Eye-watering Caught out by insurance small print
Financial troubleshooter Jessica Gorst-williams is here to help you with your money problems
Send your questions Write to Jessica, Telegraph Money, The Daily Telegraph, 111 Buckingham Palace Rd, London SW1W 0DT
A full postal address, a signature and daytime telephone number are needed Why won’t Prudential pay?
My mother died late last year when she was 92. My brother dealt with all matters as it went to probate, which was granted.
Her many other policies paid out, but Prudential International refused to. My brother sent the same ID to all the other companies but Prudential said there was a problem with mine.
Can you advise how to get this matter finalised?
PA, WEST YORKS
The policy was written in trust for you and your brother as joint beneficiaries and was outside the estate.
I understand that one of your identification documents had been certified by a retired lecturer. This occupation was not on the long list of people who could certify documents for Prudential, who included justices of the peace, notaries, public/ practising solicitors, practising chartered and certified public accountants and embassy or consular staff.
Other organisations may accept certification from people in occupations other than the ones Prudential requires. The Pru had sent a list only to your brother and said it was sorry not to have sent one to you.
Around the time I got in touch with Prudential it agreed after all to proceed with the payment on the basis that it already had other forms of identification that actually complied with the regulations. It now realised this was enough to enable it to pay out the bond without further fuss.
In view of the inconvenience, it has paid £150 for goodwill.
Am I too old for a TSB overdraft?
My wife and I have overseen a successful roofing business trading for 40 years.
Owing to the vagaries of the weather taking a toll on our output and cash flow over the past few months, we decided to approach our bank, where we have been customers for more than 50 years, for a very short-term overdraft.
Having supplied its business centre with copious information regarding our considerable financial assets, we were informed that overdrafts were not available to those over 75.
You wanted to buy a truck and initially asked to borrow £20,000. When that was rejected you requested £10,000.
TSB says it recommended a loan as it felt overdrafts should only be short term. You actually wanted the sum only for the short term and had said so. You have already paid the money back to the lender you went to after TSB turned you down.
The bank told me the refusal was nothing to do with your ages, which are 76 and 74.
A TSB spokesman said: “We’re really sorry that Mr and Mrs C are unhappy with the service they’ve received from TSB. We want our business customers to borrow well, and that means being confident that their business can afford any loan repayment on an ongoing basis to ensure they do not put their business at risk.”
TSB had suggested that you add your daughter, who is part of the business, as a partner on the account.
It says this is because she will, it believes, ultimately have responsibility for the longer-term running of the business. Nothing to do with your ages then?
Should my new insurer cover me?
I wonder if you might be able to help with a claim I have made under my healthcare policy held with Saga and underwritten by Axa.
I was diagnosed with cataracts during a routine visit to my opticians in 2013. At the time no treatment was considered necessary. However, recently I was advised I needed treatment for them. The policy covers my wife and me and costs £355 monthly, but the insurer won’t pay.
The optician continued to monitor the cataracts and advise you about them at each appointment. When you had moved your private medical insurance to Saga in 2015 it hadn’t occurred to you to mention the cataracts. I can understand why but the fact that this might be relevant is something to be aware of.
You had opted for a moratorium rather than having pre-existing conditions underwritten. This meant you could not claim for conditions you had had in the previous three years.
The claim is being emphatically turned down and I cannot change this for you.
It is always worth thinking carefully before switching from a current insurer when there are preexisting conditions.
In your case the previous insurer’s premiums had been so high that it seems the price you have now paid to have the cataracts done privately balances the overall saving in premiums.
Because of the volume of mail received, it is not possible to respond to every letter, and correspondence cannot be entered into. Please do not send original documents or stamped and addressed envelopes. Responsibility, legal or otherwise, for answers given cannot be accepted. Cases currently with an ombudsman, going through a court of law or sent to other columns will not be considered. In addition, I cannot take up issues when the writer is a third party, other than in exceptional circumstances. I cannot respond to emails.
Keep an eye on pre-existing conditions if you change insurer