Is my father stuck on his life policy?
My 92-year-old father has so far paid £5,760 into a Phoenix Life policy for a payout that will be £2,278.
He now has numerous health issues including Parkinson’s and he is paying for both night care and for carers to come in four to five times a day.
He needs every penny and doesn’t want to continue paying the £24 monthly premiums for this policy. Nor does he think it would be sensible to forgo the cover.
Have you any ideas? KB, HERTS
This was a Senior Security Plan (which had started out as a Cornhill Life policy). This funeral plan had been for over-50s and didn’t require a medical assessment.
I spoke to Phoenix Life, which stressed that the decision to apply for the policy had been your father’s. It had not been recommended by an adviser. Your request for ideas as to how this could be dealt with hadn’t, it says, been registered as a complaint but has been now.
Even so, Phoenix isn’t offering any way around this such as allowing for the premiums to be paid out of the underlying sum, which I had suggested.
Nevertheless, Phoenix told me: “We apologise for missing several opportunities to investigate these concerns and, in recognition of poor service, we have arranged for a £150 cheque to be sent to Mr B within seven working days.”
At least this will help with the premiums for the time being. You say it is welcome.
LETTER OF THE WEEK
under its management.
The letter I received some four months ago is not only alarming in content but ambiguous as to when a promised review will be completed.
I have written to Legal & General on three occasions since receiving the letter with nothing informative in return, only holding replies. JC, SHROPSHIRE
Legal & General had decided to close some underperforming funds
and some relatively small ones. From the clues I have it appears the exercise had been fraught.
The letter you refer to started: “Last year we began an exercise to move some of our members out of funds that we intend to close.
“We have since identified that we made some errors in processing the fund closures as well as in some of the letters that we sent to members at that time.
“We are writing to you now to provide you with an
update on our plans to close these funds and to outline how we intend to correct any errors that may have affected you.”
Legal & General admitted to me that there had been some inaccuracies and miscommunications which, it said, its teams have been working closely among themselves to resolve.
Following what I am told was a thorough review and audit, you were offered £150 as redress. This was in recognition for this
taking too long and for your patience, which I agree has been rather taxed.
A spokesman for Legal & General Investment Management said: “At no point was there any risk that the customer would suffer any financial loss and we regret any anxiety caused and the extended time taken to resolve the matter.”
I asked if the exercise had been overseen by a third party. It replied that both the relevant independent