An industry expert believes that many online advertisement placements for over 50s life insurance plans are mis-leading, and is urging the FCA to crack down on the practice.
Ashley Shepherd, managing director at later life website Over50choices.co.uk says: “When is a funeral plan not a funeral plan? The answer is of course when it’s an over 50 life insurance plan.
“At least some life insurance companies (such as British Seniors and Liverpool Victoria) would like consumers to think they are, as they are bidding on various ‘funeral plan’ PPC (pay per click advertising) terms in the search engines Google and Bing.
“We all know that over 50 life insurance plans provide a cash sum upon death – and not a funeral. So how can it be a funeral plan if you aren’t providing funeral services? And, following on from that, to advertise on major search engines under these terms is, I strongly believe, misleading.
“Advertising, whatever the medium, is the start of the customer journey and I am surprised that the FCA hasn’t cracked down on this practice”.
Shepherd went onto to say, “It seems that insurance companies are hiding behind the fact that the FCA haven’t cottoned onto this. In the offline world it amounts to a paper advertisement promoting over 50 life insurance plans under the heading ‘funeral plans’ which these insurance companies would never do”.
“The TV Ads and literature with all of these companies all make very clear that these plans only ‘help with funeral costs’, it’s the start of the customer online journey they need to re-think.
“Clearly a level playing field from an industry perspective is needed and of course the consumer needs to start the journey from the correct starting point – otherwise they could end up buying a totally unsuitable product for their needs.”
Sales of the prepaid funeral plans increased by 22 percent in the first six months of the 2016 compared to the same period last year.