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Lifesearch claims Paymentcare is mislabelling ASU and MPPI

Lifesearch has lashed out at Paymentcare, claiming it is mislabelling ASU and MPPI as income protection.

The firm says many general insurance firms are not following FSA treating customers fairly principles because they are promoting ASU and MPPI products as income protection.

Paymentcare has been pinpointed as one of many prov-iders which Lifesearch says may not be embracing TCF by clearly making distinctions between the products.

Senior technical adviser Kevin Carr says customers are often being led to believe that they are buying IP, which provides a partial income replacement for time off work due to long-term illness or disability, whereas they are buying ASU, which provides a sum for a limited period only. The Association of British Insurers makes a clear distinction bet-ween IP and ASU.

A major flaw in the system is the use of search engines, which often direct users tow-ards ASU/MPPI providers des-pite being requested to find IP providers.

The FSA says a series of visits looking at PPI firms found some selling practices to be poor. But the FSA, rather than use the full brunt of its powers, is asking the industry to improve its own standards.

Paymentcare managing director Shane Craig says he has been in discussions with the FSA on this topic since August but was unable to comment further.

Carr says: “This confusion should stop. While current interpretations of regulation allow this sector to remain lucrative, nothing will change. Ordering change is the only way forward.”

Failure to make a distinction between ASU and IP products can be seen on providers’ websites. Paymentcare’s website features the “Paymentcare Income Protection product”. Further reading reveals it covers “accident, sickness and unemployment” which offers less protection than most IP products.

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