Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

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What is the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)?

The FCA is the independent watchdog that regulates the financial services industry in the UK. It's aim is to protect consumers, ensure the financial services industry remains stable and promote healthy competition between financial services providers.  For further information please contact the FCA by visiting their website www.fca.org.uk or calling them on 0800 111 6768 from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays) and 9am to 1pm, Saturday.

What is the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)?

The PRA aims to protect consumers by ensuring that the UK financial markets remain stable. The PRA's role is defined in two statutory objectives to promote the safety and soundness of financial firms and, specifically for insurers, to contribute to the securing of an appropriate degree of protection for policyholders.

Is Combined Insurance covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)?

In the unlikely event of us being unable to meet our liabilities, you may be entitled to compensation under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

For full details of what your entitlement may be, their contact details are:

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

10th Floor, Beaufort House

15 St. Botolph Street

London EC3A 7QU

Tel: 0800 678 1100

Fax: 020 7741 4101

www.fscs.org.uk

 

 

What is private medical insurance?

Private medical insurance aims to cover you so that if you require hospital treatment you'll be treated as a private hospital in patient, rather than as an NHS hospital in patient. You pay monthly premiums to keep the cover in force and if you need to make a private medical insurance claim, the insurance company will usually settle the private hospital bill(s) direct with the private hospital. Please visit the What is private medical insurance? page on this website for more information.

Who are Best Doctors?

Established in 1989, Best Doctors is dedicated to improving the quality of care for seriously ill individuals by making sure that they get the right diagnosis and the right treatment. They have a continuously updated global database of over 50,000 doctors recognised as the best in their field, on standby. Should you need them, the best expert is identified from the database to provide an in-depth review of your case confirming your diagnosis and providing you with the knowledge you need to make the best decision for treatment. Please visit the Best Doctors page on this website for more information.

Billing Questions

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I've changed my bank details - what do I need to do?

Contact us for more information. 

Can I change the date I pay my premium from my bank account?

Yes, at any time - just Contact Us.

Claims Processing

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How do I make a claim?

If you need to make a claim, it is important that you tell us as quickly as possible by calling us on freephone number 0800 169 7733 between 9am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively, you can download either an accident claim form or a healthcare claim form and send it to us. 

Policyholder Questions

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I have lost my insurance policy

To get a duplicate of your insurance policy please Contact Us.

How do I change my name / address / personal details?

Please visit the Make a Change page on this website, complete the Change of Contact Information online form and we’ll update our records.

How can I have an endorsement removed from my policy?

Contact Us and request an Endorsement Removal Form. If you have been symptom-free from the condition to which the endorsement relates and have not taken any medication for this condition for the duration of the endorsement, complete the form, ask your doctor to sign it and return it to us at the address shown.

I've lost my job - can I keep my policy?

Please Contact Us and let us know about your change of circumstances.

How do I cancel my policy?

Please Contact Us by telephone, email or in writing.

How do I complain?

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How do I complain?

We value customer feedback and recognise the importance of dealing with a complaint quickly and effectively. 

Step 1: Contact us

If you would like to register a complaint please call our freephone number on 0800 169 7733, email complaints@uk.combined.com or write to Customer Services Department, Combined Insurance, PO Box 4510, Dunstable, LU6 9PZ.

To make sure your complaint gets to the right person and to help us deal with it as soon as possible, we need you to give us your:

  • name;
  • address; and
  • account number, policy number or claim number

If you write to us, please explain what your complaint is about and how you would like us to deal with it.  Please include copies of any relevant letters and policies.  It would also be useful to have your phone number and email address in case we need to contact you.

Step 2: What we will do next

We will try to deal with your complaint as quickly as possible and will give you an immediate answer if we can.  If we can't answer, immediately, we will send you a letter to confirm that we are investigating your complaint and to let you know who you can contact about it.  We will also regularly update you on the progress of your complaint

We aim to give you a full response within eight weeks of your complaint, or sooner if possible.  This means we will write to you explaining why we have accepted or rejected your complaint and, where appropriate, offering to take action or provide compensation.  If we cannot give you a final response in eight weeks, we will write to you to explain why and when we expect to be able to.

Step 3: If you are not happy

If you are not happy with the way we have dealt with your complaint or we are unable to deal with it within eight weeks, you can refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service.  You will have to do this within six months of the date of our final response.

You can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service by phoning 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123, emailing complaint.info@financialombudsman.org.uk or by writing to Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, Harbour Exchange Square, London, E14 9SR.  For more information about the Financial Ombudsman Service, visit their website at: www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

 

Privacy Questions

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Can I see the personal details you have on me?

Yes, please Contact Us and we will send you a copy of your application form.

Critical Five Policy Termination

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Why is Combined Insurance cancelling my policy?

We are cancelling all policies under the Critical Five plan and not simply individual policies. We have taken this decision reluctantly but due to the performance of the plan as a whole with increasing costs of claims and administration we are unable to continue to provide cover that delivers value for money. 

Why are you cancelling my policy when I’ve never made a claim?

It is the nature of insurance that not everyone makes a claim. All the time that you have paid your premiums you have been fully covered for the conditions specified in the Critical Five policy. We would have honoured any qualifying claim in the unfortunate event you had been diagnosed with any of these conditions and we will continue to do so up until the termination date. 

Surely Combined Insurance cannot just cancel a policy?

We have very carefully considered the decision to cancel all policies under the Critical Five plan. We are exercising our right to cancel under the Terms and Conditions of your policy. We will provide you with the required 60 days’ notice and we have also written to you in advance of this to provide some additional notice. 

When will my policy come to an end?

The cancellation date for all policies will be 17th September 2016.

Will I receive a notification when my policy has cancelled?

We will write to you when your policies have ended to confirm that cover is no longer in place. This letter will be issued shortly after the cancellation date of 17th September 2016.  

Will this affect me being able to take out Insurance elsewhere?

We will also issue you with a certificate to confirm that it was our decision to cancel your insurance. You may find this helpful if you choose to look for alternative cover with another insurer.

Are any other Combined Insurance products affected by the notice of termination?

Only policies under the Critical Five Plan are affected. If you hold other policies with us, none of these are affected by this notice and you will continue to be covered under these plans as usual. 

What does my Critical Five policy cover me for?

The Critical Five policy pays out a lump sum in the event you suffer a covered Condition as specified in the policy. Conditions covered are: Heart Attack, Stroke, Coronary Artery Bypass Graft, Kidney Failure and Cancer.

Will I be due any refund of premium?

Depending on the frequency of your payments you may have paid beyond the end date of 17th September 2016. If this is the case, once your cover comes to an end, we will issue you with a partial refund. If you pay by Direct Debit this will automatically be credited back to your account. If you have paid by Cheque we will issue you with a refund by post.

 

For example if you paid for your policy on 17th May 2016 for 6 months you are covered until 17th November 2016. We will send you a refund covering the period 18th September until 17th November 2016. 

My next premium is due before 17th September 2016, will you still collect this?

We will not collect any further premium payments due between 3rd July and 17th September.

If you are due to receive an Annual Benefit Statement during this period, your Critical Five policy(s) will show a last Premium Paid amount of £0,00 and a Next Due Date on or after 17th September 2016.

What if I suffer from a covered Condition prior to 17th September 2016?

You are fully covered under your Critical Five policy(s) in line with the terms and conditions. You can contact our Customer Services on 0800 519 9916.

I am currently having medical investigations but no diagnosis has yet been made. Will I still be covered if my diagnosis is confirmed after 17th September 2016?

We will consider claims after the termination date however medical evidence would need to show that you were having symptoms of the condition that you are claiming for before the termination date. 

How will I go about finding alternative cover?

We cannot provide advice but we would suggest that you either speak to an Independent Financial Adviser or visit a comparison website to explore options.

  • Finding an Independent Financial Adviser: There are a number of websites that you can visit including unbiased.co.uk; findanadviser.org; vouchedfor.co.uk
  • Comparison websites you might consider looking at are: comparethemarket.com; moneysupermarket.com; gocompare.com; money-adviser.co.uk or uswitch.com
Is there an alternative product from Combined Insurance that can be offered to replace the Critical Five plan?

We do not have a plan that will cover all five of the conditions covered by the Critical Five plan. However we are able to offer you a cancer only policy, CANCER CARE from ACE (The trading name of Combined Insurance’s parent company). When we send you formal notice of termination we will include a no obligation quotation for CANCER CARE.  We will also provide you with a product summary. CANCER CARE offers a cash sum diagnosis benefit with three levels of cover of up to £30,000. It additionally includes a monthly benefit for up to 12 months from the date of diagnosis. The policy also includes a Hospital Stay benefit and a Recovery benefit. As a Critical Five policyholder you will not be required to answer any medical questions and you will simply have to complete an application form and let us know if you are currently a smoker. This offer will remain in place until 30th November 2016 which is 45 days following the termination of the Critical Five plan. Please review the quotation that is sent to you and consider if it meets your needs for cover. 

Is there an example of how much I could receive under a CANCER CARE plan?

Customer A has a CANCER CARE policy and chose to have the ‘Classic’ level of cover.  They are later diagnosed with lung cancer.

As a result they make a claim under the Diagnosis Benefit and receive a payment of £20,000.

They went on to receive a Monthly Benefit of £700 each month, receiving a total of £8,400.

Within two years of the diagnosis, they stayed in hospital for 6 full days, receiving £1,050 from the Hospital Stay benefit (6 days multiplied by £175).

Upon commencement of chemotherapy, Customer A also qualified for, and received, the Recovery Benefit of £5,000.

In total, they received a total payout of £34,450.

Can I see a copy of the CANCER CARE Product Summary?

Please click here to see a copy of the CANCER CARE Product Summary.

Can I see a copy of the CANCER CARE Policy Terms and Conditions?

You will receive a copy of this in the post if you sign up for CANCER CARE, however, please click here to see a copy of the CANCER CARE Policy Provisions.

What are the key dates when Combined Insurance will be communicating with policyholders about Critical Five termination?

Formal Notice - Issue Date 14 July 2016

Reminder of Termination Date – Issue Date 11th August 2016

Confirmation of Termination -  Issue Date  17th September 2016

Refund Payment (if applicable to you) - To arrive by 17th October 2016

Can I see a copy of the letters being sent?

To see a copy of the first letter (dated either 23rd June 2016 and 4th July 2016) notifying customers of our intention to cancel the Critical Five plan please click here.

To see a copy of the second letter (dated 14th July 2016) giving the first formal notice to customers of cancellation of the Critical Five plan please click here.

To see a copy of the third letter (dated 11th August 2016) giving the first formal notice to customers of cancellation of the Critical Five plan please click here.

To see a copy of the final letter (dated 17th September 2016) giving confirmation of cancellation of the Critical Five plan please click here.

Insurance Premium Tax – Increase 2017

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Why is my premium increasing?

From 1st June 2017 the UK Government is increasing the standard rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) to 12% for all UK general insurance products.  As a result of this change your premium will increase on the next premium due from 1st June 2017. 

What is Insurance Premium Tax?

Insurance Premium Tax, or IPT, is a government tax on general insurance products. 

How much is IPT increasing by?

The increase in IPT is from 10% to 12%.  However, all Combined policies are currently on an IPT rate of 9.5%.  The UK Government decided to increase IPT from 9.5% to 10% in October 2016 however Combined made a decision to absorb this increase.  However, following the Government notice to increase IPT to 12%, we are can no longer sustain the increase and therefore IPT for affected Combined customers will increase from 9.5% to 12%.

When was the last time IPT increased?

Prior to the rate increase in October 2016 as mentioned above, the previous increase was from 6% to 9.5% on 1st November 2015.  Prior to this the rate changed from 5% to 6% on 4th January 2011.

Why are you writing to me now if my premium will not increase until next year?

Combined Insurance has decided to write to all accident and sickness customers on a phased basis over April, May and June.  This will ensure, depending on the next premium due date, that a minimum of 60 days’ notice is provided to all customers.  In addition, we will also remind customers in writing at least 10 days before the first increased premium is due. 

How much is my new premium after the IPT increase?

The notification letters sent to customers will show their premium as at the date of the letter, and the new, premium amount including the new tax rate due on the next renewal date on or after 1st June 2017.

How have you calculated my new premium?

If we use an example that a customer currently pays £10 every month for their policy, of that £0.87 is 9.5% tax payable to the Government and the net premium before tax is £9.13.  From the 1st June 2017 this tax rate will change to 12% of the net premium; so for our example; 12% tax on a net premium of £9.13 is £1.10 making the new total premium £10.23.

My relative/friend/neighbour also has a Combined Insurance product but they have not received an IPT increase price increase letter – why is this?

The IPT letter is being issued to customers on a phased basis over April, May and June according to customers’ next premium due date.   This will ensure that a minimum of 60 days’ notice is provided to all customers.  Additionally some customers are exempt from paying IPT due to their residential location and therefore would not be notified of any tax increase.

Combined Insurance is already increasing my premium this year on my AHBP and/or SIP. Is the IPT increase in addition to those increases?

Yes, the increase to premiums on the AHBP and SIP products (where held by customers) is separate to the IPT increase and is related to the increased costs of our administration and claims of these products.  The IPT increase is insurance industry wide, not just Combined Insurance; as a result of UK Government decision in the last budget. 

Are any other Combined Insurance products affected by the IPT price increase?

All Combined Insurance products where IPT is chargeable will be subject to the IPT increase.

Do I need to acknowledge or accept this change in writing?

No, customers need take no action to keep their Combined Insurance policies in force.   Premiums will be adjusted automatically.

Do I need to do anything about my Direct Debit at the bank to ensure I continue to have cover?

No, customers do not need to take any action to keep their Combined Insurance policies in force.  Customer’s direct debit will be adjusted when we collect your next premium after 1st June 2017.

I want to keep my Combined Insurance policy but cannot afford the new price. What can I do?

We can look at how often the customer pays for their premiums, e.g. if currently the customer pays annually but could change to paying monthly to help spread payments.  Also, depending on their current level of cover we may be able to reduce their premiums; however this is only possible by reducing their current benefits also.  If this is still not manageable then if the customer wishes to cancel this will be possible.  The customer can either talk to us now or Call Customer Services on 0800 519 8027 at a later date.

If I want to cancel my policy, can I do this?

Yes.  Customers always have the right to cancel their policy at any time, but we would encourage customers to consider carefully their insurance needs before making a decision to cancel.

I have recently received my Annual Benefit Statement and it shows the old premium and an IPT rate of 9.5%, why is this?

Since that statement was produced, the IPT rate has been confirmed to increase to 12% and the letter you have received shows the new premium at this rate.  The rate of IPT was 9.5% until October 2016, at which time the UK Government increased IPT to 10%.  Combined absorbed the additional 0.5% since then, but with the rate increasing again to 12% so soon after the last increase, we are regrettably having to now pass the increases on to customers.

I have more questions – who can I talk to about my policy?

If you contact us by phone we can help you with your questions. You can contact our Customer Services team free from UK landline or mobile, on 0800 519 8027, between 9 AM to 6 PM, Mon – Fri (except public holidays).  Calls are recorded for training and quality purposes.

AHBP & SIP - Premium Increase 2017

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What are the changes?

We are making some essential price changes to two of our products, the Accident Hospital Benefit Plan (AHBP), and the Sickness Income Plan (SIP). Over the years, we have absorbed the increasing cost of claims and administration so that we could keep our premium levels as low as possible. We are now unable to maintain these plans at their current premium levels.  These changes will take effect from 1st June 2017. 

What are the price increases?

There will be a 5% price increase on all AHBP policies and a 20% price increase on affected SIP policies effective from 1st June 2017. Notification letters are being sent to affected customers over April, May and June according to customers’ next premium due date.  We will ensure that 60 day’s notice is provided to all customers.

 

Please note, for AHBP policies whose premiums and benefits are subject to a 5% increase per year (Compound indexation), this increase will be in addition to the indexed premiums.

How much will my policy now cost?

The notification letters sent to customers will show their premium as at the date of the letter, and the new, increased premium amount due on the next premium renewal date on or after 1st June 2017.

How have you calculated my AHBP new premium?

If we use an example that a customer pays £100 every six months for their AHBP policy, of that £8.68 is 9.5% tax payable to the Government (where IPT is applicable) and therefore the net premium before tax is £91.32.  From the 1st June 2017 we will apply a 5% increase to the net premium; which in this example case would increase the net premium to £95.89 before tax.  IPT (where applicable) at 12% is then added giving a new premium including tax of £107.40  – Please see separate insert and letter for further details on tax rates.

How have you calculated my SIP new premium?

If we use an example that a customer pays £100 every six months for their SIP policy, of that £8.68 is 9.5% tax payable to the Government (where IPT is applicable) and therefore the net premium before tax is £91.32.  From the 1st June 2017 we will apply a 20% increase to the net premium; which in this example case would increase the net premium to £109.59 before tax.  IPT (where applicable) at 12% is then added giving a new premium including tax of £122.74 -   Please see separate insert and letter for further details on tax rates.

When do the price increases for AHBP/SIP customers come into force?

Premiums will increase on or after 1st June 2017 depending on the next premium due date.

Why is the premium detailed on the letter stating ‘at date of this letter’ different from the last premium paid by me?

If they hold an AHBP policy, between the last premium paid and the date of the letter your policy has passed the anniversary date of its start date; as such the premium may have been subject to indexation. The increase in premium will be on top of this new indexed amount.

How much notice are customers being given regarding price increases?

All customers will be given a minimum 60 days’ notice before their new increased premium will apply. So once a customer receives an increase notification letter, it means that any premium payments due after the 60 days have passed will be at the new increased prices.

My relative/friend/neighbour also has an AHBP/SIP product but they have not received a price increase notification as yet – why is this?

The price increase letter is being issued to customers on a phased basis over April, May and June according to customers’ next premium due date.   This will insure that a minimum of 60 days’ notice is provided to all customers. 

In addition to that there are types of SIP whereby the terms and conditions do not allow us to increase the premium and as such are not affected by the premium increase.

Also, SIP policies sold from May 2010 (where coverage is only for Total Disability as Partial Disability is not included) are excluded from the price increase.

Are any other Combined Insurance products affected by the price increase?

Only AHBP, certain SIP, and policies which are eligible for IPT are affected by these premium increases (If you are affected by the IPT increase your letter will clearly state this and you will have received another FAQ surrounding this).  Any other products that customers may have with us are not affected by these premium increases, and will continue at their current prices.

Why have Combined Insurance increased the price at a time when everyone is already being hit with the worst economic situation in years?

Many insurance companies’ review and increase rates annually. The customer may have seen this with their home or motor insurance. Over the years, we have absorbed increasing claims and administration costs so we could keep our premium as low as possible. We are now unable to maintain these plans at their current premium levels and therefore are required to increase them. 

 

We are informing policyholders that we will apply an increase to their premiums due on or after 1st June 2017.

What does my AHBP and/or SIP policy(ies) cover me for:

Accident Hospital Benefit Plan (AHBP)

  • Payments from the very first day if you are hospitalised
  • Convalescence benefit for up to twice the number of days you were in hospital
  • Lump sum payments for invasive surgery
  • Lump sum payments if you suffer a fracture
  • Should you lose your life, we pay a lump sum of up to £30,000

 

Sickness Income Plan (SIP)

  • Monthly payments up to 12 months if you suffer a total disability
  • Payments from your fourth day of total or partial disability
  • Benefits for up to one month if you suffer from a partial disability
Why is the cost of my policy increasing when I’ve never made a claim?

This price increase has been applied to all policyholders with affected AHBP/SIP policies. Many insurance companies’ review and increase rates annually. The customer may have seen this with their home or motor insurance.  Over the years, we have absorbed increasing claims and administration costs so we could keep our premium as low as possible. We are now unable to maintain these plans at their current premium levels and need to inform policyholders that we will apply an increase to premiums due on or after 1st June 2017.

Have Combined Insurance changed what I’m covered for? Are there any other changes to my policy?

No.  There have been no changes to the terms and conditions of the policy. The only change is to the premium.

Do I need to acknowledge or accept this change in writing?

No, customers need take no action to keep their Combined Insurance policies in force.  This does not affect the customer’s right to cancel the policy at any time.

Do I need to do anything about my monthly Direct Debit at the bank to ensure I continue to have cover?

No, customers do not need to take any action to keep their Combined Insurance policies in force.  Customer’s direct debit will be adjusted when the new premium applies from 1st June 2017 onwards.

Surely Combined Insurance cannot just increase the price if a policy holder has already bought a policy?

In the product terms and conditions, we tell customers that premiums may be reviewed. Premiums may go up, down or stay the same after a review and premium reviews are based on:

  • Information from our past experience of claims for similar types of policies.
  • Information from the experience of reinsurers, consultants and other insurance companies for similar types of policies.
  • Information arising from statistics about the population.
  • The effect of medical advances and medical practices on future claims.
  • Any other event outside our control.

When we review premiums, we do so at a product not customer level.  We do not review premiums for individual customers just because they may have been unlucky enough to have suffered an illness or accident and have needed to make a claim.

 

If our policies do not allow for premium reviews, then those policies are excluded from premium reviews and any subsequent premium increases or reductions, such as for some older SIP policies.

I want to keep my policies but cannot afford the new price. What can I do?

We can look at how often the customer pays for their premiums, e.g. if currently the customer pays annually but could change to paying monthly to help spread payments.  Also, depending on their current level of cover we may be able to reduce their premiums; however this is only possible by reducing their current benefits also.  If this is still not manageable then if the customer wishes to cancel this will be possible.  The customer can either talk to us now or Call Customer Services on 0800 519 8027 at a later date.

If I want to cancel my policy, can I do this?

Yes.  Customers always have the right to cancel their policy at any time, but we would encourage customers to consider carefully their insurance needs before making a decision to cancel.

I have more questions – who can I talk to about my policy?

If you contact us by phone we can help you with your questions. You can contact our Customer Services team free from UK landline or mobile, on 0800 519 8027, between 9 AM to 6 PM, Mon – Fri (except public holidays).

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