It was announced in May this year that the industry regulator the Financial Services Authority are asking for better treatment for those who hold life insurance policies in the UK and those who wish to purchase life insurance cover. It seems that some advisers selling life insurance policies are giving consumers very poor advice regarding the product, both before the sale has taken place and after.
In an insurance sector briefing issued by the FSA, it said that the after sales care when it comes to life insurance was seen as being very poor with some consumers thought not to have been treated fairly. There are also concerns over the quality of the product that some consumers are getting. Sarah Wilson who is director and sector leader of the Financial Services Authority insists that the findings where significant and that consumers should be able to be make the right choices when it came to purchasing the product.
The report said that consumers currently cannot make the right choice for themselves regarding their profits policy, because they simply don’t have the necessary information by which to do that. Consumers can be given very poor information before and after they have been sold a policy, which then leaves them unsure about what they have paid for and have actually bought.
In response to this and to try and rectify the situation the Financial Services Authority are asking those that sell the insurance to take more time out to make sure the consumer is more aware of the product they are purchasing. If the product isn’t understood then it needs to be clearly explained in jargon the consumer understands.
Sales of the product clearly need to be assessed with staff making sure the consumer understands the performance of the policy and the features of the product.
If the sales techniques and advice given in general about the product isn’t stepped up to ensure the consumer understands the product, then the Financial Services Authority are insisting they will start to hand out fines as a way of dealing with those advisor’s and companies who don’t put the consumers best interests first.
The Independent newspaper has said that the Association of British Insurers have welcomed this with open arms and accepted the Financial Services Authorities recommendation when it comes to consumer satisfaction regarding their life insurance policy.