Are you planning to alter or change any part of your current car insurance policy? If your answer to this question is yes, you need to read this:-
New research has indicated that drivers are being hit with fees of more than 300 million pounds a year for making changes to their car insurance policies.
The removal of a clause on “excessive charges to retail customers” in the Insurance Code of Business earlier this year has left consumers open to alleged unfair charges.
Almost 60 percent of drivers – 14 million people – need to make amendments to their policies mid-term, and are being stung with fees totalling 333 million pounds. The research comes amid a test case designed to decide whether bank charges are fair.
The average charge for making an amendment to a car insurance policy is just over 22 pounds. The top 10 insurers charge an average of more than 38 pounds for cancelling a policy, almost 17 pounds for making an adjustment, such as a change of address or name, and almost 12 pounds for providing duplicate documents.
Failure to amend policies can result in invalid insurance. Charges vary widely, the data shows. Some insurers do not charge anything for certain policy alternations: Norwich Union, Direct Line, Prudential and Hastings are among those who do not levy fees for duplicate documents, while the latter and Swiftcover charge nothing for change of details.
Others, however, charge unlimited fees. Direct Line, Churchill and Prudential have no set charges for a policy being cancelled, but calculate these fees on customers’ remaining premiums.
High street banks and the consumer watchdog began court proceedings last July to resolve a dispute on the charges applied to unauthorised current account overdrafts, after thousands of customers reclaimed millions of pounds in refunds, but banks continued to impose the charges.
A preliminary hearing at the High Court, which started in January, will decide whether the fees, typically between 24 and 39 pounds for each transaction over and above an authorised overdraft, should be regarded as unfair under consumer contract regulation.