Ad description

A TV ad for Smart Life Insurance showed a man at home ringing to enquire about life insurance and talking to a call centre agent. The agent said, "Welcome to Smart Insurance, you're speaking to Lisa how may I help you?" and the man replied, "Hi. Your advert for life Insurance says I can arrange cover over the phone, with no complicated forms." She replied, "Yes, that's right. Would you like a quick quote? ... Okay. As long as you're a UK resident aged 18 to 64, you can apply for a benefit amount of £60k up to £750k … to give you and your family peace of mind ... You won't need a medical or blood test, just a few health and lifestyle questions to answer. I just need to get your age and smoker status." On-screen text stated "UK Residents age [sic} 18 to 64", "Benefit amount from £60,000 to £750,000 depending on your age" and "No medical or blood test". He replied, "I'm 32 and a non-smoker" and she said, "Okay, if you choose a £100,000 benefit amount, it's £6.74 a month for the first year" and provided some further information. Smaller on-screen text stated "*For a 32 year old on a single, age-based policy. Premiums depend on individual circumstances and increase annually based on age and benefit amount. Ts and Cs apply". The man replied, "Great, I'll go ahead" and a voice-over stated "With Smart Insurance you can help protect your family's future. Call [phone number] or go to"


The complainant, who had been told they were not eligible for the life insurance on the basis of their disability and believed that the ad implied the focus of the application process would be on lifestyle questions, challenged whether the ad was misleading because it did not make clear that such exclusions applied.


Neilson Financial Services Ltd t/a Smart Insurance (Neilson) said that the transcript of the ad stated that there would be "a few health and lifestyle questions to answer" and therefore made clear that the application process included health questions. They said the ad had been on air since 2012.

Clearcast agreed with the response from Neilson. They said the ad was representative of a customer's experience of obtaining a quick quote and provided a copy of the introduction script to obtain a quick quote. They said the ad made clear that both health and lifestyle questions would be asked, and that both the dialogue and on-screen text also made clear that acceptance depended on individual circumstances and additional conditions applied.


Not upheld

The ASA considered that consumers would understand from the ad, including the reference to a "quick quote” that it depicted a shortened version of the full application process required to obtain life insurance from Neilson. The dialogue also referred to "a few health and lifestyle questions to answer" and we considered viewers would understand, in the context of an application process for life insurance, that these would go beyond the smoker and age questions in the ad. The ad did not specifically state that not all applicants would be eligible for the product, but on-screen text did state "Ts and Cs apply" and the ad made clear an application process was required. We also considered that the average consumer was likely to be aware that not all applicants for insurance products would be offered cover, and that acceptance would depend on their individual circumstances and an assessment by the insurer. The ad did not imply that the focus of the application process would be on lifestyle questions or misleadingly omit information on exclusions and we therefore concluded that it was not misleading.

We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules  3.1 3.1 Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.  and 3.2 (Misleading advertising) and  3.10 3.10 Advertisements must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify.  (Qualification) but did not find it in breach.


No further action necessary.


3.1     3.10     3.3    

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