Vulnerable People Policy

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Simple Claims Assistance takes its responsibility towards all our clients very seriously. They are all vulnerable, as they have lost money and are often confused and concerned. There are several situations where this vulnerability is even greater, and clients need even higher levels of care and assistance.

To achieve this extra level of care and assistance, we operate within legal guidelines that aim to protect these extra-vulnerable people, and we follow best practice to ensure we deal with them in a fair, non-discriminatory, ethical way. This policy outlines how we identify these extra-vulnerable people and the procedures we have put in place for dealing with them.

Identifying vulnerable people

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 says that a person is unable to make a specific decision if they cannot understand information about the decision to be made, cannot retain that information in their mind, cannot use or weigh up that information as part of the decision-making process, or cannot communicate their decision.
Simple Claims Assistance will consider a potential client vulnerable if one or more of the personal situations or personal characteristics listed below are identified during an initial call or home visit.

Characteristics
Old age Low income Inexperience
Low literacy Learning disabilities Cultural barriers
Physical disabilities Mental health issues English as a second language
Health problems Location Being a carer
Lack of internet access Lone parent Living alone or in poor living conditions

 

Situation
Threat of harm Victim of crime or accident
Bereavement Loss of income
Relationship breakdown Loss of employment
Having recently left care Threat of deportation
Concern over access to children Concern over child welfare

 

Training
All future employees and representatives of Simple Claims Assistance will receive regular training and updates on how to identify and deal with vulnerable people. Training is based on standards of best practice and how to apply them. This includes practical tips on how we talk with vulnerable people on the phone and face-to-face, how we check they have understood conversations and contractual terms, and what we do if they are confused or show distress.

The specific procedures we have in place for identifying and dealing with vulnerable people are shown below and are available for reference on our web site.

1. As soon as a potential client is identified as vulnerable, they are logged onto our CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system with details of their vulnerability and how they wish to be contacted. If their communication needs are due to a medical disability, e.g. they can only be contacted by telephone since they are blind, we give them the opportunity to make a personal declaration about their capabilities and communication needs and record it in our CRM system, taking extra care to process the information as Sensitive Personal Data in accordance with the DPA 1998

2. A senior member of staff who is experienced in dealing with vulnerable people is notified and will seek to establish if we can deal with the vulnerable potential client directly. If so, we assign the vulnerable potential client a specific, single point of contact within our company. If we need to seek authority from a carer/third party to deal with the case, then the single point of contact will deal with the carer/third party.

3. We take extra care to ensure that a vulnerable potential client fully understands our Terms of Business in order to protect their financial interests. We also ensure that they understand what will happen and what to expect throughout the claims process.

4. If the vulnerable potential client authorises a third party to deal with us on their behalf, we introduce extra security checks to verify the third party’s identity and to identify any possibility of fraud and financial abuse

5. Once we feel happy to proceed with a vulnerable potential client’s case, we make every effort to ensure we conduct business in a sympathetic, ethical and professional manner.

For further information, please see:

Trustpilot

Frequently asked questions

  • Is Simple Claims Assistance able to help me?
    If you opened a SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension) in the last ten years and invested in one or more high-risk non-standard investments through your SIPP, Simple Claims Assistance may be able to help you.
  • What is a non-standard (high-risk) investment?
    It is an investment that cannot easily or quickly be sold and turned into cash. It could include overseas hotel rooms, interests in farmland and forestry, self-storage units, shares and bonds in unquoted companies, plots in land-banking schemes and many others. In fact, it is any investment other than those, which can be readily bought and sold.
  • Is there anything wrong with non-standard investments?
    Whatever you may have been told, almost all non-standard investments are high-risk. Unless you are quite wealthy, acquiring non-standard investments as a way of saving for your retirement is likely to be unwise. Additionally, many of the non-standard investments acquired through SIPPs have not performed as promised, often failing altogether.
  • Why am I entitled to compensation?
    The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) regulates both the SIPP operators and the Financial Advisers (FAs) that may have advised on SIPPs. If a Financial Adviser advised you, then they may have broken FCA rules. Therefore, the SIPP operators may also have broken FCA rules. In the year 2000 Parliament created special bodies through which victims of bad practice by Financial Advisers and SIPP operators can obtain compensation.
  • What could my Financial Adviser have done wrong?
    It is likely that they advised on opening your SIPP and on your moving existing pensions into it, without properly assessing whether a SIPP was suitable for you. Equally without conducting correct assessment of the non-standard investments introduced into your SIPP.
  • What could my SIPP operator have done wrong?
    The SIPP operator may have accepted your or your adviser’s instructions to purchase non-standard investments, knowing that you were receiving bad advice, or the advice was given unlawfully. The SIPP operator may not have conducted adequate due diligence on the investments. Not exercising sufficient duty of care.
  • Was criminality involved?
    Some providers of non-standard investments may have acted criminally; and it is possible that some Financial Advisers also did so. Simple Claims Assistance will report any suspicion of criminality to the appropriate authority. But Simple Claims Assistance’s primary focus is on the civil claims you have against regulated entities, especially Financial Advisers and SIPP operators.