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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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hi My car insurance company renewed my policy without my direct

Resolved Question:

hi
My car insurance company renewed my policy without my direct instruction to do so and when I cancelled payment one month later they have hit me with a bill of multiple costs totalling nearly the whole costs of a years car insurance including:
Time on cover 29/01/2014 – 04/03/2014: £12.48
Cancellation fee: £50.00
Interest on direct debit agreement: £5.87
Default fee for payment dated 28/02/2014: £30.00
Set-up fee: £50.00
Ancillary products:
Breakdown cover: £15.00
The set-up fee, administration fees and any ancillary products are incorporated into your premium, but unlike your time on cover, are not charged pro rata and are therefore fully payable in the event of cancellation.

is this legal. do I have to pay?
thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, welcome to the website. My name isXXXXX can assist you with this.

tdlawyer :

You should check your insurance documentation and see whether there is any "auto-renewal" clause relating to the policy. This is where it would continue automatically after the end of the first year.

tdlawyer :

If there is, then the policy is likely to have been validly renewed.

tdlawyer :

The issue then is whether you can cancel without the charges. Again, the answer to this depends on the policy terms, but I expect that the payment types/charges mention are valid. However, it is always worth threatening to report the insurer to the financial services ombudsman. The Ombudsman has significant powers to do what he/she considers "fair".

Customer:

yes but what about the charges on cancellation. I'm being fleeced...

tdlawyer :

They could force the insurer to absndon its demand for the charges.

Customer:

do i call and say that. i do have email contact with one person in finance..

tdlawyer :

You can call/email the insurer and say you're intending to complain to the Ombudsman and ask them whether they want to review their position one last time. If not, then you complain to the Ombudsman.

Customer:

has my credit rating been affected by this cancelling of the Direc debit pls...

tdlawyer :

It might show up as a missed payment, yes, so this would potentially (not necessarily) affect your abiity to get credit.

tdlawyer :

However, you can file a notice of dispute at the credit reference agencies, which shows why you did it. Of course, if you got to the Ombudsman and you're held to be right, then you'll be vindicated and this will not affect your rating as they will have to remove it.

Customer:

this has already affected my credit rating regardless of 'now'. what do I do about that pls...

tdlawyer :

You need to resolve the issue with the insurance company first as until then, everybody else will see that you're in dispute and wont know who is right/wrong until it's resolved.

tdlawyer :

But then you write to the reference agencies.

Customer:

do i have any more questions with you pls...

tdlawyer :

Yes, if you want to ask me something more about this, you may.

Customer:

no thanks. i have another Direct debit question, not car insurance though. is that permitted..?

tdlawyer :

Not normally, if it's something different, but go on, so long as it's short.

Customer:

actually, it doesn't matter. Thankyou for your time...:)

tdlawyer :

Sure? I don't mind ...

Customer:

i have avirgin gym membership or my 17 year old son has...

Customer:

i cancelled this over the phone at the same time...

Customer:

they now are chasing me for another payment saying i didn't cancel it...

Customer:

where do I stand pls. do i have to pay, take it on the chin or can i fight

tdlawyer :

Are they saying they didn't get the call, or that during the call, you didn't ask to cancel it?

Customer:

YES! perfect...

tdlawyer :

So that it's really a factual dispute then as to whether you cancelled or not ...

tdlawyer :

Okay ...

Customer:

they're saying they got the call but I DIDNT cancel it

tdlawyer :

Then, its your word against theirs really. If they haven't kept a note of the call, then your word is likely to be taken over theirs, as they would received lots of calls on such issues and you only made one such call. Hence, when it comes to given evidence as to who recalls what, your evidence is likely to be considered better by the court.

tdlawyer :

It's something that you could potentially fight therefore.

Customer:

is there anything i can say to them over the next call.. can't be bothered to go to court over 40 quid etc...

tdlawyer :

Well, you can point out what I've just said to you, and make it clear that you did call and cancel and if they really want, then you would be prepared to fight that in court. They probably want to avoid court more than you do!!!

Customer:

ok. i will. thanks for your help today. You have passed the test Han Solo... A* coming right atcha! ;)

tdlawyer :

:) Thank you! Good luck to you! Have a great week.

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