65-year-old Mr B had worked in engineering since his apprenticeship aged 21. Having had many roles in the industry, he eventually moved into contracting, setting up his business to share his expertise and talents. Throughout his 45 years in the business, he had worked for some blue-chip clients within the food and chemical industries. Mr B had taken out a Kingsbridge package policy with Legal expenses.
In 2020, our customer, Mr B, was the victim of an accident during one of his contracting jobs. Whilst on site, he was working on a hopper when a 18kg block of cast steel dropped on his head from a height of 10 feet. He fell backwards and his head was split open.
Mr B was taken to hospital straight away and discharged a few hours later. A few days after returning home, he still felt unwell, so headed to his GP who recognised symptoms of post-concussion and referred him to a physiotherapist. After his first session with the physio, Mr B received another call from his doctor instructing him to go immediately for a CT scan. The scan confirmed a diagnosis of post-concussion syndrome, with our customer experiencing ongoing episodes of symptoms such as speech issues, light-sensitive headaches, and memory loss.
Mr B was left unable to work by these debilitating symptoms and began to worry about his loss of income. On top of this, COVID pressures began to restrict his access to medical care and follow-up appointments. Fearful about the ongoing impact of this on his finances, he reached out to us here at Kingsbridge to see if we could help.
Fortunately, Mr B had been a customer of Kingsbridge for several years and held a comprehensive package of contractor insurance with us, together with a legal expenses policy. He was able to speak directly to James, his personal claims manager, to explain the situation. James supported Mr B over the phone: explaining how the claims process works, helping him gather the necessary evidence and give an estimate of policy response times. James advised him that he could claim on the Occupational Personal Accident cover and filed the claim with the insurer, on his behalf.
While Mr B’s claim was being processed, the effects of his memory loss were so bad that he was unable to remember having called Kingsbridge to tell us about the accident. James was able to reassure him each time that the claim was in hand and he would be in touch as soon as there was an update. Mr B particularly appreciated that his repeated calls were not an issue. He was left feeling reassured when all his questions were answered, and describes the communications throughout the process as “exceptional”. COVID delays in the health system meant our customer became worried that his policy might expire before he had time to collate the doctors’ reports and additional evidence required to support his claim.
Following submission of the claim, James secured payments under the temporary total disablements section of the policy, however, the recovery of our customer was slow, due to his ongoing injuries. As his personal claims manager, James was able to speak to the insurer regarding the permanent total disablement section of the policy now being able to respond to our customer’s ongoing prognosis and recovery. The insurer agreed and the process was started. There were a number of delays, due to COVID, which hampered the progression of the medical assessment of our customer.
Eventually, after further medical investigations, an MRI scan confirmed that Mr B had damaged lesions within his white brain matter, causing Mr B to experience poor sleep, headaches and impacting his mental health. He would be unable to return to work. The permanent disablement section of the policy was now able to be considered. While waiting for the medical assessments to be undertaken, Kingsbridge also helped to secure some interim payments, due to the COVID delays, to assist our customer financially.
“I can’t begin to thank James enough for all of his hard work and support throughout this horrific, life-changing experience,” expressed our grateful customer.
Our customer received his first payment within days of the submission of the claim to the insurer. The insurers reviewed his average income over the previous 13 weeks, and agreed that Mr B was entitled to a weekly payment of £500 for up to 52 weeks while he was unable to work.
James also secured an additional interim payment of £5,000.
James advised towards separate sections of his policy that he potentially could be able to claim on, and contacted the insurer on his behalf. Mr B was awarded an additional payment of £10,000 due to his ongoing disability.
The insurer appointed their own medical experts to assess the injuries that our customer had sustained. A report was issued to the insurers confirming that Mr B would be unable to return to work in his prior occupation as an on-site engineer. A lump sum of £35,000 was then awarded to our customer by the insurer.
Mr B has been extremely satisfied with the compensation he has received, and urges other contractors to make sure that they have cover in place – this experience has been a big “reality check” for him. “Without this claim, my life would look very different right now,” he warns, pointing out “the cost of a policy is nothing compared to the level of cover you receive if something happens”.
His accident, and the realisation that his brain might never function in quite the same way again, was “soul-destroying” for our customer, but the financial support has given him hope for the future: “The support I have received throughout this process has been second to none, I am now able to look at life in a new way, my claim has allowed me to review my options and allow myself the full amount of required time to heal, without worrying about the financial impact”.
On top of this, Mr B is currently working with a solicitor to agree a liability claim against the company that caused his accident. The legal expenses, as part of the Kingsbridge package, has allowed Mr B to explore this option. He wouldn’t have thought about this avenue if James hadn’t highlighted it to him.
total value of claim
payment for 52 weeks
awarded for long-term disability
A huge thank you to our customer for sharing his story with us, and we wish him all the best in his ongoing recovery. If you would like to find out more about our business insurance packages for contractors, and how our personal claims managers can support you, give our team a call on 01242 808740 or visit our website.