A £17,000 re­fund for life pol­icy

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - READERS’ LETTERS -

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.

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