Views on LifePolicies Direct please

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Insurance & Life Assurance
30 replies 1.4K views
SaverSarah_2SaverSarah_2 Forumite
502 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Insurance & Life Assurance
Hi there, I entered our details for a comparative life + critical illness policy through MoneySupermarket. When I found a policy I liked the look of, I applied to be sent the application form direct for the policy I was interested in. Since then I've been contacted by LifePolicies Direct. They sent me an application form for a different policy, not the one I expressed an interest in (the one they send was slightly cheaper, actually).

However, I didn't want to deal through a broker as we know exactly what we want (it's to replace an old policy coming that's no longer competitive, bought through a tied agent).

Are LifePolicies Direct a broker? Will they charge me commission? Anyone know anything about them?

I thought MoneySupermarket was an independent comparison site, so I'm confused now! Any help gratefully accepted.
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  • tanithtanith Forumite
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    Sarah the same thing happened to me with Life Policys.. I used a link here to go to the Cavendish site and got a phone call and an info pack and quote for a Mortgage protection Policy .. not sure how they got all the details as I am sure I did not fill in anything directly to them.... they gave me a very competitive quote saving me £15 on a £43 policy with my mortgage lender... I still have the quote and they just sent me another letter saying they would match any other quote I get .....

    I am hesitating because I just don't like getting unsolicitated stuff and its just left me with a bad feeling about them .... maybe unwarranted....

    Not sure what to do to be honest Hubby says if they are saving us £15 a month, go for it.. but if something goes wrong ,, of course it will be my fault

    :confused:

    tanith
    #6 of the SKI-ers Club :j

    "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    However, I didn't want to deal through a broker as we know exactly what we want (it's to replace an old policy coming that's no longer competitive, bought through a tied agent).

    All the websites you see are IFAs or protection advisors (what you call a broker). They have to be authorised by the FSA to transact that sort of business.
    Are LifePolicies Direct a broker?

    They sell protection policies and that makes them no different to anyone else selling protection policies, whether that is with an IFA, a protection advisor, in your home, over the phone or on the internet.
    Will they charge me commission?

    Well, they are going to make money somewhere. If you are not paying a fee, then they will be taking commission.
    thought MoneySupermarket was an independent comparison site,

    from their website: Moneysupermarket.com Limited is an appointed representative of Moneysupermarket.com Financial Group Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority

    They are regulated but that is because they are giving information on regulated products.
    I used a link here to go to the Cavendish site and got a phone call and an info pack and quote for a Mortgage protection Policy .. not sure how they got all the details as I am sure I did not fill in anything directly to them.... they gave me a very competitive quote saving me £15 on a £43 policy with my mortgage lender...

    Don't assume Cavendish are the cheapest. Thanks to a forum member here, I found out that I was able to provide cheaper life cover than Cavendish on equal terms and the investment enhancements offered by them could be bettered as well. So, whilst they are very very well priced, they could still be beaten.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • AndrewSmithAndrewSmith Forumite
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    Hi Saversarah.

    Moneysupermarket are one of the countries leading Lead Generation Companies for the financial services market.

    Despite what you may be told they do NOT employ their own brokers or advisors. What happens is that you will input your details and what you are looking for, they then put your details into a pot of 'leads'. These leads are then auctioned off by postcode, requirements etc to the highest bidding broker who registers with them to buy leads.

    These types of companies can be an invaluable source of business for the new broker looking to start out on their own, likewise they can be good for providing generic information and comparison tables.

    You will probably find that Lifepolicies Direct are actually a client of Moneysupermarket and have bid the highest amount for your lead. They will not be in any way part of or associated with Moneysupermarket.

    Hope this helps

    Andy
  • I feel the same – they phoned me to say I'd asked them for a quote (not true), they wanted to put me through to one of their advisers, I was very cagey but finally gave in, then it turned out I ended up talking to the evening switchboard person who just wanted to take all the details again. I didn't give them any more info as they'd phoned me!

    This sort of thing really puts me off the financial services industry (and I worked in the industry for seven years!!). Guess they're only trying to earn a living though.
  • Well, they are going to make money somewhere. If you are not paying a fee, then they will be taking commission.


    At what point would they be obliged to disclose this? I thought all IFAs had to be transparent about their charges these days?

    Thanks for your response, it's very helpful.
  • Thanks Andy, that's great. As a customer though, can I be fairly sure that I'm getting a good deal from them? And presumably they have to be reputable (so we're protected as consumers) as they're regulated by the FSA?

    Actually, I've just noticed at the bottom of their follow-up letter, they're an appointed rep of Sesame, which is regulated by the FSA. So does that mean that LifePolicies Direct are NOT regulated?
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    At what point would they be obliged to disclose this? I thought all IFAs had to be transparent about their charges these days?

    IFAs do but protection advisors don't. Chances are this is being done under the protection advice class of business.

    To clarify, there are now three classifications of business. Designated investment (IFAs would be an example), general insurance (household, car and life assurance would be the areas here) and mortgage advice (mortgage advisors).

    You can be authorised in one of those areas, two or all three. Each has it's own rules. You can also be independent in one area but not necessarily another. Some IFA firms have segmented their business and have an IFA arm and a protection arm. Other businesses will only do mortgages and general insurance.

    There are different rules for each classification of business. Commisson disclosure is not a requirement with all classes.
    Actually, I've just noticed at the bottom of their follow-up letter, they're an appointed rep of Sesame, which is regulated by the FSA. So does that mean that LifePolicies Direct are NOT regulated?

    They are regulated. However, they use Sesame as a network provider, hence the reference to them. Networks are something an IFA can choose to be a member of. They are a supplier of back office services meant to help the smaller IFA.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • AndrewSmithAndrewSmith Forumite
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    They will be regulated however employ the services of Sesame to manage their compliance with the FSA regulations.

    I am also an appointed rep of a firm, however I still have to adhere to the same regulatory requirements laid down by the FSA, but without the headache of managing the compliance and T&C requirements myself, and this does not limit the advice or products I can offer within my level of authorisation (ie mortgages, life cover, critical illness, payment protection etc). It also means that I appear twice on the FSA register. Once with my own FSA number and again under the company to whom I am an appointed rep.

    Does not detract from the quality or type of advice given.

    You must only conduct business with a company or broker that you feel comfortable with using. There are plenty of us out there, make the firm earn your trust and be grateful for the business.

    Cheers

    Andy
  • Good advice, thanks again Andy.

    Sarah
  • paylesspayless Forumite
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    They will be regulated however employ the services of Sesame to manage their compliance with the FSA regulations.

    I am also an appointed rep of a firm, however I am still authorised and regulated by the FSA,

    Andy

    Just being petty ( not having a go- as you see I added a thanks ;) ) , but members of networks are not authorised by the FSA, rather they are "exempt"

    Its those firms that are either direct, or the network themselves that are "authorised"
    Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as (financial) advice.
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