A £17,000 refund for life policy
In July 1997, St James’s Place International sold us a whole of life cover plan, the sum assured payable at our second death. It was written in trust for our daughters.
The plan featured an automatic 10pc sum assured uplift at each policy anniversary.
Disproportionate premium increases accompanied these uplifts and became so untenable a limit was called at £132,845 sum assured with an annual premium of £1,950.
St James’s Place reneged on this contract amendment in 2007, increasing the premium to £3,247, which was an unwarranted immediate increase of 66pc.
The 2013 review further increased the premium to £3,963.
Because replies to written protestations to SJPI in Dublin were, and remain, so dilatory, the policy fell into arrears enabling SJPI to require new GP medical reports.
Despite both reports being favourable, given the passage of time, SJPI reduced the contracted sum assured to £112,749. SJPI refuses to rewrite or revise the plan.
The present value of the fund is £6,000 less than the premiums paid so far.
We dread further cruel impositions through the remainder of this St James’s Place Wealth Management whole of life cover plan as our faculties weaken. PB, DERBYSHIRE
I was unhappy with the initial responses, verbal and written, both you and I had had from St James’s Place in response to the query.
St James’s Place insisted it had treated you fairly.
It took two months from then for this to be sorted out. Now, in a turnaround, St James’s Place agreed to terms equivalent to those prevailing at January 2004.
The accumulated changes in the premiums paid annually since then have now been refunded. These come to £16,701.
It has paid an additional £500 for the distress and inconvenience.
From now on, the 2004 annual premium of £1,950 will not alter. This brings the annual cost down by £2,013 from what you were paying.
The now unalterable sum assured has reverted to £132,845, more than £20,000 more than it was.
The recently demanded GP medical reports have been decreed out of order.
You say that it has been a long haul and without my involvement your quest would be continuing fruitlessly.
St James’s Place said there was some confusion and misunderstanding that it didn’t deal with properly over this.
As a result, the level of service you received was not, it said, of the high standard it sets itself.
It said it has learnt from this and taken steps to ensure its procedures are revised in the future.