Achmea seals deal over “woekerpolis” investment-based savings

Achmea offices in Leiden. Photo: Biccie via Wikimedia Commons

Achmea has become the fourth big insurance group to reach a deal with customers who lost out financially because of the high charges they had to pay on investment-based savings accounts.

Achmea, with brands Avero, Centraal Beheer and Interpolis, has agreed to pay €60 million to 27,000 customers which will bring them between a few hundred euros to up to €10,000 in a few cases.

NN, the parent company of Nationale-Nederlanden, said last month it had agreed to pay out €360 million to buy off claims. Last November ASR, which also owns Aegon, agreed on a deal worth some €250 million. Allianz agreed to a deal in 2021.

The so-called ‘woekerpolis’ affair was brought to light in 2006 by TV consumer show Radar, following an investigation by the Dutch financial markets regulator AFM. The AFM said hidden costs meant many customers paid more to cover their investments than they earned from them.

Altogether around half a million people took out similar products from various insurers between 1990 and 2008.  Clients paid a monthly fee, expecting a large payout at the end of the period – usually 20 or 30 years – but then discovered much of their investment had gone on costs, including fees to
selling agents.

Achmea has also set aside €25 million for policy holders who are not members of one of the five claim clubs which have been fighting for compensation in the courts.

“This book can now close” the claim clubs – Consumentenbond, ConsumentenClaim, Wakkerpolis, Stichting Woekerpolisproces and Vereniging  – said in a joint statement.

Reaal and De Goudse still have to reach a deal.

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