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Strange Insurance Mix Up / Poss Scam


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#31 cambiker71

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 08:25 PM

Hate to be a killjoy here but when you sign those papers, somewhere written on them will be a clause saying something along the lines of "It's the responsibility of the policyholder to inform us of any changes" i doubt you'll get far, wouldn't stop me from trying though, the verbal thing on the phone sounds most likely to be successful to me.

#32 Purple Tom

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 08:41 PM

Really gutted to hear about this, the auto-renew is a bit of sharp practice to be honest, but as has been said it isn't illegal so you need to make sure you have a decent plan of action such as the one Dave has listed above.

You selling the car 2 years ago won't be of any help to you though, I don't think. The V5 only states who is the registered 'keeper' of the car and not who actually owns it. Its quite possible to have an insurance policy on a car that isn't registered in your name, so I'm not sure that would help to be honest.

My first port of call would be to contact the insurance company themselves, explain the situation and see what they can do. I don't know if saying you contacted them to cancel when you blatantly didn't is a good idea to be honest, although it might work depending on how well they keep their records. You may be able to get a partial (or maybe even full) refund if you fully explain the situation.

The Ombudsman will try to help, and as Shifty has said, they're very helpful, they've helped me a couple of times in the past.

#33 sixwheeler

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 08:59 PM

Can't say as I have ever heard of a car insurance policy auto renewing, I always get a renewal notice with them telling me to get in touch to continue the policy. Something to watch out for...!

If I didn't get any satisfaction come the end I'd be in court with them, but that is just me!

Anyway, first things first, BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE, get to (phone, whatever) the bank, ask them about all the DDs lodged on your account, go through them one by one and get anything that you do not recognize, cancelled.

If you cancel one that you should not have then it is no big deal as the company concerned will write and ask you to sign a new agreement.

DO THIS FIRST, they then cannot take any money.....

Don't worry about the £50 cancellation, I doubt they will chase it once you tell them that you cancelled the insurance, sold the car and moved out and what they are going to do about recompence.... They can't take it anyway because you just cancelled the DD didn't you?

#34 E.L.M.O

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 10:58 PM

pm me if you think i have a problem.


Not really a problem, your just a little hostile (for want of a better word) sometimes nowdays. but yeah, perhaps PM will be better.


Thanks everyone else. Some good advice and some stuff to be getting on with tomorrow. Fingers crossed as the money back would certainly come in handy!

Edited by E.L.M.O, 15 December 2008 - 11:44 AM.


#35 mrslaphead

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 10:59 PM

If you plan on telling them that you informed them two years ago make sure you tell them it was in writing as I believe
if you cancel most formal agreements it has to be in writing.
A similar thing happened to me years ago. I had insurance with Eagle star and it was on auto renewal. I sold the car but just cancelled the DD
I heard nothing from the insurance company until about 10 years later when I phoned them for a quote. They said their records showed I owed them over £200
for non payment for a policy. I just told them that I wrote in at the time and as I heard nothing back presumed it was ok.
The outstanding debt was immediately cancelled, so my advice would be give it a go and in future read your post properly
and keep an eye on your bank statements.
Cheers
Chris

#36 E.L.M.O

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 11:06 PM

If you plan on telling them that you informed them two years ago make sure you tell them it was in writing as I believe
if you cancel most formal agreements it has to be in writing.
A similar thing happened to me years ago. I had insurance with Eagle star and it was on auto renewal. I sold the car but just cancelled the DD
I heard nothing from the insurance company until about 10 years later when I phoned them for a quote. They said their records showed I owed them over £200
for non payment for a policy. I just told them that I wrote in at the time and as I heard nothing back presumed it was ok.
The outstanding debt was immediately cancelled, so my advice would be give it a go and in future read your post properly
and keep an eye on your bank statements.
Cheers
Chris


Yeah good advice!
I was a numpty in my youth. Would never get around to reading my mail and I have only recently set up online banking. I am certainly paying for a lazy "care free" youth!"

#37 mrslaphead

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 11:10 PM

If you plan on telling them that you informed them two years ago make sure you tell them it was in writing as I believe
if you cancel most formal agreements it has to be in writing.
A similar thing happened to me years ago. I had insurance with Eagle star and it was on auto renewal. I sold the car but just cancelled the DD
I heard nothing from the insurance company until about 10 years later when I phoned them for a quote. They said their records showed I owed them over £200
for non payment for a policy. I just told them that I wrote in at the time and as I heard nothing back presumed it was ok.
The outstanding debt was immediately cancelled, so my advice would be give it a go and in future read your post properly
and keep an eye on your bank statements.
Cheers
Chris


Yeah good advice!
I was a numpty in my youth. Would never get around to reading my mail and I have only recently set up online banking. I am certainly paying for a lazy "care free" youth!"


Isnt that what being a "youth" is all about ?
I have to ask as its been a while

#38 Jammy

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 09:06 AM

I've had one insurance policy auto renew on me, and thank god it did because two months later I realised the policy had run out two months previous and got a little worried that I might be in a certain brown creek without a paddle (at the time I think I needed to prove I had insurance for some reason). Anyway, I'm glad it did auto-renew, OK so you may be losing £50 a month, but that pales in comparison to forgetting about it, the policy being cancelled and then accidentally hitting someone and being arrested for no insurance, having your car crushed and possibly being sued for personal injury. Ok, so in this case you'd sold the car, but in other cases where people aren't selling their cars the above is a definite real possibility.

As for direct debits, if you agree to have them taken out of your accounts then you should definitely know what companies can and can't do with them. Remember that it's no one's responsibility to manage your money but you! If your not able to keep a track of what DDs are coming out of your account and for what quantities then maybe paying bills by cheque or similar would be a better idea!

Just re-read that, it's not a rant at you Neil, but just a general statement!

EDIT: Neil, I would talk to the Citizens Advice and see if they can find out of anyway to get your money back, but unfortunately in this case, as others have said I don't think they've done anything illegal, and it's hard getting money back from insurance companies at the best of times!

#39 nurseholliday

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 10:37 AM

I think you could 'wangle' a loophole with the change of address.

The plan of action that Dave wrote out sounds good, but I used to work for an insurance company and I know what they're like.

You NEED to find out how they got your new address. Find out who changed it, exactly which employee, why they did it, and under authority from whom?

If they stumble, and you along with a supervisor of some sort find out that they did something wrong, you just let it all unfold right there. Watch a master plan like it is a thing of beauty. There's that wonderful phrase, "Well we can all forget about this little mishap if you can forget about my problem here."

Then sit back, puff on a cigar and say, "I love it when a plan comes together."

EDIT: Sorry I failed to put in a major thing, Data Protection Act is something insurance companies are very thorough and anal about. So if there's been some sort of breach of DPA then you've got them with trousers down, over a desk. Say stuff like I want transcripts of calls, I want a manager on this, what do you mean you don't record calls? You're in breach of FSA regs if you don't record calls. They hate FSA. Just say FSA lots...

Edited by nurseholliday, 15 December 2008 - 10:40 AM.


#40 E.L.M.O

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 12:16 PM

If you plan on telling them that you informed them two years ago make sure you tell them it was in writing as I believe
if you cancel most formal agreements it has to be in writing.
A similar thing happened to me years ago. I had insurance with Eagle star and it was on auto renewal. I sold the car but just cancelled the DD
I heard nothing from the insurance company until about 10 years later when I phoned them for a quote. They said their records showed I owed them over £200
for non payment for a policy. I just told them that I wrote in at the time and as I heard nothing back presumed it was ok.
The outstanding debt was immediately cancelled, so my advice would be give it a go and in future read your post properly
and keep an eye on your bank statements.
Cheers
Chris


Yeah good advice!
I was a numpty in my youth. Would never get around to reading my mail and I have only recently set up online banking. I am certainly paying for a lazy "care free" youth!"


Isnt that what being a "youth" is all about ?
I have to ask as its been a while


I guess so but it would be nice to put the youthful stupiditiy in the past, move on and put a stop to the hemoraging of money!

I've had one insurance policy auto renew on me, and thank god it did because two months later I realised the policy had run out two months previous and got a little worried that I might be in a certain brown creek without a paddle (at the time I think I needed to prove I had insurance for some reason). Anyway, I'm glad it did auto-renew, OK so you may be losing £50 a month, but that pales in comparison to forgetting about it, the policy being cancelled and then accidentally hitting someone and being arrested for no insurance, having your car crushed and possibly being sued for personal injury. Ok, so in this case you'd sold the car, but in other cases where people aren't selling their cars the above is a definite real possibility.

As for direct debits, if you agree to have them taken out of your accounts then you should definitely know what companies can and can't do with them. Remember that it's no one's responsibility to manage your money but you! If your not able to keep a track of what DDs are coming out of your account and for what quantities then maybe paying bills by cheque or similar would be a better idea!

Just re-read that, it's not a rant at you Neil, but just a general statement!

EDIT: Neil, I would talk to the Citizens Advice and see if they can find out of anyway to get your money back, but unfortunately in this case, as others have said I don't think they've done anything illegal, and it's hard getting money back from insurance companies at the best of times!


I guess thats one point of view and an interesting one. I am glad it worked out for you in that case (lets face it you were jammy!) but I personally think its more of the "norm" to expect to have to know that you should renew your policy yearly than expect it to auto renew. Thats what I have been told so far, its your responsibility to renew car insurance, not for the company to do it for you. Luckily I have never forgotten to renew my car insurance. But If i did i would know I only had myself to blame for forgetting.

The fact that it worked out in your situation i am sure is a rare case, and besides the reason for the auto renewal is to make money, and (again in my opinion) under the fause impression that its to protect someone who was in your postion

And I know its my responsibility to keep an eye on bills and DD etc, I have admited fault enough in that enough on this thread!

EDIT: Sorry I failed to put in a major thing, Data Protection Act is something insurance companies are very thorough and anal about. So if there's been some sort of breach of DPA then you've got them with trousers down, over a desk. Say stuff like I want transcripts of calls, I want a manager on this, what do you mean you don't record calls? You're in breach of FSA regs if you don't record calls. They hate FSA. Just say FSA lots...


What names stricks fear in to the heart of an insurance company more, FSA or ombudsman?

#41 Jammy

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 01:34 PM

Just thought that its nearly the same case with contract phones. Even when the 12/18/24 month contract is up they will continue the contract and continue to bill you for it. The only difference being that they don't tie you into a new 12/18/24 month contract upon the first one expiring.

With regards to the insurance, how does it work financially? With an insurance policy they give you a quote, say it's £800. If you then opt to pay monthly they then (I believe) use a 3rd party credit company to effectively loan you the £800 and allow you to pay £X amount per month back to the credit company (though it will appear to you as though you are paying the insurance company). Surely upon the 'loan' being settled at the end of the year they can't just automatically open a new loan for you for the renewal policy?

#42 yorkshirechris

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 01:38 PM

Surely upon the 'loan' being settled at the end of the year they can't just automatically open a new loan for you for the renewal policy?


Thats the point though, if it's written in the terms and conditions (which no bugger ever reads anyway!) then the customer has signed up to that agreement with those terms...?

#43 Jammy

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 01:40 PM

I'm not sure if financial agreements are part of the T&Cs of an insurance policy though?

#44 E.L.M.O

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 11:15 AM

Hey Jammy do you know what the insurance was for?
It was for the Space cruiser! When we did that Africa race.

EDIT:
For those interested in the outcome, its almost sorted out now. Have spoken with the insurance company (a couple of them, one was taken over by the other and it took a while to find out which one was going to take responsibility) I have been told theat they will canx and refund all the money as soon as they get a V888 from the DVLA which details when the Van was sold on- I have had a lucky escape from an expensive lesson it seems!

The DVLA charge for this of course! No matter what you do someone has their hand in your pocked! They charge AND it can take four weeks! If I have got to pay it would be nice for them to get their butts in gear sooner! I suppose I cant really grumble, After all It was my fault and DVLA only charge £5, it could have been worse! It will be a nice refund though.

Edited by E.L.M.O, 16 December 2008 - 11:45 AM.


#45 Jammy

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 11:41 AM

:dontgetit: Still think it was worth it! >_<




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