Keith Iles, a former IFA, was informed by ReAssure in October 2021 that a review had determined his premiums would be increased by 53 per cent in order to maintain the life cover policy he has for himself and his wife.
Iles called the firm a number of times to discuss this change, and eventually wrote a letter of complaint to Matthew Cuhls, managing director of ReAssure, stating that he was “climbing the walls” trying to get information from the company.
He also said that it had taken him at least 30 minutes to get through to a company representative on the phone.
ReAssure had given Iles a deadline of December 1 to pay the increased premium, or it would reduce his level of cover.
On November 15, less than two weeks before his life cover was due to expire, Iles received a letter from ReAssure apologising for the premium increase.
In the letter, seen by FTAdviser, a policy administrator at the company said the review was “completed in error” and that the company “sincerely apologise[s]”.
The review was cancelled and the company confirmed Iles’ monthly premium would remain the same and gave him a review date of November 2023.
Then, on December 17, a customer services analyst in ReAssure’s service resolution team said the company would send Iles £200 “to say sorry” for the error.
A spokesperson for ReAssure told FTAdviser: “We are always sorry to hear of any dissatisfaction with our service and do our best to resolve this as quickly as possible.
“On this occasion we acknowledge that mistakes have been made during the review process of Mr Iles’ policy for which we have apologised.”
The spokesperson said reviewable whole of life policies are reviewed regularly to ensure the premium being paid will still provider the required cover.
Iles has written to the Financial Conduct Authority over the issue.
The regulator said it has passed the information he provided onto its supervisory team, but it cannot intervene in disputes between individuals and firms as that is the role of the Financial Ombudsman Service.
ReAssure takes on blocks of policies from companies looking to exit from closed books of business, including Barclays, HSBC, Guardian and Legal & General.
ReAssure was the subject of hundreds of complaints at the Financial Ombudsman Service in the second half of 2020, after advisers bemoaned increasingly poor levels of service at the company.
Complaints data showed the consolidator was the subject of 341 new cases. Two-thirds of these (224) related to decumulation life and pensions.