I divorced in 2007 and had an endowment policy which was in the joint names of myself and my wife. The policy was assigned to me. This was arranged by my solicitor. The assignment clearly assigns the policy "absolutely" to me and is on an industry agreed document. I have recently referred a complaint for the mis-selling of the policy to the Financial Ombudsman Service. They have stated they "think it possible that the assignment wording is insufficient to have assigned to Mr Sanders the sole right to complain about the policy sale". By that they are saying that assignment of the policy benefits and assignment of the right to complaint are two separate issues. I think they're talking nonsense - do you?
Country relating to Question: United Kingdom
Do you have a specific question?
Yes - would an absolute assignment include the right to complain about the sale of the policy?
I note that they have only stated "think it possible that...". Clearly, they do not "know" that it is insufficient. I agree with you. I think it gives you the sole right to complain about the policy sale but, a big but, and that is that they would probably need evidence from the joint policy holder because the policy was sold to 2 of you and 2 of you know the circumstances. I don't think that it is something that you would be able to deal with from end to end on your own without evidence from your wife.
At this point, it is worth me mentioning I worked for a life insurance company for 15 years before I fell into the legal profession so I do have some experience of this.
The sale is one thing, the assignment is another, and the complaint is another.
The assignment assigns the benefits of policy and would assign any compensation you get from mis-selling. However, the policy is still in joint names (even though you get the benefit) and therefore both parties would need to agree on the complaint as they are the parties to whom it was sold.
I appreciate that this was probably not the answer that you wanted but based on my experience and the facts you give, that is the way I see this.
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The thread remains open. Thanks
PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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