Couple complain when whole-of-life policy sold to them doesn't fit their needs

Whole of life assurance

Doug and Cheryl got in touch with us as they didn't believe the whole-of-life policy they were recommended to get was right for them.

What happened

Doug and Cheryl were in their 40s and had two children. They said they needed life assurance in case one of them dies - so there'd be money to help support the surviving partner and their children. They went to a insurance business to get some recommendations.
They business they chose suggested they take out a whole-of-life policy. But Doug and Cheryl weren't convinced that they needed this type of cover.
They still took out the policy but felt afterwards that they shouldn't have been sold this. They came to us to investigate.

What we said

We asked Doug and Cheryl to send us what documentation they'd completed at the time of the sale. When we looked at it, we could see that it supported what they said. They only needed life assurance in place until their children were 21. We also found that Doug and Cheryl's pensions would provide for the surviving partner should one of them die after retiring.
We felt that Doug and Cheryl's needs could have been met cheaper and more appropriately. We felt that term assurance would have been a better option for them to take. The business was able to provide this option, and then end it at their anticipated retirement dates.
We decided to uphold Doug and Cheryl's complaint. We told the business to compensate Doug and Cheryl and refund them the difference between they'd already paid and what they would have paid for term assurance for the same sum assured.
We also told the business to provide term assurance to Doug and Cheryl without them needing to provide evidence of their health. We told them that this should be at the same premium they'd have paid if they'd taken it out on the same date as the whole-of-life policy.