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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 14309
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I have an endowment policy. This is not about being missold.

Customer Question

I have an endowment policy. This is not about being missold.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: In 2018 we took out £20000 from the policy. I thought when it matured it would give about £9000 after taking the £20000.The whole policy was supposed to meet £45000. I have since got a repayment mortgage.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: In August this year I asked for a settlement amount and was quoted £25000. I queried this but was told that was the quote. I was very excited. In October this year I rang again and was quoted £18000. I queried why there was a £7000 drop and I was advised I had to wait 5 days. As I didn’t hear back I rang again and was quoted £25533. I asked for the policy to be withdrawn. When I rang to check if the policy was being processed I was then quoted only £5000.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: In the meantime based in getting 25000 we part exchanged our caravan. I’ve would not have even considered this if it wasn’t for the quotes I was given several times.The prudential uphold all of my complaints but only offered £400 .I now have nearly £9000 on credit cards as this was the only way we could pay for the caravan. We had already signed the deal when I was quoted the £25533. Do I have a case and if so how much do you think the prudential should pay me. Thank you
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 13 days ago.

Good morning. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service therefore i maybe delayed in replying.

for background -

was this information all told to you over the phone?

nothing in writing?

 

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Yes by phone but they record all calls and I have asked for the transcripts. They are not denying my complaint.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Sorry I can’t afford the £44.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 13 days ago.

The offer of a telephone call comes out automatically. It’s optional. You can just ignore it or request it later.

 

We can continue on here.

This is the problem with dealing with things on the telephone. People give off-the-cuff answers which are often inaccurate.

They have upheld your complaint but it appears that the amount of compensation you have been offered is less than adequate. I don’t know if you have made a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman but it would now be worthwhile doing so.

You potentially have a claim in common law negligence.

It will help if I explain how claims in negligence arise.

There needs to be

1. a duty of care

2. the duty of care needs to be breached

3. as a result of the breach there needs to be loss or injury

4. the loss or injury must be as a result of the breach

5. the loss or injury resulting from the breach must be reasonably foreseeable.

In order for there to be a claim in negligence, all 5 heads have to be satisfied.

Although a party may be able to opt out of negligence claims in respect of damage to property by having a contract or disclaimer, it is not possible to opt out of personal injury or death as a result of negligence.

The relevant statute is the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 (UCTA).

However even a disclaimer in respect of negligence claims with regard to damage to property will only be applicable if it passes the UCTA test of “reasonableness”. You would need to Google the Act to get all the details of that but basically a person can’t exclude liability for claims in negligence in respect of damage to property to basically do what they like, and drive a coach and horses through all their obligations.

The issue here is whether it is reasonably foreseeable that you would go and metaphorically spend the money before you got it and am sorry to say that in my opinion it is not. I think you’re entitled to more compensation but it wouldn’t be 9000 pounds.

There is no mathematical or legal formula for how much compensation you should get but in my opinion it should certainly be worth more than the 400 pounds. My suggestion would be to tell them that you would settle for 5000 pounds on the basis that they will turn it down and potentially offer half of that but more than they have already offered.

It remains to see what the ombudsman would suggest you were awarded which could be more or could be less or could be nothing at all!

Ultimately, you can’t beat them with a stick until they capitulate and pay up and your only remedy would be to take them to court.

I’m sorry to say, it’s not one that I would be rushing to court over.

 

Can I clarify anything else for you?

 

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

 

Please take a moment to look at the top right-hand corner of the page and rate my service by clicking one of the stars at the top of the screen.

 

You may need to login again to use the rating service. Although it says "rate to finish" it doesn't close the thread and we can still exchange emails.

 

It's important that you use the rating service because that gives me credit.

 

It doesn't just give me a pat on the head! It's what gets me paid!!

 

There is also an experts incentive scheme whereby the more 5 star ratings I get I do actually get a pat on the head!

 

All you need to do is press Submit.

 

Thank you.

 

If you still need any points clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

 

Best wishes.

 

FES

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Hi I have rung today and suggested I cash in the endowment and then they pay the difference which is £4000. Do you think that is more reasonable .
Expert:  F E Smith replied 13 days ago.

I think that’s quite a good suggestion. Follow it up in writing and then there is a record.