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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8564
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My son is currently in Australia. When he left UK in October

Customer Question

My son is currently in Australia. When he left UK in October 2015 he left his car with us. It was taxed and I was paying for the insurance monthly for him and was a named driver on the policy. The vehicle was only used occasionally as I already have a vehicle of my own. When the tax ran out on the vehicle in February it was taken off the road and kept on private premises.
In March 2016 when the insurance was due for renewal my son rang the insurance company and stated he did not want to renew as the vehicle was off the road in storage. A SORN was put on the vehicle on 11/02/16. The insurance took a further payment of £51.25 out of my account in April. My son rang them again from Australia to cancel the policy. A further paymen6t went out of my account in May at which point I cancelled the direct debit. We then received letters demanding a further payment of £51.25. I tried to speak with them but they would not speak to me. The only advice they gave was they would accept a copy of the SORN and may refund the payments. I sent them the SORN and wrote a letter to them on 6 June explaining the situation. My son has since authorised me to speak with them directly. I have had no reply to my letter and have just spoken to someone at the insurance who now tells me the account is now with a Debt Recovery Agency and we still owe £51.25. He also tells me they do not accept SORN as proof a vehicle is off the road.
My son does not need a black mark against his credit when he is due back from Australia in two weeks and will be seeking accommodation where credit references will be checked.
I did not authorise any payments to be taken out of my account after March when the policy expired.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 5 months ago.

Which insurance company is this?

Let me summarise: your son cancelled the policy before it was due for renewal.

The vehicle was put on sorn before the insurance was due for renewal.

The insurance company took 2 payments and a now after more money.

Is that the situation?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Zenith insuranceYes that is the situation
Expert:  F E Smith replied 5 months ago.

I suspected as much. Not the company, who I don’t know, but where they are registered, Gibraltar. Fortunately, they still need to be authorised in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority.

It seems that they have ignored your son’s request to cancel the policy. I assume that he has the date and hopefully the time on which he made the telephone call to cancel the policy. If he has the name of who we spoke to, so much the better.

He now needs to do 2 things. Firstly, he needs to make a formal complaint to the insurance company. He can ask them for their formal complaint procedure and they must give it to him. If they will not, or if they do give it to him and they haven’t resolved his complaint within 8 weeks, then he makes a further complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/consumer/complaints.htm

unfortunately, the Financial Ombudsman is not cheap.

Hopefully, when the insurance companies own internal complaints procedure looks at the evidence, they will realise they have made a mistake and that should be the end of it.

You need to tell them at an early stage that is any adverse credit reference appears on any credit reference agency and it causes a problem, you will seek compensation from them. (Your son will seek compensation from them).

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please don’t forget to rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid.

Best wishes.

FES

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