Boiler insurer in hot water over misselling policies

Boiler insurance customers can take cold comfort from their heating maintenance supplier suspending sales due to suspected misselling of their policies.

HomeServe stopped marketing and taking on new customers after an independent audit revealed sale processes were below par – but as yet the underlying problem remains confidential.

The firm has announced that sales staff are undergoing retraining and marketing scripts are being revised.

HomeServe promises the sales glitch will not affect customers who already have cover who make a claim or want to renew their policy.

HomeServe sells insurance policies that cover repairs and servicing for boilers and central heating.

A recent report by consumer organisation Which? Claims these policies do not offer good value for money because the average service cost is £75 and few boilers and heating systems need repairs.

The main reason for buying the policy, according to Which?, is peace of mind in case something goes wrong with the heating than dealing with actual problems. A third of Which? Members confessed this is why they bought the cover.

Which? researcher Hazel Cottrell said: “Over the last year we’ve been contacted by dozens of members with complaints about HomeServe – including complaints about HomeServe pressuring a member into signing up to a policy and cold calling trying to sell insurance, as well as many disputes over claims.

“The fact that HomeServe has woken up to the reality of its unhappy customers and is taking swift action to address the problem is positive – although much of the damage may already be done. Our recent research into boiler servicing contracts found that HomeServe customers are some of the least satisfied – so the company has a long way to go to restore faith.”

HomeServe customer who believe the firm missold them a policy can call a claims helpline on 0800 121 6866.

The firm warns they have tapes of all sales calls and will check any claims, while offering ‘appropriate redress to any customers who have suffered a detriment.’

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