23 September 2010
The Consumer Agency/Ombudsman and Skandia Life have agreed that the company will repay its customers the administrative costs which it did not state in its offer clearly enough.
The offer is an estimate on the development of the value of the insurance, calculated based on the customer's personal information. In the offer, Skandia Life had not stated clearly enough that it collects a one-percent administrative fee from the savings.
The Supreme Court of Finland gave a ruling on the matter last March. According to the ruling, the offer was essentially calculated correctly. However, it did not clearly enough state the effects of the one-percent annual administrative cost collected by Skandia Life on the value of the insurance. Therefore, the Supreme Court of Finland ruled that the company must calculate the value of the insurance as if the administrative cost had never been collected. The company may not collect an administrative cost in the future either.
It was the Consumer Agency/Ombudsman’s view that it is important to set a precedent for similar cases, and it assisted a customer in a public court. After the ruling of the Supreme Court, Skandia Life and the Consumer Agency/Ombudsman have negotiated on how the ruling will be applied to other insurance holders in the company.
The outcome of the negotiations is that Skandia Life will offer a repayment set by the Supreme Court ruling to all insurance holders who have received the same misleading offer during the sale of insurance in July 2003 at the latest, and who can prove this by submitting a copy of the offer to Skandia Life by 31 October 2010. The offer was clarified in July 2003 and, therefore, the arrangement only applies to insurance policies taken out before that time.
Skandia Life has agreed, with the Consumer Agency/Ombudsman, to contact during this autumn by mail all of its customers who have taken out a pension insurance, savings insurance or investment insurance in July 2003 or before. In its letter, Skandia Life will present detailed instructions on how to apply for repayment.
The offer has not been used in all sales of Skandia Life insurance policies. Customers with no received offer are not included in this repayment arrangement.