Western Life Assurance Company has been ordered to stop selling policies through two payday lenders and offer to cancel the insurance and give refunds to affected consumers after an investigation by British Columbia regulators.
The Financial Institutions Commission, which partnered on an investigation with Consumer Protection BC, stated legally required disclosures are not being made clear to consumers who were not told they’ve bought the insurance or that it’s a voluntary product.
The joint investigation also found consumers were not provided with enough information, or an opportunity, to make an informed decision about whether they want or need insurance that may be sold to people who may not be eligible for coverage.
The investigation reveals companies Venue Financial Ltd. and Cashco Financial Inc.; both payday lenders, aggressively and deceptively sold Western Life’s insurance products and are prohibited from such sales involving any insurer in B.C. until the commission is satisfied their practices are conducted properly.
The commission says Western Life has been issued a cease and desist order and must contact everyone who’s been insured through payday lenders and provide details of the insurance they bought, confirm eligibility and offer to cancel the insurance and give refunds to affected consumers.