The challenges Youi's practices created

The challenges Youi's practices created

We've fielded many complaints and challenges with Youi in recent times.

We've put this together because our clients who have been with Youi have consistently had a bad experience, either with quotes and especially with claims.

Now to be clear, we are not saying Youi do not pay their valid claims, that would be defamation and isn't what we are talking about.

We work in the insurance industry to bring good quality advice to consumers and clients in a way that is mutually beneficial to all.

What we are talking about is the sales process that actively puts you, the policyholder, in a position of unwitting increased risk.

For example, a common Youi approach has been to 'sell' you a contents policy, the base one, and not talk to you about the extensions you need to bring this up to the standard you expect from a contents policy in the New Zealand market.

Two things Youi do not include by default on their contents policy:

  • Accidental damage to your contents. We had a client where one of the kids managed to put a knife through the big screen TV. Youi declined to pay due to not having the accidental damage extension.
  • Contents stolen or damaged in your vehicle. Car insurance covers the car not your contents in the car. Without the accidental damage extension, you do not have cover for your contents in your car or away from home.

A similar issue exists with Youi's house cover, if you do not have the accidental damage extension, things like broken windows and impact damage caused by people are not covered.

Which brings me to a significant point. Accidental damage is by and far the largest area of claims. If you remove this provision from cover then yes it should be substantially cheaper.

Ok, I hear those saying we never have accidents, that is fine. If you take a policy knowing you are not covered for accidental damage, that is ok. It is the position Youi place its policyholders in when they do not discuss the extension and shortcomings that is the problem.

Add to this the dodgy sales practice, that had been happening, of requiring a payment method to get a quote, resulting in unauthorised policies being placed and premiums being deducted.

The commerce commission prosecuted Youi specifically on this and Youi was fined $320,000 on 15 charges that were brought. The Insurance Council also imposed a $100,000 penalty at the time too.

What's interesting about this is Youi's defence was, in part, this was a local thing isolated to a few people. It has since been highlighted that this is a practice that has been uncovered in their two other operations in Australia and South Africa.

At the end of the day, we are not saying there's a problem with Youi's policies, we are calling out their sales and operational practices that have previously put our clients in financial harm's way.

You are far better to be talking to a broker than a direct provider. Yes, it may not be cheaper, or the cheapest, but you will know you have the cover you need and you have someone in your corner when it comes to claims.

We can say this independently as we do not advise on general insurance directly, but work with a trusted network of brokers whom we know get it right for their clients and are prepared to stand behind the advice they give.

It is the old story, you can have cheap, fast and good, but only two at a time.

We prefer good and cheap rather than the fast and cheap, though good and fast have its merits too if you have the budget.

One final note, Youi's tagline is "we get you" We think that they have this absolutely spot on.

If you want to talk options on your insurance cover, message us here, and we can chat about what you really need.

Articles supporting our points and position:

We would have posted the articles from the NZ Herald, however, they have been taken down. We'd be interested to hear why as they were articles for the public good.

Additionally, our original post of this article stirred up Youi, their CEO contacted us requesting a conversation regarding the original posting of this article. In the interests of open communication, we took down this post, to have that conversation. Youi failed to follow through on that discussion, so we have reposted a slightly different version of this.

We suggest Youi take steps to positively re-engage in the New Zealand insurance community as at this point they have not done that. Which only reinforces the issues of trust they have created in the market.

Nor have Youi attempted to communicate to the wider market around what they have been pulled up about and what changes they have made changes since the commerce commission prosecution. The void of information only reduces consumer confidence and leaves us to assume Youi paid the fine, tucked their tail between their legs and have got on with business as usual, interesting practices included.

My final note since posting the original article with information that has come to hand are competitor insurers currently use Youi's sales line for training purposes on how not to engage a client in practices that could be misleading. Suggesting further that the Commerce Commission issues have yet to be fully addressed.

Jon-Paul Hale

Written by : Jon-Paul Hale

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