Insurers in court over investment policies

A lobby group representing 85,000 people who are unhappy with their investment-based savings policies is to take Fortis and Nationale-Nederlanden to court.

The Stichting Verliespolis hopes to force the companies into paying compensation to policy holders faced with high hidden costs on their policies.
Talks on a deal between the foundation and insurers broke down this week. ‘It is a pity we did not reach a deal,’ lobby group spokesman Rob Okhuijsen told the Volkskrant. ‘A deal is better than a long drawn-out court case.’
The row centres on policies bought to pay off mortgages or top up pensions in which the final value depends on investment results. Huge costs attached to some policies means very little of the actual premium has been invested. Some six million investment-based policies have been sold since the beginning of the 1990s.
Last month, the financial services sector ombudsman said that policy holders faced with costs amounting to more than 3.5% of their total premium should get financial compensation. Insurance companies agreed to the deal, which will cost them some €1.5bn. But consumer organisations said the offer was not good enough.
Last year, another lobby group, the Stichting Woekerpolis Claim which represents 60,000 policy holders, began legal action against Nationale-Nederlanden and Rabobank. It said yesterday that Fortis would be added to its list of targets.

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