24 years and 10 months ago we along with most people in England who were then buying their homes, were convinced that borrowing the house purchase monies
in tandem with an insurance savings policy that matured at the same time as
the mortgage term ended, was the best and cheapest way to start climbing
the UK's notoriously expensive housing ladder. The main attractions
of the endowment insurance policy on offer at that time, were the insurer's
written estimates of the huge surplus that would be left for us to spend
at the end of the 25 year term. after paying off the home loan.
This attraction was held out essentially right the way through the first
23 years of paying into the insurance endowment.
Towards the end of year 23 however we received a "red letter" from the insurance
company. Red is very negative in insurance savings terms, as it warns that
the savers, far from looking forward to some surplus cash at the end
of the 25 years of savings, were going to have to dig deep into their
pockets to fund a shortfall on the home mortgage loan repayment.
However with all our home insurance papers, was some small print about
being able with the benefit of another insurance co's support,
to bring claims about
services and products purchased that did not live up to the promises made
about them. My answer in June 2007 was to request that that small print
benefit be used by the services and products insurance company
to claim redress from the endowment insurers for their red letter.
Despite my day job as a solicitor, it took from June to
December 2007 to persuade the services and products insurance company
to refer my claim on to their legal counsel for an opinion.
At least in agreeing to do so yesterday they also agreed to do
so at their own expense so I will refrain from naming and shaming
at this time.
Their legal counsel may advise that we do not have a legal case
which would be both a surprise and a setback.
However even if so the point would remain that had I not had the clout
of legal training and expertise myself, I would have given up trying
to seek redress months ago and my concerns would never have
have received a proper answer.