It’s good to see that consumers are once again getting bolshy about the crazy charges which some insurers levy over a simple savings policy.
Some 3,500 consumers have already announced their intention to sue over what they say are excessive fees charged by Fortis and friends. Great chunks of the €100 a month consumers think they are saving are actually going straight into the insurers’ coffers.
It’s not the first time. Take the long-simmering row over share lease investments. In the 1990s, consumers were encouraged to borrow money to buy shares and take advantage of soaring prices. At the end of a given period, they would pay off the loans with the proceeds of selling their stocks. It’s a pity the stock market suddenly had a downturn and spoiled the fun.
Compensation packages are still being argued about.
And now it seems that around 40% of the money people with an investment-based mortgage pay in premiums goes on charges and fees.
But while consumers have a right to be angry if they are being ripped off, they cannot blame everything on the insurance companies. Greed and naivety have a lot to do with it as well. And if you want to play stock markets with the big boys, you have to accept that you can lose as well as win.