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Life insurance advice

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  • Life insurance advice

    Hi there. My partner of ten years passed away last September. He had life insurance with Scottish widows. We are still awaiting a date for the coroner's inquest but it has become clear that he passed away due to alcoholic poisoning. The coroner also said there was a class A drug in his system although it was a tiny amount and had no part in his death. I have never made a claim for any kind of insurance and I was wondering if this is something Scottish widows could use to get out of paying? Thanks in advance.
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  • #2
    Hi Nospot,

    I'm sorry to hear of your loss. Unfortunately there is not a straightforward answer. It will very much depend on the insurers the policy itself and what health issues have ever been declared (or should have been declared) by your partner. The policy may shed some light on it if you are able to locate it. I would wait until the coroner's inquest before contacting them so you are sure of the cause of death.

    Someone else may have more knowledge on this and may pop on later.
    I am a qualified solicitor and am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.


    • #3
      Difficult to comment without knowing exactly the policy wording..
      Even more difficult without knowing how he completed the application form, and the circumstances of his passing.

      You state he died of alcohol poisoning.
      From that be prepared for the company to research his drinking habits as they may assume he was an alcoholic.
      They might then compare his estimated alcoholic imbibing with the declaration made by him on his application form which will have requested details of
      his drinking and any problems he had in the past with alcohol.
      He may well have answered all questions honestly, and admitted to an existing or past alcohol problem.if there was one.
      The response to those questions only assists in the setting of premiums
      If he did not answer accurately there might be a problem

      The same applies to drug use.


      • #4
        I've located his answers. He took out the policy in 2012 and it states do you regularly drink more than 35units per week. He didn't drink much at all back then but the last 3-4years of his life he took drinking to a whole new level. Plus he admitted to smoking cannabis but nothing else.

        Frequency of drug use: at least once but no longer use
        When did you last use drugs: 31/12/2011
        In the last 5 years: received medical advice to reduce alcohol consumption? No
        Used recreational drugs such as cocaine, heroin or cannabis? Yes

        As far as I can tell they are all honest for the time the policy was taken out....

        I don't know if that helps or sheds anymore light on the chances of a payout?



        • #5
          I don't know if it makes a difference but he paid 58 per month which I always thought was quite high but then I'm not very knowledgeable about such things.....and he only ever missed one payment which was the one months premium due directly before his death.


          • #6
            There is one big thing that niggles me. He told me he had pancreatic cancer. He has lost a lot of weight, throwing up a lot of blood ect.

            The coroner has not found anthing to confirm this.

            What really haunts me is I phoned his GPS surgery the day he told me to book an appointment. I said to the receptionist

            "I'm phoning on behalf of my partner whom has just been diagnosed with cancer to book an appointment with the gp"

            To which she replied "is that for Mr xxx"

            Which threw me at the time and still does as surely that information is confidential but she said his name for sure.
            I guess it will come out at the inquest possibly. It just really freaks me out as that receptionist confirmed to me that he had cancer and yet the coroner has said nothing about it.

            Anyone have any ideas as I know it changes nothing but its really for peace of mind?


            • #7
              As far as I can ascertain for claims following death from abuse of alcohol and drugs Scottish Widows "Whole of Life Cover" policies do not exclude them.
              However there is no cover for such deaths under Term insurance Policies or Critical Illness with Life Cover policies.
              You really need to read the policy though to ascertain the exact position, (or post a copy here or tell us exactly what sort of policy your partner purchased so we can look for you)


              • #8
                Okay he has critical illness with life cover. It says they won't pay out critical illness if it is to dobwith alcohol or drugs but is the critical illness separate to the life cover as I can't see anything with regards to that...


                • #9
                  I haven't looked at policy wording yet (about to retire!), but it is quite possible that the exclusion only refers to the critical illness section.
                  The Life cover is whole life, and SW's whole life policies do not exclude death following alcohol abuse.

                  I'll try and look sometime over the weekend if I get a minute


                  • #10
                    So the standard policy wordings for Life cover do not exclude death following alcohol abuse.
                    However they will not accept a claim if the death was by any specific exclusion(s) referred to in the schedule,(so does the schedule mention any exclusions?)


                    • #11
                      Sorry to come back to this after a while but I don't have the schedule. How would I obtain a copy please??


                      • #12
                        You need to request a copy from SW and hope they have one they are prepared to send you.

                        Have you made a claim and if so with what reaction?


                        • #13
                          You may have trouble getting SW to communicate with you, unless you are named as executor in a will or take out letters of administration if your partner was intestate.

                          If he was intestate, you may not be entitled to anything under the normal rules of intestacy. Of course, the policy may have been written in trust, naming you as beneficiary. If not, you may have to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. There are strict time limits on that, so check it out now.



                          • #14
                            Thanks I am named as a benificiary. I really need to know how I can get the policy schedule so I can ascertain if I am excluded or should I say his cause of death is excluded


                            • #15
                              Have you or the administrator yet been in touch with SW?


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