angrypolicyholders.com is the result of a 2.5 year fight to receive a payout on an income protection claim after Christopher spent 3 months in hospital in 2009. The last thing Nicola or Chris expected after the trauma of Chris being so ill along with being incorrectly diagnosed with cancer and epilepsy was to be treated so poorly by insurance giant, Scottish Provident.
The problems began back in 2005 when Chris bought a Scottish Provident income protection (IP) policy via an independent adviser (IFA). The policy which Chris bought was based on the policy definition ‘work tasks’, also known as activities of daily living (ADL’s). You would expect given the name you were buying a policy based on being unable to do tasks relating to your own occupation. Unfortunately this cannot be further from the truth and the definitions are in fact based on your ability to do a set amount of tasks such as; hold a pen, lift a bag of sugar or read 16 point print.
Even though Chris was bed-bound in hospital suffering various illness, even this part of the claim was refused. The pressure of fighting an insurer whilst having no income and still suffering ill health only delayed any recovery and led to stress of finances in the Hargreaves household.
Chris and Nicola went through Scottish Provident’s internal complaints procedure without success. The case was finally passed to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) three times before Scot Prov rang out of appeals and was ordered by the FOS to payout, nearly 2.5 years after the claim was originally presented to the insurer.
You did not have to be a rocket scientist to realise that ‘work tasks’ based definitions in IP policies were as useful as a chocolate fireguard. Not one to give up Chris and Nicola spent nearly two years calling for UK insurers to stop using ‘work tasks’ and offer all policy holders the far superior ‘own occupation’ definition.
The above video featuring Chris and Nicola on the BBC consumer program, Rip Off Britain shows even in 2012 just how much being refused a claim had an effect on them. Using the pseudonym Angry Policyholder Chris set out to find if they were alone or if there was a serious flaw in ‘work task’ / ADL based policies. Thanks to Twitter and Facebook a campaign was started to scrap ADL’s work tasks and it was not long before consumers, industry experts, the press and trade publications joined the campaign.
Knowing the personal impact such a case has on a family, especially the helplessness you face whilst trying to take on an insurance company on your own, angrypolicyholders.com was created to help other individuals and families when they had been let down in their hour of need. It did not take long for 13,000 followers to join the campaign on Twitter with the reputation of Chris, Nicola and angrypolicyholders.com steadily growing as insurers and the industry started to listen.
Since launching angrypolicyholders.com in 2012, Chris and Nicola have helped policy holders refused claims recover around £250,000 for free. Chris and Nicola donate their time for free helping raise awareness of issues affecting consumers. As the website grew hundreds of article were written which in-turn were read by tens of thousands of consumers.
Then during an investigation all this hard-work was destroyed in May 2014 when angrypolicyholders.com was attacked, resulting in a deliberate attempt to destroy all the sites contents and worse all the server based backups. Between May and August 2014 Chris and Nicola have been fighting to regain control of their website which was the easy part compared to the task of rebuilding the site from scratch.
All those articles and hard-work down the toilet but we are pleased to announce that angrypolicyholders.com is back as of the 1st August 2014. During the time the site has been down Chris has been leading four major investigations – three of which are related to the UK insurance industry – following tip-offs from consumers, industry and legal experts.
This year, 2014, is going to be a big year for Chris and Nicola and they look forward to continuing to expose the Good, Bad and Ugly from the insurance and financial sector with important consumer issues.