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Insurance 'cancellation' advice
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# 1
Vidu7
Old 14-03-2012, 8:36 PM
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Default Insurance 'cancellation' advice

Hi, My insurance policy with sureterm was down for renewal on 3rd March. I didnt renew it as I am not using my car at the moment and being kept in the garage. I did not receive a renewal notification from Sure term either. On 6th of March , I got a letter from the credit company informing me that the Sureterm has renewed my policy. when I phoned sure term they informed me that I need to pay a cancellation fee, to cancel a policy which I never have requested to renew, or they have never informed me of renewing.

On top of that they have refused to issue me a no claims discount certificate essentially preventing me from buying a policy when I need.

I have written to their complaints department and they informed me that it would take at least 4 weeks to investigate the complaint.

What are my rights in this situation. More than loosing money , I am very concerned about the practice of renewing the policies without the policy holders approval and not issuing no claims discount certificates.

Any advice is greatly appreciated
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# 2
anniecave
Old 14-03-2012, 9:02 PM
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On what grounds did they "refuse" to issue you a NCD certificate?
The NCD is normally part of your renewal notification. So if you never got the letter regarding renewal (because it got lost in the post) then you should just need to ask them to re-send this.

You need to check the original paperwork with the policy. Most insurance companies have written in the small print that they will auto-renew the policy unless you notify them. This may seem sneaky, but prevents a lot of people who "forget" or "don't get around to" or "don't realise they need to" actively renew their policy, and as a result the auto-renewal does mean lots of drivers aren't driving around uninsured by mistake...

If the auto-renew is listed within the original policy documents from last year, then you ought to have been expecting it.

At a minimum I would always expect some correspondance from my car insurer at renewal time. Either an offer to renew, or a letter confirming they can't offer me a renewal for some reason.

On my Tesco car insurance the section about auto-renewal is listed on page 9 of the policy booklet for example. So that's why it's a good idea to at least glance through this sort of thing when you take out a policy!

However I would hope they should give you a full refund on the new policy if you genuinely didn't want it, and you didn't receive any correspondance about it either.
Indecision is the key to flexibility.
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# 3
raskazz
Old 14-03-2012, 9:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vidu7 View Post
Hi, My insurance policy with sureterm was down for renewal on 3rd March. I didnt renew it as I am not using my car at the moment and being kept in the garage.
I'd just point out here that unless the car is SORNed you still have to insure it under new rules on Continuous Insurance Enforcement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vidu7 View Post
I did not receive a renewal notification from Sure term either. On 6th of March , I got a letter from the credit company informing me that the Sureterm has renewed my policy.
What do all the documents that you have received since inception of the policy say about renewal?

This is what their online terms of business state (from http://www.sureterm.com/termsbus):
"Renewing your policy
Inviting renewal with the most competitive insurer:
We will invite your renewal with our most competitive insurer and, before your renewal date, we will send the details out in the post, including the premium payable and the full terms and conditions, for your consideration. You will need to let us know if you want to go ahead with the renewal and provide appropriate payment. Should we not hear from you, the policy will lapse on the expiry date and you will have no cover after that date If you would prefer us to renew with your current insurer, please tell us when you call.

Automatic renewal by prior agreement:
If you pay your premium by instalments, and we have previously agreed in writing to automatically renew your policy with the most competitive insurer, unless we hear from you, we will make the necessary arrangements and issue the documentation to you regarding your renewed policy. If you no longer wish your policy to renew automatically, you should let us know immediately by contacting us on 08004588590 and selecting Option 1 from the menu."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vidu7 View Post
when I phoned sure term they informed me that I need to pay a cancellation fee, to cancel a policy which I never have requested to renew, or they have never informed me of renewing.
See above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vidu7 View Post
On top of that they have refused to issue me a no claims discount certificate essentially preventing me from buying a policy when I need.
2 things here:

1) If you have not yet cancelled the policy then it will still be inforce and so of course no NCD proof will be issued - it would only be issued upon cancellation or lapse of the policy.

2) Sureterm are a specialist broker so the policy may not even be NCD rated anyway, especially if your vehicle is a classic car, kit car, motorhome, 4x4 etc.
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# 4
mikey72
Old 14-03-2012, 10:36 PM
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They should have sent renewal details at least two weeks before. If they haven't sent them, and just renewed, post back.
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# 5
InsideInsurance
Old 15-03-2012, 10:10 AM
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The OP claims he didn't receive a renewal invite. I am sure the broker will claim that they sent one.

What we will not know is if the OP did receive it and threw it away unopened thinking it was junk mail, forgot they received it, that Royal Mail lost it, the broker generated it but lost it or the broker never attempted to send it.

Ultimately the OP has submitted their complaint and is now awaiting for that complaint to go through the process and will be able to escalate to the FOS if they arent happy with the response.
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# 6
LucifersTear
Old 15-03-2012, 11:27 AM
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Insurance companies are getting lazy when it comes to contacting the people that are filling up their wallets!

Realistically, Sureterm should have ENSURED contact and confirmation of the renewal...it'd only take one bloody phone-call fora yes/no.
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# 7
InsideInsurance
Old 15-03-2012, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LucifersTear View Post
Insurance companies are getting lazy when it comes to contacting the people that are filling up their wallets!

Realistically, Sureterm should have ENSURED contact and confirmation of the renewal...it'd only take one bloody phone-call fora yes/no.
Of cause, reminding people they are due for renewal triggers them to start shopping around. Insurers and brokers typically will do the legally minimum amount of contact around their clients renewal date for those on auto-renewal.

Some have gone as far as issuing the policy cert etc in the renewal quote to avoid having to right during the cooling off period even though legally this opens them up to liabilities under the RTA for Motor if the customer lapses the policy.

Those on manual renewal are of cause different and those are the ones you want to be speaking to and trying to get a yes answer from
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# 8
learningaboutinsurance
Old 15-03-2012, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LucifersTear View Post
Insurance companies are getting lazy when it comes to contacting the people that are filling up their wallets!

Realistically, Sureterm should have ENSURED contact and confirmation of the renewal...it'd only take one bloody phone-call fora yes/no.
i disagree with this comment from my experience and i am sure does not reflect all insurers and i think its a few that do it.

from my experience with just renewing last week from my existing Insurer. not only did they send the letter 20 days prior to the renew date explaining the discount and also the auto-renewel process. they also then sent another letter 7 days prior to the date of renewel and then a final phone call 3 days before processing the payment just to make sure i was happy and understood i did not have to do anything regarding the auto-renewel process.

i think its the few that are trying scam people from the wallets and will use every loophole of legally doing it. they shoudl be ashamed
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# 9
mikey72
Old 16-03-2012, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideInsurance View Post
The OP claims he didn't receive a renewal invite. I am sure the broker will claim that they sent one.

What we will not know is if the OP did receive it and threw it away unopened thinking it was junk mail, forgot they received it, that Royal Mail lost it, the broker generated it but lost it or the broker never attempted to send it.

Ultimately the OP has submitted their complaint and is now awaiting for that complaint to go through the process and will be able to escalate to the FOS if they arent happy with the response.
It's worth a complaint to th FSA as well then.
If it's a one off, I'm sure they can prove they sent it, if not, they're in breach of regulations.
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# 10
dunstonh
Old 16-03-2012, 1:01 AM
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Quote:
It's worth a complaint to th FSA as well then.
The FSA dont handle consumer complaints and will forward it to the firm to look at.

Quote:
If it's a one off, I'm sure they can prove they sent it, if not, they're in breach of regulations.
Proof is accepted as having a copy on file.
I am a Financial Adviser. Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
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# 11
mikey72
Old 16-03-2012, 9:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunstonh View Post
The FSA dont handle consumer complaints and will forward it to the firm to look at.



Proof is accepted as having a copy on file.
The FSA will look at the company for reported breaches of the regualations, and if they have enough breaches reported the "copy on file" becomes suspect.
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# 12
dunstonh
Old 16-03-2012, 9:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikey72 View Post
The FSA will look at the company for reported breaches of the regualations, and if they have enough breaches reported the "copy on file" becomes suspect.
It wont look at a complaint like that as a breach of regulations. The FSA only take an interest in major issues. Not individual consumer issues. When the FSA does it's visit to the firm, it then looks at individual consumer complaints to see if there is a trend or systematic failing.
I am a Financial Adviser. Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
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# 13
magpiecottage
Old 16-03-2012, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikey72 View Post
The FSA will look at the company for reported breaches of the regualations, and if they have enough breaches reported the "copy on file" becomes suspect.
How do you know that?
I run a consultancy to help Independent Financial Advisers to comply with their rules and resolve complaints. Although I am qualified to, I don't advise consumers for reward.
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# 14
mikey72
Old 17-03-2012, 1:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magpiecottage View Post
How do you know that?

It's what they do.

As google says

"Regulator of all providers of financial services in the UK"
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# 15
dunstonh
Old 17-03-2012, 9:38 AM
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Quote:
It's what they do.
Except it isnt what they do.

Quote:
"Regulator of all providers of financial services in the UK"
Correct. However, they do not handle consumer complaints. They regulate the complaints process and the FOS are the body that handles consumer complaints if you dont agree with the outcome.

The FSA look at complaints at a corporate level when it does an audit on the firm. It will look at allegations of fraud or other illegal activity. It wont be interested in a complaint that "I didnt get my post"
I am a Financial Adviser. Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
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# 16
mikey72
Old 17-03-2012, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunstonh View Post
Except it isnt what they do.



Correct. However, they do not handle consumer complaints. They regulate the complaints process and the FOS are the body that handles consumer complaints if you dont agree with the outcome.

The FSA look at complaints at a corporate level when it does an audit on the firm. It will look at allegations of fraud or other illegal activity. It wont be interested in a complaint that "I didnt get my post"


It's not a consumer complaint.
If it's systemic, it's a corporate problem.
So I could live with the price of a stamp.
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# 17
dunstonh
Old 17-03-2012, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
It's not a consumer complaint.
It is a consumer complaint. They are complaining they didnt get their post.

Quote:
If it's systemic, it's a corporate problem.
And if that is the case the FSA will spot it when they review the consumer complaints at that firm.
I am a Financial Adviser. Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
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# 18
mikey72
Old 17-03-2012, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunstonh View Post
It is a consumer complaint. They are complaining they didnt get their post.



And if that is the case the FSA will spot it when they review the consumer complaints at that firm.

So we agree it is something they'll look at then, and it won't hurt to bring attention to it beforehand.
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# 19
dunstonh
Old 18-03-2012, 1:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikey72 View Post
So we agree it is something they'll look at then, and it won't hurt to bring attention to it beforehand.
It isnt a case of wont hurt. More a case it wont make any difference at all. Someone at the FSA opens the post and sees a consumer complaint about a firm. So, it forwards it to the firm asking them to deal with it.
I am a Financial Adviser. Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
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