Most of us will have some form of life assurance to protect your family and loved ones and more often than not, these policies or plans will include ‘term assurance’ or ‘whole of life’ policies. These policies are designed to pay out on death as long as it is within the term of the policy, or where ‘whole of life’ plans are concerned, on the death of the insured. There are other sorts of life assurance policies that will include some form of savings, such as an ‘Endowment Policy’ or possible plans linked to your pension.
So why do we see so many complaints and subsequent claims for compensation around the sales of life assurance? We see a lot of complaints that are generally centred around two areas when it comes to life assurance. Firstly how the plan was sold to the person insured or at the time of the claim, typically where the life assurance company has refused to pay out based on either non-disclosure or omission of information.
Complaints about the claim process are inevitable because the insurer has refused the claims and perhaps suggested that there was an element of non-disclosure. Disclosing essential issues such as pre-existing health problems are vital to the insurer, as this is the kind of information they use to determine the levels of premium and cover you should have.
If you have not disclosed for example, that you have had a prior illness, then the insurer may not have charged you the premium that they were entitled to, based on their assessment of the risk and costs. It is therefore vitally important that you disclose all relevant information. It is far better, if you are unsure, to tell the insurance company about the issue, they may or may not be interested, but at least you have told them about it up front. If it involves health issues and could affect your premium, don’t risk them annulling your claim on the basis that you didn’t tell them about ‘material facts’. At the time of the claim, you and your family will not need the hassle, and you will want your loved ones to have a straight forward claim when the time comes.
Unfortunately, we see far too many complaints about how the policy or policies were old in the first instance. If you were sold life assurance policies under specific circumstance, you might have a claim for mis-selling and be entitled to both a refund of the premiums paid and compensation for the stress caused.
Claiming for mis-sold life assurance products is no different to the scandalous mis-selling of PPI or Endowment policies, and you will be entitled to a refund of your money if circumstance shows that you should not have been sold the policy or was sold the wrong type of plan.
All life assurance firms have a duty of care to you as their customer, whether they are regulated for the sale of life assurance products or not. Let’s look at some circumstances that may be categorised as mis-selling life assurance policies or plans:
- You can claim if the policy that was sold to you was not a suitable policy. The life assurance industry has been renowned for high commissions being paid to their agents, and some life assurance plans will generate more commission for their salespeople than others. Where this happens, there will always be a bias towards the higher commission paying policies. If this has happened and you were sold the wrong policy, merely to line the pockets of the life assurance salesman, you will be entitled to compensation.
- Some of us will have been sold life assurance policies as protection for loans or mortgages. If those protection plans were not needed or were sold to you as ‘compulsory’, then you may be entitled to compensation.
- Some policies have been sold with the benefit never likely to have been paid. Some plans may have been sold to you where you are older and not likely to benefit from the policy, you may have had medical conditions that prevent you from qualifying for cover, and these circumstances will lead to you being able to claim the insurance company.
- There has been over the years a lot of scaremongering around the risks associated with not having life assurance cover. If the need to have it or the benefits of the policy were exaggerated at the time, you might have a claim for mis-selling.
- Pressure selling is also a common complaint, the direct sales person who will not take no for an answer or the salesperson that will not leave your home until you have signed contract. Perhaps you did not receive the correct ‘cooling-off’ period or paperwork explaining your right to cancel the policy. Under these circumstances, you would be entitled to a claim for mis-selling.
One of the most common mis-selling practices over the years has been seen with the banks selling associated insurance products with their loans or mortgages. If you have had a mortgage or loan/fiancé agreement with these types of policies attached, then you may be entitled to a refund of the premiums paid and compensation for the mis-selling. You have up to 6 years to claim.
If you were sold a policy by a company that is ‘registered’ and regulated, you could address your complaint to the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme). They deal with all complaints about mis-selling by companies that were regulated with the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) who control banks, insurance companies, agents etc. Financial complaints are common, and we are more than happy to help you with the submission of your claim.
Our experienced team of claims experts will deal with the FCA for you and help you structure your claim for maximum pay-out.
Just complete the initial form on this page to commence your claim, and we will be in touch with further details.