I purchased life/critical illness insurance via 3rd party who have since went burst, I originally had a partner on the policy, the policy was labled quite clearly Mortgage Protection Insurance. I fell out with my then partner and removed her with consent from the mortgage I was then a few years later diagnosed with a critical Illness, they said my claim was good but they could only pay me 50% of the claim ay as the other 50% had to go to my ex partner ? I complained and they said they would sort it out,,, 2 years later still dealing with FOS who keep moving the goalposts and reason why they find in favour of Aegon. My complaint is this: They never issued a policy at time of purchase and as it was an add on policy I never gave it much thought, They state they sent it to the 3 rd party and that was enough for them to be excused. I could not be aware that I had to remove my ex from the policy as I was not in any knowledge of that requirement, secondly having obtained a copy of the policy document 2 years ago it has no section at all within detailing what you must do in this event. FOS state a letter from them asking to inform them of any changes before the policy commenced was enough for him to find in there favour.. I am now 10k short and who knows the long term problem that will cause with my mortgage. Be very aware when buying these policies and avoid this lot totally unless you want shafted big style..
Aegon Scottish Equitable -WORST Investment company ever. They not only do not know how to invest money for real profit, but they can't even tell you what they're doing. Their own staff can't even communicate with each other. They can't give you accurate information because their administration is so poor. They would rather lie to you than take the bother to give you information. They are also very, very slow to settle accounts. Their customer service is terrible. Better to put your money under the bed than give it to these idiots. They may be big, but they think that's what lets them treat people like dirt. Time that someone in the inside blew the whistle on them. Someone in there must know why the company is so badly run. I think it can't run because they didn't learn to crawl. That's what happens when you get too big too quickly.
Aegon Scottish Equitable. I cannot agree more with the review I have just read regarding this company. When I filled in all the forms for my pension settlement, which included copies of just about all of my personal ID documents, and returned them to the company, I heard nothing from them for two weeks. When I phoned them, they said they had received nothing. Then some weeks later they said they had found the forms, but required a copy of my wife's passport. The same thing happened again - lost. They did not inform me, I had to phone them. They told me the local Post Office was holding hundreds of letters addressed to them. I Emailed a scan of the passport to them. Time and again they said my pension check would be sent. I'm still waiting. excuse after excuse given. They don't seem to want to pay me.
As I’ve already written a scathing review of Scottish Life I thought it about time that Scottish Equitable felt the wrath of the Ging. I’ve decided to turn my attention to Scottish Equitable for one reason and one reason only. They have in my opinion provided the most consistently poor level of customer service over the past 8 years. WHO ARE THEY? Scottish Equitable has been in existence in one form or another since 1831, providing individual and group pension policies, life assurance and investment products. Scottish Equitable have a large selection of different investment funds ranging from safe fixed interest investments to highly volatile Equity investments. At the end of this opinion will give a breakdown of a selection of funds and their performance over the past 1, 2 and 3 years. In 1994, Scottish Equitable became part of the larger AEGON Group and this was followed by the purchase of Guardian Royal Exchange’s life and pensions business in the latter part of 1999, making Scottish Equitable one of the largest insurance companies in the UK with assets under management in excess of £185 billion. As Scottish Equitable are generally an investment company they are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Due to the nature of their business, Scottish Equitable do not sell their products direct to the general public. They rely on recommendations via Independent Financial Advisers. Based at their head office in Edinburgh, Scottish Equitable currently employ over 3,000 people in the United Kingdom and have more than 30 regional offices. WHAT DEALINGS DO I HAVE WITH THEM? I have dealt on and off with Scottish Equitable since 1995. My main interaction is with their group administration departments relating to Group Personal Pensions and Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) contracts. Overall, very few of my clients actually invest with Scottish Equit able going forward, however, due to the nature of their contracts, they do retain investments. If they were to transfer to another insurance company hefty transfer penalties would be applied to each individual fund. MY EXPERIENCE I’m going to summarise my experience with Scottish Equitable in bullet points and provide a few examples of the level of service provided. Poor knowledge of services Poor knowledge of products Poor knowledge of basic pension administration and legislation Poor investment returns Slow response times No flexibility From a personal point of view, the bullet points raised above provide me with enough to realise that placing any future business with Scottish Equitable is a definite no-no. As an example for a large number of the above points. In May of 2002 our administration team forwarded a cheque in respect of contributions onto Scottish Equitable along with a schedule showing how this cheque was broken down between each member of the pension scheme. One female member had married and had changed her name from Miss X to Mrs Y. So to avoid confusion, we also attached a copy of Mrs Y’s marriage certificate and requested that Scottish Equitable’s records were amended. In July 2002 we received a letter from Scottish Equitable enclosing a cheque in respect of Mrs Y’s contributions, as there was not a member of the Scheme called Mrs Y. No problem I thought to myself, this will be easily remedied. I telephoned Scottish Equitable, navigated my way skilfully past the automated operator and hit a brick wall (I mean the helpdesk). This is a copy of the telephone note taken at the time “Hello, I’m calling from M……….. regarding a letter I’ve received from your Midlands North department. Can you transfer me to Miss Z plea se?” “No, sorry, I can’t do that. You’ve come through to the helpdesk. If you let me know your query I will call the department, get a response and call you back.” “Er, wouldn’t it just be easier to put me through so I can speak to the person who wrote to me?” “No, sorry, these are our new procedures.” I then went onto explain that there was a Mrs Y, and that I would be sending the cheque back along with a further copy of her marriage certificate. “That will be fine, but I’ll call the department and check that is OK.” I hang up and wait for a response, slightly bemused, but not unhappy or annoyed. Two days later, I receive my call back. The conversation basically, gave me answers to a completely different question and confirmed that there was not a Mrs Y in the scheme and they could not therefore allocate contributions without an application form. The red mist descended!!!! I calmly explained our conversation from the previous day; the lady remembered this conversation and apologised for getting mixed up. She was now certain that as she was aware of the situation, I should just send the cheque back and a copy of the marriage certificate. A further six weeks later another piece of correspondence from Scottish Equitable, from the same person as before arrived on my desk. The red mist descended again. Instead of simply telephoning, I decided to write a rather sarcastic and scathing letter to the author of the correspondence regarding the marriage of males and females, and the fact that strangely enough, at times, women change their name. I’d attach a copy but I’m trying to keep this opinion as serious as possible. Before Scottish Equitable accepted that Miss X was in fact Mrs Y, we had received over 12 cheques and 14 letters. A very minor administration dispute that I shouldn’t have seen, le t alone deal with that had taken up hours of my time, their time and probably killed a tree for all the paper involved. If I had an investment of any kind with Scottish Equitable, I’d be worried. Very worried. SO ARE THEY GOOD AT ANYTHING? In my opinion, insurance companies are measured on a few things, their investment performance, management charges, and administration performance (response times, and the time taken to settle benefits). Taking a selection of funds in turn, I have as detailed above done a summary of their performance over the past 1, 2 and 3 years. For the purposes of this exercise, I have chosen 3 pension investment funds. They are: Fixed Interest Global Managed UK Equity The figures shown are the percentage return on each fund. Fixed Interest 1 year 4.1% 2 years 7.5% 3 years 7.8% Global Managed 1 year -23.1% 2 years -18.6% 3 years -14.4% UK Equity 1 year -18.8% 2 years -14.6% 3 years -11.2% As you’ll see from this snapshot, their investment performance isn’t encouraging, however, their fixed interest and With-Profits policies are providing steady positive returns. In comparison to other insurers, the investment performance whilst not great, can be looked at in a more positive light. Over the same period of 3 years, the Scottish Life UK Equity fund has produced a negative return of 32%. Although their investment performance has been encouraging, I can think of numerous other insurers that provide a more efficient alround service. I would not recommend them to my worst enemy!