123.ie insists references to ex-providers on site are not 'misleading'
Published 29/09/2011 | 05:00
ONLINE insurance giant 123.ie last night robustly defended its website's continued references to three insurers who ceased selling through 123.ie when the web brokerage was bought out by RSA over a year ago.
The insurers -- Travelers Insurance, Canada Life and Chartis -- are all listed on 123.ie's online site under a heading stating the brokerage "works with some of the world's largest insurance companies".
Industry sources say consumers could reasonably conclude 123.ie still sells insurance for Travelers, Canada Life and Chartis, particularly since the website does not explicitly say that 123.ie now only offers policies from RSA.
Some of the insurers involved this week expressed surprise that their brands were cited in that way and may ask for the references to be clarified over the coming days, the Irish Independent understands.
But a spokesman for RSA last night strongly defended the references, saying 123.ie was still "trading with each entity on the website for whatever needs might arise while policies are still in force".
The in-force policies are largely those sold before July 2010 that have not yet come to the end of their terms. "As and when the relationship completely ends with an insurer, we will review things at the time," the spokesman stressed.
The spokesman also stressed that RSA was "totally satisfied that we are completely in compliance with the relevant legislation from the Central Bank".
The Central Bank's consumer protection code states that a "regulated entity must ensure that all its advertisements are fair and not misleading".