their
    rules and I asked its spokesperson Sandra Quinn what was wrong with
    it?


    QUINN: The direct debit was wrong in one main area and
    that was it confused the cash prize draw with the direct debit instruction
    so that somebody could feel they were signing up for a cash prize but
    were in fact signing up for a direct debit instruction and that would be
    misleading.


    LEWIS: And the way that it says prize claim form as a
    kind of heading over the direct debit is that really the heart of what was
    wrong with it?


    QUINN: Essentially that?s right.


    LEWIS: What can APACS do about this?


    QUINN: We?ve raised this with the bank who sponsor
    HPIS into the direct debiting scheme. We?ve told them what we think
    should be amended and following that we?ve now seen a copy of their
    next mailing which we think meets the requirements of the scheme.
    But is for the individual bank to ensure that they do that and they
    continue to meet the requirements of the scheme.


    LEWIS: So as a result of this ? this form will be changed
    for the next mailing?


    QUINN: Thankfully yes.


    LEWIS: And does the fact that it was wrong in its format,
    does that invalidate any direct debits that have been sent through on it?


    QUINN: It would certainly make HPIS?s stand very
    difficult if they?d not met the requirements of the scheme because I
    would argue that that would make a direct debit claim under the
    guarantee for a customer very easy to meet.


    LEWIS; So people who?d filled this form in and perhaps
    were mislead could possibly get their money back?


    QUINN: Absolutely.


    LEWIS: So if you?ve claimed a cash prize from HPIS and
    didn?t realise you?d authorised a direct debit payment and don?t want
    the insurance you can ask your bank to cancel it and refund any money
    you?ve already paid. Well that?s all we have time for today. "


    So, not the most ethical of companies methinks.

    Jennifer
     
  3. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Thanks for this Helena....

    Came across this company in the 90s ..... as many others ... using 'ploys' to have people sign up for something they didn't fully understand ..... Joe Public, general ... not necessarily 'vulnerable people'...... (and I refrain from mentioning certain other companies for fear of breaching the confidentiality I had to subscribe to then.....)

    Banks - through APACS - sponsor people as fit to operate financially within the 'direct debiting world' .... THAT'S ALL ..... it is not for them to question the ethics behind the business (unless they are aware it is illegal and then are duty bound to report it appropriately...... ) just that they operate their 'financial' business within banking guidelines....

    Sadly, it is not yet illegal to 'dupe' people ...... and APACS have no jurisdiction on that score ....

    I'm all for direct debits .... but the guarantee is about just that - how the banks administer the instructions given to honour or not the direct debits .... they have no responsibility for the contract behind it......

    Sounds like Insurance Ombudsman rather then his banking counterpart would be the one for this... if you feel you've got a case ..... and it's worth your time and effort pursuing for what they are likely to pay out.....

    Love, Karen, x
     
  4. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    715
    Now trading as www.americanlife.co.uk and still pushing 50-80 plans that are just as much rubbish as My Mother was sucked into
     
  5. gledhillda

    gledhillda Registered User

    Feb 3, 2013
    2
    #5 gledhillda, Sep 22, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2013
    HI I wish I had been a member of the forum when you first posted this warning! my dear late father had signed up for them for years, paying them a small fortune over the years.

    however at 84 after he fell down the stairs and rapidly developed severe dementia 10 days later, suffered a couple of years of quite severe mental distress before passing away peacefully. We tried to make a claim for mental incapacity caused by the fall but they have insisted that he had dementia already. This is despite the evidence that he was fully lucid the day before the fall, having driven to the doctors about a stomach complaint and on the day of the fall I had a very enjoyable long conversation with him. Indeed he was a retired minister of the Baptist church and was still involved in religious activities at times even helping at the local Christian respite centre.

    Hospital plan referred the claim to something called doctors chambers who seem to be just agents of the insurance company as they sided with them, ignoring the evidence in the medical history that he had never had any problems with memory etc. Indeed after when I got copies of his prior medical history there was nothing to give any evidence of that at all. There was only an assumption from some of the specialists who he had seem him AFTER the fall that he had had a prior history of memory problems. I don’t know where they got that from as they had never seen him before the fall.

    So a warning to others that if you need to make a claim it may not be that easy!. I’m in the process of contesting the claim but I’m told that I need to employ a consultant to provide a different report, however Im trying to get them to request doctor’s chambers to redo the original report this time taking into account the facts in the medical history and also statements from people who knew him before and after the fall.

    If this doesn’t work and I have to employ a consultant I’m not sure what this is likely to cost or if it will be worth the expense. If anyone else has any suggestions or experience in this area that would be much appreciated!. In particular I would to know if there are any consultants known to the group who would be able and willing to write a report if it comes to that.

    Thanks and good luck with hospital plan if your loved ones are still paying them! Of course this may not be a typical example, to be fair they have always paid out readily for the days he previously had to spend time in hospital. It may be that they are less eager to pay out on the accidental injury cover part of the policy?

    Regard David
     
  6. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,892
    Kent
    NB:

    This Thread was started in 2006 so it is unclear whether or not the points raised still apply.
     

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