Insurance cold-calls under the spotlight

Insurance cold-calls under the spotlight

A cold-calling firm has been targeting people in the UK, claiming to be reviewing their life insurance policies. 

Advisers such as Alan Knowles, director of Cura Financial Services, and providers such as Steve Casey, marketing director for Square Health, reported receiving cold-calls from an outfit calling itself the Insurance Review Centre.

The phone number is based in Runcorn, although there is no website presence for it, nor is there a company listed under that name in Runcorn on Companies House.

While a web search brings up some similarly named companies, such as a consumer review website, these are all unrelated to the so-called 'Insurance Review Centre'.

The number the advisers were called from is 01928 639850, and online searches show other consumers have also complained of being cold-called by people from it.

According to the consumer reports, the cold-callers purported to be working on behalf of the consumer's life insurance company, but when challenged for their Financial Conduct Authority number, they reported that the call was terminated.

Mr Casey said he had had a similar experience, and told Financial Adviser he had called the company to lodge a complaint, but has yet to hear back.

I also called the number from my personal mobile on behalf of Financial Adviser. 

The first person I spoke with went by the name of 'Wayne' who said he was from the Insurance Review Centre. Before I'd got past "Hello, how are you?", he said: "The reason you're calling us is because we tried to get hold of you about your life insurance".

When I told him nobody had called me, and that I was a journalist from Financial Adviser and was calling them to ask the company some questions, he said again: “We have called you about your insurance”. 

When I explained again that they didn't call me; I was calling them based on a story I was writing, and could I speak with someone able to talk to the media, he put me through to his line manager, who introduced himself as Michael.

Michael immediately greeted me using my maiden name, which I have not used since 2013. They were unable to tell me how they knew my maiden name. 

I was then put through to a lady who said her name was Stacey. She said: "The company does have a FCA regulated number and they do have FCA regulated financial advisers". 

But when I asked for more details, I was told an FCA regulated financial adviser would call me back. I did not get a name for that financial adviser. 

When pressed, she then said she would pass my details onto a regulated financial adviser, and they would contact the Financial Times and let the FT know that one of their employees (me) wanted to speak with them.