IFAs have won a battle with Scottish Equitable over protection product real-time pricing guarantees after ScotEq threatened to introduce immediate price changes.
ScotEq told IFAs in September that it intended to impose real-time pricing on e-submissions for protection policies but without a guarantee that these prices would remain valid for a set period. The move left intermediaries concerned that clients who were given ScotEq quotes could find that the price changed when they paid for the product.
Real-time pricing is not new in the market. Companies such as Legal & General honour quotes for 30 days.
Aegon UK public affairs manager Lesley McPherson says after feedback from IFAs and particular input from Lifesearch, decisions over the way that real-time pricing will be implemented have been put on hold.
Lifesearch senior technical adviser Kevin Carr, Carr says the real-time proposition could be seen as prompting the client to act faster but could also come across to the client as a hard sell. ScotEq says this was never its intention.
Lifesearch has been in talks with ScotEq over the last two weeks to work out a solution that makes doing business straightforward for intermediaries.
McPherson says: “We have seen quite a bit of feedback and this has prompted us to put our plans on hold.”
Carr says: “It should not be about clients having to make a snap decision. The problem is that ScotEq's pricing could be changed overnight, leaving the intermediary high and dry.”