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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Previous insurance company are withholding proof of no claims

Customer Question

Previous insurance company are withholding proof of no claims bonus due to "outstanding balance". I had to cancel a policy with them because they were unable to insure the vehicle I bought to replace the one I had insured by them. Not my choice to seek another insurer. I was paying by direct debit. They are charging me £85. to cancel the policy which I think is excessive. However, it is the principle not the figure I am disputing.
They are withholding information that is not theirs to withhold (freedom of information) They are using Data Protection as justification. The information/NCBonus is MINE! Now my present insurer is threatening to cancel my policy or treat me as if I had lied about my No Claims history. I am NOT prepared to just roll over. This is WRONG. Advice please.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return.

Alex Watts :

On what basis under Data Protection are they refusing please?

Alex Watts :

What part are they saying they can not realse it?

Alex Watts :

release

JACUSTOMER-ggkwonha- :

WHAT? I've just paid £33 for that? The dispute is over £85 and a principle.

Alex Watts :

Indeed. You have not paid anything yet as I have not given you an answer.

Alex Watts :

Did you cancel the policy with them please?

JACUSTOMER-ggkwonha- :

Who? The previous insurance company? YES.! That is why their nose is out of joint. I told them I was canceling and why. Canceled direct debit so they couldn't TAKE any funds without permission.

Alex Watts :

I can understand that this is very frustrating.

Alex Watts :

Time I imagine is against you and the legal process can be a little slow.

Alex Watts :

But I will outline what you can and can not do.

Alex Watts :

The Freedom of Information Act does NOT apply to private companies like insurance, so you can not use that. This is because it applies to organisations like government and Councils.

Alex Watts :

Data Protection Act does apply to you and you can request copy of data that applies to you.

Alex Watts :

They can charge £10 for this but in law they can take up to 40 days to supply the documents.#

Alex Watts :

However you can ask for the documents and if they refuse you can say you will take them to Court.

Alex Watts :

You would need to complete form N208 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n208-eng.pdf and submit it to your local County Court.

Alex Watts :

You would seek an order that they 'deliver up' the require proof of no claims.

Alex Watts :

The Court would send them a copy of the claim form and they would be a limited time to defend it, if not then the Court would list the matter for hearing and not allow them to participate.

Alex Watts :

If they do defend it then the Court would set the matter down for trial. This could be 3-4 months after.

Alex Watts :

The other option is to complain to the Ombudsman. They are independent and can examine any complaint for you.

Alex Watts :

Their website is at: www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk - but again this process would take time.

Alex Watts :

In short the timeframes are:

Alex Watts :

1) Data Protection Act - 40 days

Alex Watts :

2) Court (if not contested) 1 month, if contested 3-4 months

Alex Watts :

3) Ombudsman - several months depending on workload.

Alex Watts :

I realise these times are not ideal as time is of the essence.

Alex Watts :

So what you COULD do this pay the £85 under protest and then issue a small claim for the return of that £85.

Alex Watts :

This would be the quickest way and allow you to insure you car with no claims you have and deserve but also does not prejudice your position against bringing a claim against the old insurance company.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Alex Watts :

I realise this may not necessarily be the answer you want and it is certainly not the one I want to give, but I have a duty to be honest as I know time is against you.

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question I hope my service has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

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