SALLY SORTS IT: Why has HSBC slashed my husband’s life insurance payout by £75,000?

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I used to work at HSBC, where I participated in a benefits program called My Choice. Thanks to this, I have insured my husband’s life for £150,000.

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A few years later I increased this amount to a maximum of £250,000. The bonus was deducted from my salary until my husband’s untimely death in 2021, about 11 months later.

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However, when I went to file a claim, I was told that I could only increase the level of coverage by £25,000 each year and therefore would not be entitled to the amount of coverage I paid for.

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Misled: HSBC life insurance customer received a much smaller payout after her husband’s death because she didn’t read the fine print

So I got £175,000-150,000 plus an annual raise of £25,000. I couldn’t read the fine print.

My problem is that HSBC didn’t take into account that I chose – and paid for – a higher level of coverage than was allowed.

Had I not claimed, I would have continued to overpay for four years before technically becoming entitled to the full amount. I contacted the bank and they refunded the overpayment.

However, he refuses to admit that for 11 months I was misled into thinking there was a £250,000 lifetime insurance.

RA, Northern Ireland.

Sally Hamilton says: When I asked you what happened to your husband, you told me that he was suffering from terminal lung cancer.

The fact that he was already seriously ill when you raised his standard of living may give some readers pause.

I confess that I felt uncomfortable on my first reading, as insurance is usually meant to cover contingencies rather than what is already known.

If someone in such circumstances bought or renewed a personal life insurance policy, they would almost certainly run the risk of being denied payment when it later turned out that they already had health problems.

However, your late husband was covered by an internal HSBC scheme that operates under different rules. Often under this type of arrangement, members are not required to disclose pre-existing medical conditions or even complete a health questionnaire.

The risk is distributed among a large number of employees of different ages, and the amount of insurance per person is usually limited.

In your case, the maximum amount allowed was £250,000. But when you decided to increase coverage to that number, you missed the fine print explaining the annual increase rule.

Despite this, you considered it unfair to ignore the additional amount you paid and were not satisfied that the bank simply returned the excess premiums. You complained but didn’t hear anything for many months, so you contacted me.

I have contacted HSBC for clarification and pointed out one of the conditions you have given me that allows you to change the level of coverage for any amount up to £250,000 at the time the employee’s contract is changed. .

You felt this condition should apply to you because you switched from full-time to part-time work when your husband fell ill.

HSBC investigated and informed me a few days later that they would settle the claim in full. He won’t elaborate on why he changed his mind, but a spokesperson said: “We are very sorry to hear about the loss of RA and the time it took to re-establish communications.

After the claims have been reviewed, we will make an additional payment of £75,000 plus interest.”

You felt relieved and told me that the extra money would make life easier for you at home.

Close the Virgin Money app for eight months

I haven’t been able to access my Virgin Money app for eight months. I have also not been able to make any payments this way.

I called Virgin dozens of times, but I was constantly deceived by broken promises. Nobody seems to want to help me.

I urgently needed to go to London for work, but I couldn’t buy a train ticket online, which put my job at risk. To add insult to injury, the ticket price went up a lot while I was talking to the bank trying to sort things out.

RD, Bradford.

Sally Hamilton says: You sent me your email after you were transferred to the wrong department again and then disconnected.

Your rage at this terrible customer service was palpable. I don’t quite understand how you endured this for eight months.

I asked Virgin to resolve the issue within two days. Unfortunately it took a little longer. I tossed between you and the bank for a month before he finally got to the bottom of the problem: his app was not properly communicating with your debit card.

I’m not sure why this wasn’t found before, but you’re glad it was resolved.

The spokesperson says, “We have sent RD a new debit card that will be linked to his banking app and we have agreed to the goodwill payment.”

You confirmed that Virgin sent you £100 for a more expensive train ticket plus £400 for the inconvenience.

Straight to the point

I needed to take out £1295 health insurance but couldn’t get through to Axa.

I spent two months calling and emailing, but in the end I had to pay the bill myself. I’m so stressed. Even the financial ombudsman will not help.

Los Angeles, via email.

Axa apologizes for the delay, which she says was due to your delay in providing documentation.

However, he admits he could have been more active. Your claim must be settled within five days, along with a £125 settlement.


My energy supplier collapsed a year ago, around the same time my husband, who always paid our bills, died.

In February I was transferred to E.on Next and was told I owed the £834.45 I had paid. I think I should get my money back, but since I don’t have a final invoice, I can’t prove it.

JM, Sheffield.

E.on says it cannot pay the credit balances of new customers unless it gets the correct information from their previous supplier.

But considering…

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