Ron “I’ve heard of the SAS once” Mark gets one right

Steve Askin, the former Special Air Service (SAS) soldier who died in a helicopter crash while fighting the Port Hills fire, didn’t have life insurance.

New Zealand First MP Ron Mark is fired up about insurance premiums being charged to former New Zealand Defence Force personnel.

He says ex-servicemen and women are available for call up as reserves so insurers charge higher premiums.

The issue was highlighted when it was revealed Steve Askin, the former Special Air Service (SAS) soldier who died in a helicopter crash while fighting the Port Hills fire, didn’t have life insurance.

More than $375,000 has been raised for his family via a givealittle page which said Mr Askin could not get life insurance due to his association with the army.

The family clarified that statement on Saturday, saying during his service with the regular army, comprehensive life insurance was provided as part of the overall remuneration package. On his release from the regular force this package was no longer provided.

He and his wife had discussed getting private life insurance but had not got around to it, the update said.

Mr Mark, a former army officer, says one former SAS soldier told NZ First he was quoted $1500 a month for mortgage protection.

“To say I am angry is an understatement because these people have bled for our country and yet insurers think it acceptable to bleed them dry over premiums,” he says.

They are not on active duty as reserves, and if called up are covered by the army.

The insurance companies cannot use their reserve status as a reason to assume they are a higher risk, he says.

$1500 a month mortgage protection is absurd.  But more importantly, to put life insurance out of the reach of service personnel is at worst morally wrong, and at best lazy.  It is easy enough to create exclusions.  And since they are covered by the NZDF when on the job, there really is no reason for insurance companies to shy away from offering these people some peace of mind.

Givealittle has finally been used for a genuine cause.  Help if you can.  Any amount helps.


– NZN via Yahoo! News

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

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