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; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk
Buying property overseas? Check out these hotspots
China stock collapse: Five things you need to know about 'Black Monday'
Kate Hudson's online sports brand Fabletics drains your account if you don't say 'stop'
Bargain Hunter: Exclusive discount on a SmartGlider - a self-balancing electric scooter
Number of parents moving to their desired school catchment area is increasing, according to Santander research
- 1 Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
- 2 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 3 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 4 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...
Day In a Page
With four bedrooms, this spacious maisonette in a mid-terrace period-style house in Holland Road is well-maintained and offers high ceilings and period features.
The terraces of this two-bedroom penthouse apartment offer panoramic views that stretch over fifty miles from the cliffs of Beachy Head.
In the heart of the coastal village of Mumbles and moments from the pier, this five-bedroom Victorian terrace is set over three floors and retains many original features.
In a sandbanks location, moments from the beach, this three-bedroom apartment has a large open-plan living area and a south-west facing balcony.
This four-bedroom home has an annexe accessed from the side of the house, with potential for improvement and conversion subject to the necessary permissions.
In the heart of the hamlet of Wardley, this five-bedroom period home offers countryside views and a stylish interior, with original features and open fireplaces.
Offering countryside views and landscaped gardens, this three-bedroom Grade II-listed lodge has a spacious conservatory and a large cellar that could serve as a workshop.
Set in approximately 1.5 acres, this four-bedroom home comes with a second, detached property that's currently used as an annexe.
In the hamlet of Newchurch, this former parish church is now a four-bedroom home complete with clock tower and eyrie.
Offering scenic views from a large balcony and sun terrace, this four-bedroom home has a wraparound garden and a heated swimming pool.
Offering views across the Humber and East Yorkshire Wolds from a glass panelled balcony, this four-bedroom barn-style home befits a life of leisure.
This four-bedroom home offers versatile accommodation with annexe potential; features include a hot tub, sauna and Norwegian BBQ hut.
Well-located for schools, colleges and the town centre, this contemporary thatched cottage offers flexible living space with six bedrooms.
Built in 1907, this four-bedroom Edwardian period home has been refurbished by the current owners, retaining many original period features.
Surrounded by landscaped gardens, this five-bedroom home offers living space across three floors.
This lovely country home in Burnham Market is currently run as a popular holiday cottage, with five en suite bedrooms and colourful gardens.
This three-bedroom 17th-century former village bakery is just a few miles from the East Sussex coast.
Set on a landscaped plot, this light and airy four-bedroom home comes with a log burner in the lounge, a fitted kitchen and an open-plan ground-floor layout.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
Built on a former chapel site, this impressive four-bedroom home boasts balconies, stunning views and contemporary modern living.
This three-bedroom house is situated in a quiet mews and set over three floors. Features include glazed staircases and high ceilings.
A period townhouse set over four floors, this five-bedroom home was built in the 18th Century and retains many original features.
With five bedrooms, this spacious home offers beautiful gardens and modern interiors - set within the popular market town of Bingley.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
In the pretty market town of Bungay, this grade II-listed Mill House is arranged over four floors, offering four bedrooms and three reception areas.
This first-floor flat comes with two bedrooms, an impressive open-plan reception room and two lovely roof terraces.
This five-bedroom home comes with a range of outbuildings including a large barn which could be converted into a self-contained granny-flat or rental.
Moored at Taggs Island and reached via a pretty garden, this two-bedroom houseboat has a vaulted reception room and skylit garden studio - currently a beauty salon.
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
A contemporary house spread over three storeys, this three-bedroom detached home has large sliding doors that open out to the River Quaggy.
Moored in Chelsea's Cheyne Walk, this houseboat offers two double bedrooms and a teak deck that's ideal for al-fresco dining.
This former village bakery, dating back to the 17th century, is now a three-bedroom detached home just a few miles from the East Sussex coast.
On the picturesque Isle of Man, this four-bedroom character home has a ground-floor shop that's currently run as a newsagents and a flat that would make an ideal holiday let.
In a new collection of flats, this first-floor two-bedroom apartment offers ample entertaining space and a prime view of Furze Green from a private balcony.
This three-bedroom stone-built cottage currently trades as the village store with a restaurant in the annexe and family accommodation on the upper floors.
Previously two semi-detached properties, this five-bedroom home is spread over three floors with a large breakfast kitchen, orangery, office and gym on the second floor.
This five-bedroom home enjoys countryside views over the Blyth estuary to Southwold, offering flexible living space with a ground-floor annexe - ideal for use as a holiday let.
Close to the market town of Eye, this four-bedroom detached home offers a double-height living room which takes the place of the original, 19th-century, chapel nave.
Dating back to the 19th century, this four-bedroom home needs modernising. Spanning three storeys, the red-brick house has a fireplace, a small terrace and a cellar.
Just outside of Cambridge, this single-storey home offers three double bedrooms, a living room with vaulted timber ceiling and ladder steps that lead to a mezzanine study area.
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn.
A former coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, an attached office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Located beside an impressive Victorian viaduct, this four-bedroom home has an open-plan living area that is glazed on two sides, with skylights and high ceilings.
A former furniture workshop, this three-bedroom home has high ceilings and painted brick walls, in a village setting only fifteen miles from the coast.
This five-bedroom stone townhouse features a pine staircase and an Inglenuk fireplace, double doors from the lounge give access to an enclosed courtyard.
This five-bedroom, detached home blends traditional and modern design; the sleek kitchen features a gas hob and oven set within an exposed chimney breast.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.
This six-bedroom home is set amongst three acres of grounds. Currently a large family home, Clift Hill has potential to make a B&B or countryside retreat, subject to change of use permissions.
This Grade II-listed three-bedroom home is situated on a private road, just a short walk from the sandy beaches of Frinton-on-Sea.