By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 7:31 AM on 27th July 2011
A bus driver who had to have his leg amputated was told by his insurers they would only pay out if he lost both legs.
Martin Wells spent more than £4,500 on critical illness cover with Scottish Widows over the past 12 years in the belief he would qualify for a pay-out of up to £500,000 if he became seriously ill.
The 47-year-old was forced to have an above-the-knee amputation of his left leg after suffering a series of severe infections.
Insurance fury: Bus driver Martin Wells, 47, was told he would have to lose his other leg too before his insurance company pay out
He cannot work for up to 18 months and says he will now only ever be able to manage part-time hours.
The father-of-three, who first injured the leg 30 years ago in a motorbike accident, was told he cannot use the policy to write off his £40,000 mortgage.
Mr Wells said: ‘I was told in no uncertain terms that I would need to have two limbs amputated before they would pay.’
‘It’s ridiculous. People take these policies out in good faith.’
He has shelled out between £30 and £35 a month for critical illness cover over the last 12 years.
Mr Wells, from Derby, hopes to return to work after he has had a false leg fitted and fully recovered from the operation.
His employer, Premier Travel, in Nottinghamshire, has buses with automatic gearboxes so he will not need to operate a clutch pedal.
But the combination of the amputation and arthritis in his right knee means he will not be able to work full-time again.
He said money is ‘a big concern’ with three children – Charlotte 19, who is struggling to find work, Lauren, 17, and Simon, 15.
The father had his leg amputated at Royal Derby Hospital in May three decades after the original motorcycle accident.
Eleven years later, that scar was ripped open during a fall at work.
A spokesman for Scottish Widows said the company was simply following standard guidance.
The policy covers ‘loss of hands or feet – permanent physical severance of any combination of two or more hands or feet at or above the wrist or ankle joints’.
The spokesman said: ‘Under the Association of British Insurers loss of limb definition, adhered to by Scottish Widows, a critical illness policy only pays out when two limbs are lost.’
But Sarah Fullaway, joint-director of Derby-based financial services company Oviso, said many critical illness polices now offered enhanced cover.
She said: ‘Under the enhanced policy the loss of one arm or leg means you get a full payment.’
She said this trend had begun about five years ago in a bid to win more customers and that it was standard practice for these policies to be offered to new clients only.
To read more and see pictures visit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2019201/Insurance-Man-leg-amputated-wont-payout-unless-cut-off.html#ixzz1TIMLIuFWTags: amputate, amputation, critical illness, false leg, loss of limb