Financial Mail on Sunday


With effect from 1st September 1992. "...the Life Assured has not suffered from any attributed signs or symptoms and has not received any medical treatment or advice attributed to the following disabilities which are first contracted after the effective date of this endorsement."


This only suggests diagnosed conditions and thereafter. However, the argument would still be about when "first contracted" is defined. If dated before 1.9.92 then a claim denial would follow regardless of diagnosis date.


January 1993. "...we would not be able to accept a claim in respect of the above four conditions if, prior to 1st September 1992, any problems associated with any of them had been experienced."


This clarifies the Abbey Life disclaimer. Any problems - not proven to be associated (pre-diagnosis). Retrospective exclusion allowed. Imagine: unilateral partial deafness:


Abbey Life - obviously a benign brain tumour.

Specialist ENT consultants opinion: no indication of neoplastic disease, probably cochlear damage (impact damage).


With effect from 1st January 1996. "...if prior to the effective date, the Life Assured has suffered from any signs or symptoms, or has received any treatment or advice, attributable to the disabilities and surgical procedures..."


This makes it even clearer - before diagnosis is explicit. Attributable in the meaning that Abbey Life can attribute even if this is not the true medical opinion. Everything is expediently disregarded. Everything that points to an erroneous judgement.


…retrospective exclusion policy operating whereby when the condition has been diagnosed and the medical history becomes available suitable symptoms can be selected with no intention of stating what they are…claimed that by October 1995 Abbey Life had reports judged to indicate the condition on which the denial was based...no condition was known at that time...diagnosis November 1996…what are the “signs and symptoms” or “associated symptoms” that could not be indicators of something else in the absence of a diagnosis.


Only future events (onward from November 1996) tended to confirm the original diagnosis…no biopsy was/is possible, so even now this is informed opinion – based on an Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan.


Note the requirements to enable the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis be made. A positive diagnosis may take years. It may be suspected, but not finally determined until events are witnessed, that might then only be transitory…would probably be regarded as pre-existing symptoms and a claim will fail. This would become a technical argument much like my own. But a diabolical Catch 22 - the diagnosis cannot be made without them. And a claim will never succeed with them.


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