Tom Baigrie pleas with insurers to rein in their agents

"It is in the end up to our insurers to control the hard-sell and the damage it can do to all our reputations," said Baigrie.

The reason the protection market cannot be trusted, LifeSearch's chairperson added, is because a conversation with a protection telesales non-adviser feels to any consumer just “like talking to an adviser”.

He continued: “But if the non-adviser mis-sells, and in our mystery shops, they often do, then when the customer or their family realise that they didn’t get what they needed, they get almost no right to the Ombudsman’s protection. 

“The non-advice firm will successfully defend itself by saying they did not give advice, the decision to buy what was sold was the customer’s alone.”

The Association of British Insurers has been approached for comment.