Include all medical information in insurance application - warns man with crippling nervous disorder whose claim was turned down

When Shane Laker developed a crippling nervous disorder 16 months ago, he badly needed his insurance to kick in to cover his lost income.

But his insurer, Partners Life, turned his claim down, saying he’d failed to disclose some unrelated but material health issues – high blood pressure and obstructive sleep apnoea - which would have made him uninsurable at the time he took out cover.

Shane didn’t believe he’d ever been diagnosed with either issue, but first his insurer, then the Ombudsman, turned down his appeals.

Shane then researched his medical notes and found two important documents which just last week, resulted in Partners Life reversing its decision, and accepting his claim. 

Shane's warning is – if you're applying for insurance – or even after you’ve got it – check with your GP to make sure you’ve included all the key medical information.

Partners Life said they weren’t legally required to reinstate Shane’s cover, but felt it was the right thing to do.

They say they relied on Shane’s medical notes to be correct, and in the sleep apnoea case, they weren’t, and have since been corrected.

They were also satisfied that there was not an ongoing high blood pressure issue, so were able to reinstate Shane’s policy from the time of application.

They are desperately sorry Shane had to go through this experience to get this result, but say they cannot pay claims that they shouldn’t pay, because everyone else who pays a premium ends up paying for that decision.

We re-visit an insurance case that looked hopelessly lost - but wasn’t. Source: Fair Go

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