Aviva action group says 250,000 will be left in dark
The Norwich Union Policyholder Action Group has hit out at Aviva after it was told 250,000 policyholders eligible for a slice of the inherited estate may not receive their information packs before the firm’s scheduled roadshows.
The firm announced this week that it has begun sending out packs inviting one million policyholders to vote in the proposed reattribution of the firm’s estate.
The packs include the minimum payment each policyholder would receive if they agreed to the reattribution and information booklets from both Aviva and policyholder advocate Clare Spottiswoode.
Aviva has confirmed that 50,000 packs are being sent out each day and that the process would take “about a month” to complete.
But the reattribution roadshows, which are designed to answer policyholders’ questions and help them decide whether to take their payment or not, begin on June 23.
The London, Exeter, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester and Jersey shows will have taken place before every policyholder has had a chance to consider their individual offer.
Aviva has told policyholders not to get in touch to query the whereabouts of their information pack until July 2.
Joint founder of the action group Philip Meadowcroft says: “It is incredibly arrogant of Aviva and the policyholder advocate to hold these roadshows knowing full well that the packs would not be out in time - a quarter of a million people will not have had their paperwork.
“It is dishonourable conduct but it is conduct we have come to expect. This is a form of financial fascism, to say ‘we know what is best for you and you’ll take it’.”
Aviva reattribution director Gary Price says: “I do not accept that in any way customers are disadvantaged if they do not receive their pack before their roadshow.
“The pack itself, we believe, provides all the information a customer needs to make an informed choice. If they have any questions they can ring the policyholder advocate or us or log on to our website. The roadshows are just one of the ways that people can get questions answered.
“We are not allowed to start issuing our packs until we get to a certain point in the process. We wanted to make sure, given we are going to the High Court in September, that customers have adequate time to consider the offer. And we did not want to run roadshows during the main summer holiday period.”