ProtectionFeb 22 2023

ASA doubles down on life insurance ‘comparison’ ads

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ASA doubles down on life insurance ‘comparison’ ads
'Millions of phone calls go out because of these leads, and it gives the [protection] industry a bad name' [Pexels/Maksim Goncharenok]

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld another ruling against a life insurance lead generator which it found to have misled customers by promising them an online comparison quote only to feed their data to a third party.

In recent months, the regulator has upheld a handful of rulings highlighting this practice.

It sees customers led to believe they will get an online quote if they enter their details, only to be told they will get a call from an ‘agent’ - usually an insurance broker - instead.

Earlier this month, the ASA ruled against MPJ Invest Ltd on the same basis.

In the ruling published today (February 22), the ASA said three paid-for Facebook ads and a website operated by lead generator Digital Results Group were misleading because they implied they could provide online quotes and did not make clear they were a lead generation service.

Suddenly the protection gap looks like something we can manage.Luke Ashworth, Adviser AI

This ruling forms part of a wider piece of work on lead generation marketing the ASA has been conducting, and which FTAdviser revealed the beginnings of back in 2021.

“Rather than providing consumers with a number of life insurance quotes, the ad collected consumers’ personal information, which was then passed to other businesses,” the ASA said.

“Because the ads were for a lead generation company, and that was not made clear, we concluded that the ad was misleading and breached the code.”

The ASA also upheld four other issues raised over Digital Results Group’s adverts, which operate under the brands ‘UK Life Protection’, ‘British Life Cover Quotes’, and ‘British Life Benefits’.

These included:

  • Not making clear the basis of the stated cover levels, or that the level of cover was based on factors including age, health and lifestyle;
  • Three claims were “misleading” and could not be substantiated. These included: ‘save up to 65 per cent on life insurance cover’, ‘best policy, best price - that is our promise to you and your family’ and ‘try it risk free with our 30 day money back guarantee’.

The lead generator, Digital Results Group, did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries. According to its website, the firm is based in Switzerland.

The ASA told Digital Results Group these adverts must not appear again, and that it must remedy adverts going forward to ensure they are not misleading when it comes to product promises and information of what cover is based on.

‘This is huge’

For some in the protection industry, the ASA’s recent focus on lead generators which falsely promise online comparison quotes has been a long time coming.