Private Investor: Claiming for your accident could prove a right pain
Saturday 21 August 2004
I am old enough to remember a world pre-Google. I suppose almost everyone is, come to think of it, given how recently Google appeared on the scene.
I am old enough to remember a world pre-Google. I suppose almost everyone is, come to think of it, given how recently Google appeared on the scene. I remember when I first heard of it, when it was suggested to me by a technically minded colleague as an alternative to the then ubiquitous Yahoo. That was as far back as 1996, I think.
But the rapidity and possible fragility of the Google phenomenon has evidently made its float extremely hazardous. They say one should only invest in things one understands, and, while seemingly everyone uses Google all the time, I for one do not really know how Google makes its money. Thus, in common with so many, I have steered clear of its float.
I might be tempted, but I'll have to put "Google" and "business model" into the search engine first. For now, I have been distracted by a much more mundane sort of financial affair.
Years ago during a spell looking for work (sounds so much nicer than "six months on the dole", don't you think?) one of the rules I decided to follow to protect my morale and sanity was "don't read the bank statement". Nowadays I'm much more inclined to take the time to run through the items, each entry telling its own story of love, hate and debauchery. I recommend you to do the same because you can see those little bits of inertia selling you have found yourself prey to. You know, the old gym club membership that you never use; the direct debit for an investment that you should have stopped ages ago; the accident and sickness plan you signed up to years ago, but which is pretty useless.
I did indeed sign up for one of those accident and sickness plans that feed on human worry and frailty. Back in 1993 the AA promoted a scheme run by Eagle Star that for £5 a month would give very modest benefits for very serious injuries. Now on my bank statement I see the monthly payment has risen to £7 or so, because of the inflation linking I agreed to when I signed up and is now payable to www.zurich.co.uk, ie Zurich Insurance, which took over Eagle Star years ago.
I wanted to stop the payments but it occurred to me as well that I might be eligible to make a claim for some time I spent in hospital over a year ago after a nasty injury to my arm. I guessed that the injury and small disability that resulted from it wouldn't qualify for a proper payout, but I thought it might be worth asking.
I guess the policy has set me back about £700 since I set it up. Quite a bit when you look at it that way. Having eventually found a phone number for the people who now run the scheme I find that I'm not eligible to make a claim so late. In fact, you have to make a claim within a month of the injury, at least as it was explained to me by the Zurich/Eagle Star staff. I exploded. I cannot understand the mentality that lies behind such a rule.
Imagine if you had just been in some horrific industrial accident and you lost your sight. You might, in those circumstances, have bigger things on your mind than your AA/Eagle Star/Zurich policy. Even if you paid in thousands, it would seem that you won't get a penny, automatically and as of right, if you claimed, say, six weeks on.
When I checked all this a few weeks later before writing this article, this "30-day rule" was confirmed, although this time I wasn't just told (in effect) to get lost but that they would "look on each case on its own merits" if claims are made after 30 days. I was also told that I ought to read my policy documents more carefully, which I suppose is true. I was also informed that the 30-day rule was something that the AA had stipulated, rather than Eagle Star/Zurich.
I suppose it's still worth having a go at a claim, but I doubt if I'll have much success. I am left with the thought that if I'd put my £5 or £7 a month into a high-interest savings account I'd have had about £1,000 to defray incidental hospital costs, such as a taxi or two, (I was on the NHS) and the pain and inconvenience of the after-effects of my accident. Self-insurance would have been a much better option.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits record low as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West
iJobs Money & Business
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...
£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...
Day In a Page
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens