ME/CFS and the insurance industry: PHI/Income Protection policies

April 6, 2009

The ME Association has become increasingly concerned about feedback from our members regarding the way in which some insurance companies are behaving when it comes to claims for private sickness/disability related benefits – PHI (income protection/replacement) policies in particular.

We do not believe that the NICE guideline on ME/CFS is helping matters, especially the way in which one insurance website has interpreted the outcome of the NICE guideline judicial review to mean that ME/CFS is now classified as a psychiatric illness rather than a physical illness.  As a result, it is claimed that insurance companies can opt of making payments to people with ME/CFS where there is a psychiatric illness exclusion clause in the contract.  See also our report on the Countess of Mar raising this issue during a House of Lords debate by clicking here.
We have therefore arranged a meeting with representatives from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to discuss these and other insurance-related concerns.  The meeting will take place on Wednesday 8 April.
Whilst we cannot undertake to deal with individual insurance related problems at this meeting, we are keen to hear from anyone who has any important general points which ought to be raised at this meeting.  The agenda for the meeting will be based on the concerns noted above about the NICE guideline and the various problems that are discussed in the new MEA information leaflet on PHI policies.
We are also about to start updating our database on insurance companies that are either helpful or unhelpful when it comes to offering travel insurance policies to people with ME/CFS.  If you have any 2009 information on helpful/unhelpful travel insurers, please let us know the basic details.
MEA literature can be obtained using the pdf ORDER FORM on the MEA website by clicking here.
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