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Woman 'forgotten' during advice process

A woman who says her insurance adviser was so focused on her husband during the advice process that he failed to adequately consider her situation was unsuccessful in her complaint to Financial Services Complaints Ltd (FSCL).

Monday, March 9th 2020, 7:12PM

The couple had health, trauma and life insurance but the husband wanted to take out income protection insurance.

When an adviser offered to review their insurance, he agreed.

The adviser came to their home for a meeting during which, the woman said, she was distracted caring for the children.

She did not sign some of the initial documents and when she applied for insurance, she forgot to disclose heart palpitations she had experienced, and a minor heart condition she had been diagnosed with.

After the meeting, the adviser emailed the couple about the risks of non-disclosure and recommended giving the insurer a copy of their medical records.

The woman said she did not see the email but her husband responded: “All good.”

The adviser found them new policies that gave them twice as much life cover for the same cost, trauma insurance, more extensive medical cover, income protection for the husband and cover for their kids.

After their third child was born, the woman experienced complications relating to her heart condition.

Her trauma claim was declined because the insurer discovered her medical history. It cancelled her trauma cover.

The woman said she felt the insurance adviser had been so focused on her husband that her situation was not adequately considered.

She had told her previous insurer about her medial condition and was covered at no extra cost.

She said she felt railroaded to change her insurance and that the adviser was focused on increasing his income instead of providing her with the best insurance.

The adviser argued he was not responsible for the non-disclosure.

FSCL said the adviser’s process could have been better.

“The adviser acknowledged that [the woman] was absent from some of the discussions and we suggested that he could have checked with her individually. We were also concerned that [she] did not sign some of the initial documents. However, [she] did complete the application form and had access to the email with comprehensive information about the risks associated with changing insurance and recommending that she should give the insurer her medical records.

“It seemed to us that while [she] may not have been fully engaged with the process, she was not railroaded into the changes. The new insurance did appear to benefit [the woman] with more extensive cover at no additional cost. The adviser did not have a legal obligation to tell [her] to give her insurer her medical records.”

FSCL said she was not prejudiced by flaws in the process and suggested she discontinue her complaint, which she agreed to do.

Tags: complaints FSCL insurance

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