Company refuses to pay life insurance to terminally ill man

AMP is refusing to pay out a terminally ill Auckland man's life insurance, because of when the father of two was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Andrew Porteous has weeks to live, which makes his battle a race against time.

The 34-year-old was diagnosed with terminal oesophageal cancer last October, just a few months after he was made redundant.

"Unfortunately, no-one had told me or advised me that my policy was going to cease," he told Newshub. "So I'm left in the lurch, with apparently no policy to cover me."

Mr Porteous' insurance came as part of his job. The problem is he had just finished work, when he was diagnosed with a rare terminal cancer

Litigation funder LPF Group is taking on Andrew’s case and is funding his legal fight at no fee, which they will see through to the end.

"I think that the contract - the way it's drafted - does cover Andrew's situation, which is that he has a terminal illness, while he was employed for the purposes of the policy," Barrister Sandra Grant says.

"He just didn't know that he had a terminal illness, he didn't find that out until afterwards."

Andrew's argument is that he had the cancer while he was working, it just hadn't been diagnosed yet.

But AMP is refusing to pay out the $450,000 dollar policy.

"I've paid my premiums via my job for the last 12 years, so I've done my end of the bargain," he says. 

"It's just a matter of AMP coming to the party, when a claim is legitimately made on the policy and paying it out."

Andrew and wife Emma desperately need the money to pay medical bills - and for his family to survive on after he's gone.

Ms Porteous says she's furious that her husband is having to spend his final weeks with his family fighting for his money.

"I feel really angry and frustrated with AMP, because I feel that Andrew shouldn't be spending his time and energy running around after a policy, when he's this sick."

The tumour in Andrew's stomach has now spread to his brain. He's battling for his life, while his family's future lies in insurance policy fine print.