I’ve mentioned before about third party callers and the fact that we can’t discuss policy details with them. Not without the express permission of the policy holder or a copy of the Power of Attorney. Most people understand this. It’s only the few that complain relentlessly trying to get us to back down. There are times when we can give generic information – trying to answer questions without discussing a person’s policy.
A gentleman called me the other day, on behalf on his friend who was in hospital. He explained that his friend had received a renewal and he wanted to let us know that he would get her to send in a cheque. Well I could see quite clearly that the policy had already been paid but I couldn’t discuss this with him due to the FCA regulations. So I tried to tell him without telling him.
‘I’m going to see her tomorrow in hospital.’ He explained. ‘So I’ll take her cheque book and get her to write it out and then I’ll post it for her.’
‘When you see her tomorrow get her to double check that she hasn’t done it already.’ I told him. I thought this was pretty clear. The play on words – ‘double check’ – and the inference that she may have done it already.
‘She hasn’t done it. She’s in hospital.’ He said. ‘I’ll get her to do it tomorrow so don’t cancel her policy.’
I repeated what I had said hoping he would understand the second time around. He didn’t. So I tried a more direct tactic. ‘You know that I can’t discuss the details with you, but if you listen closely to what I’m saying then you’ll see that I’m telling you something without giving you direct information.’
‘Ok.’ He seemed to understand this so I said it all over again.
‘Ok. I’ll get her to look through the cheque book.’ He said cautiously.
I left it there. I felt that I’d told him as much as I could without directly stating that it had been paid. I got the impression that he still didn’t understand what I was saying, but at least I got him to say that he would ask his friend to look through her cheque book before sending in another.