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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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Hi,been overpaid for house insurance,my father passed away

Customer Question

Hi,been overpaid for house insurance,my father passed away recenetly and I started to look into my mothers affairs.they both did not speak english.

They been paying £ 1054 per year for 6/7 years,I changed policy and total cost is now
£146 per year for a 3 bed terrace

direct line offererd £50 compensation only,is there anything i can do
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I will try and explain the best I can,


my mum and dad do not speak much english they have been in england for about 60 years,my sister in 2006/7 changed home insurance for them and my sister is also not well from that point mentally under hospital to this day.


When my father passed away in february,I needed to change all outgoing bills into my mothers account.


I looked at direct line insurance and was stuned to see how much my parenets where paying for home insurance.


I rang direct line and spoke cancelled policy and logged a complaint


when they rang back I explain everything to them and they said when new policy comes round for renewing its automatic,which I said that


who ever sends this renewall policy did not think to check why its high


as I have 3 policy with direct line and they do not come up to £800 so how could a 3 bed terrace come to £1054.

she said its down to us to check.I informed her its down to both parties to check as the phone number on policy was out of date for a number of years and you have made no effort to reduce this policy after explain about my sister and parents she had agrred on both accounts .


she come back and offered £50,I turned this down and was going to take this via FSA


I hope this helps





Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Your parents were always at liberty to go to another insurance company at
any time they liked if they thought that the premium of £1054 was expensive.

In my experience, direct line, although having an absolutely superb claims
service, are in many cases, far from the cheapest and I would have been
astonished if you could not get a policy
for a fraction of what was being paid to direct line.

You would need to prove that direct line had not been charging their normal
premium for this risk and have grossly
overcharged. I assume that the total cost of £164 is with a different insurer.

You can report this to the Financial Ombudsman (not the FSA because this is
not an FSA matter), but to be frank, I think it unlikely that complaint will be

I'm afraid your parents were simply buying something at an expensive price
which they could have bought "round the corner" at a heavy discount.

I don't think the fact that your parents did not speak much English assists
you because they have lived in the UK for 60 years and clearly have taken these
policies out freely paying premiums.

I appreciate this is not the answer you wanted but there is no point in me

Can I help further?

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

so theres nothing I can do about this?

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Please bear in mind that I am a solicitor, and therefore when it comes to
litigation, if I am doing it myself firstly not only do I know what I'm doing, and secondly
it doesn't cost me anything part from court costs and time.

If these were my parents, and I was in this situation, it is not one that I
would be spending money on or any time even going to the Small Claims Court.

You have already raised a complaint with Direct Line (who I have always
found to be most fair even if they are expensive), and they have made you a
goodwill gesture.

It might be worth making a formal complaint to the Financial Ombudsman, but
to be frank, as I said, I would be very surprised if the complaint was upheld.

I'm not altogether certain what you want to "do" about it.

I really cannot see that you have a remedy which is going to have a great
prospect of success. Sorry

Can I help further?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok thanks




Angelo Colao

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Glad to help even if it wasn't what you wanted to hear.

Please don't forget to
positively rate my answer service. If
you don't rate it positively, then the site keep your deposit and I get 0 for
my time.