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What A Nightmare, Life Insurance



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I have felt for a while that I'd like to warn people about taking good health for granted and not having an 'in case' plan. Tom and I invested some money around 3 years ago and pretty well tied it up. We were asked would we need it before the time was up and we were both adamant that with our salaries we would be fine. Ilness wasn't something we worried about and death never entered our heads. We were just planning on working out the last few years now before retirement and I don't think a day went by when we didn't mention or talk about it getting closer and what we'd do then. Walk, drink tea in the night and not worry about the day, out in the motorhome, off on the boat, sail to America on a banana boat etc etc. Tom was as fit as a butchers dog running his own business and I was working for Zurich and would be until I retired or they retired me. That was it. It was all set in stone and everything was going to be honky dory. You all know the rest, but what a shock and were we prepared? Well sort of. We had insurance but it was held by the bank against the mortgage in case either of us died. Before Tom died he told me not to forget we had the insurance and that although it was set against the house, it was now illegal for the banks to do that. What he didn't realise was that we had signed the document when it was legal and so it still stood. By rights the bank could keep the little insurance there was against the mortgage. My broker checked with the insurance company and they said my policy was held by the bank and any monies would have to go to them unless I got a letter of release from them. I phoned the bank and explained that they had as much of my money locked into a 5 year investment plan, as I owed on the mortgage and if they kept the insurance money I would have no money to pay the funeral. They were very good and they then took up my case with the insurance company and agreed that the money would go to me and sent them a letter of release and a copy of the death certificate. Today I was still trying to find out when I would be paid out as I have a funeral bill sitting on my table and nothing has been forthcoming from the insurance company. Because the bank had my policy I didn't have the policy number and my broker was away, so I tried to trace it myself in order to gee them up a bit. Scottish Provident have a telephone number on the island, but life policies are now owned by a company across. Eventually I did find the correct company which is now called Pheonix in Glasgow. I explained I was needing my claim sorting out as it has been over 2 months and I have to pay for the funeral. I started to get somewhere at last. I was told that they wanted the death certificate as they had been sent a copy by the bank but wanted the original. They had sent a letter to the bank requesting it on the 39th April. I was mad, as I could have provided that straight away and all the beaurocracy with them writing to and from the bank, was stopping it getting sorted. I said I would send a certificate straight away and then asked how long it would be before I received a settlement. "Oh anything between 2 weeks and 6 months, depending on the cause of death and circumstances," the boy answered. If there is anything I don't need at this time, its stress and I'd have to say that I'm pretty stressed out with this lot. I phoned my brokers secretary and she told me that the original death certificate had been sent to them 5 weeks ago and they had sent it back! She said she was going to root out my file and phone them. I haven't heard back from her yet, so I'm sitting here pretty well bemused about the whole thing and for the moment I have done nothing. Maybe I'll try and sort something tomorrow, who knows! These are the times when I say Tom would have known his rights, who to contact, how to get things moving. This is a bit like one of Toms beefing blogs really, only there is no resolution at the moment.

Tomorrows another day. Lets see what it brings. I hope the gale moderates as Sean and Wendy from London are coming to see me tomorrow. They are friends from Toms blog and they would like me to take them round Langness and point out a few birds to them. I'm just hoping the ones I see are the ones I know the names of. You can bet you bottom dollar a 'little brown thing' (as Bill Oddy calls them) will bob about and I won't have a clue. Thank heavens for the Skylarks, they entertain people walking round there for the 1st time with their sweet song which can be heard when they are a just a speck in the sky. Anyway, I didn't intend telling the world about my insurance problems, but when everyone tells me they were paid out in a couple of weeks etc etc, I just wanted people to see its not all smooth going and to try and cover every angle.

Thats it for now.


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