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    • Stigofthedump
    • By Stigofthedump 18th May 17, 9:46 AM
    • 27Posts
    • 13Thanks
    Stigofthedump
    Furious about automatic policy renewal - can they do this?
    • #1
    • 18th May 17, 9:46 AM
    Furious about automatic policy renewal - can they do this? 18th May 17 at 9:46 AM
    I've just realised my home insurance policy automatically renewed - only found it when checking my credit card statement.
    I took out a new policy so was covered from the day after the old policy I thought expired.
    Apparently most insurers now do this - how can this be right? Surely I should be asked and specifically agree to any policy renewing without my permission?.
    They are now charging me a £25 'admin fee' to cancel and 1 days insurance at 56p - what a joke I'm really cross and wonder if I can do anything to formally complain about this - all the insurance co say is we sent you the email (went into my junk) therefore you should have known - it was in my document small print but as I haven't got copies of those I can't check.
    I think it's fundamentally wrong for insurance companies to do this specially when they always ramp up the charges for the second term (they charged me £214.85 when my new policy was £149.37 - that's a £65 increase)
    Any advice appreciated and can anything be done industry-wide to stop this?
Page 1
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 18th May 17, 9:54 AM
    • 54,866 Posts
    • 47,737 Thanks
    Thrugelmir
    • #2
    • 18th May 17, 9:54 AM
    • #2
    • 18th May 17, 9:54 AM
    Apparently most insurers now do this - how can this be right? Surely I should be asked and specifically agree to any policy renewing without my permission?.
    Originally posted by Stigofthedump
    Be in the policy documentation. If it's clearly stated. Then the onus is on you to opt out. How long did you have the same insurer?
    “ “Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism, and die on euphoria. The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell.” Sir John Marks Templeton
    • Stigofthedump
    • By Stigofthedump 18th May 17, 9:57 AM
    • 27 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    Stigofthedump
    • #3
    • 18th May 17, 9:57 AM
    • #3
    • 18th May 17, 9:57 AM
    I change insurer every year - use the comparisan sites it's always cheaper, is this a new thing that they auto renew - had similar with my car insurance last year but caught that in time
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 18th May 17, 9:58 AM
    • 29,745 Posts
    • 18,833 Thanks
    DCFC79
    • #4
    • 18th May 17, 9:58 AM
    • #4
    • 18th May 17, 9:58 AM
    I've just realised my home insurance policy automatically renewed - only found it when checking my credit card statement.
    I took out a new policy so was covered from the day after the old policy I thought expired.
    Apparently most insurers now do this - how can this be right? Surely I should be asked and specifically agree to any policy renewing without my permission?.
    They are now charging me a £25 'admin fee' to cancel and 1 days insurance at 56p - what a joke I'm really cross and wonder if I can do anything to formally complain about this - all the insurance co say is we sent you the email (went into my junk) therefore you should have known - it was in my document small print but as I haven't got copies of those I can't check.
    I think it's fundamentally wrong for insurance companies to do this specially when they always ramp up the charges for the second term (they charged me £214.85 when my new policy was £149.37 - that's a £65 increase)
    Any advice appreciated and can anything be done industry-wide to stop this?
    Originally posted by Stigofthedump
    Your own fault, make a note of when its up for renewal, simple to do.

    I take it you took out another policy elsewhere ? If so try writing to them stating you werent aware it had renewed and you took out a policy elsewhere, might work.

    Automatic renewal has been around for a while, if you fprget about renewing it means your covered as it auto renews.
    Last edited by DCFC79; 18-05-2017 at 10:05 AM.
    Can people stop loaning money/being a guarator to family/friends, it rarely ends well and you lose out as your money is gone or you get shafted with being a guarantor.
    • zx81
    • By zx81 18th May 17, 9:59 AM
    • 12,714 Posts
    • 12,958 Thanks
    zx81
    • #5
    • 18th May 17, 9:59 AM
    • #5
    • 18th May 17, 9:59 AM
    Surely I should be asked and specifically agree to any policy renewing without my permission?.
    Originally posted by Stigofthedump
    You'll have given your permission in the t&cs you said you read and agreed to.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 18th May 17, 10:26 AM
    • 88,835 Posts
    • 54,176 Thanks
    dunstonh
    • #6
    • 18th May 17, 10:26 AM
    • #6
    • 18th May 17, 10:26 AM
    I've just realised my home insurance policy automatically renewed - only found it when checking my credit card statement.
    So, are you saying you didn't get a renewal letter/email?

    I took out a new policy so was covered from the day after the old policy I thought expired.
    What prompted you to buy a new policy from the renewal date?
    Most when buying a new policy compare it with their old one. So, your actions seem a little unusual.

    Apparently most insurers now do this - how can this be right? Surely I should be asked and specifically agree to any policy renewing without my permission?.
    It is right and it has been available for decades. It is in the agreement and in the renewal letter. It isnt hidden and there is nothing wrong with it. It has saved many people from going uninsured.

    They are now charging me a £25 'admin fee' to cancel and 1 days insurance at 56p - what a joke I'm really cross and wonder if I can do anything to formally complain about this - all the insurance co say is we sent you the email (went into my junk) therefore you should have known - it was in my document small print but as I haven't got copies of those I can't check.
    I think it's fundamentally wrong for insurance companies to do this specially when they always ramp up the charges for the second term (they charged me £214.85 when my new
    1 - its not wrong. The regulator has no issue with auto-renewal.
    2 - The FOS have considered auto-renewal complaints and as long as they follow the required format then they will not uphold a complaint.
    3 - It is your fault for not reading a simple renewal instruction.

    Any advice appreciated and can anything be done industry-wide to stop this?
    Why stop it? It is useful for the majority (over 70% of people renew their existing policies)

    I change insurer every year - use the comparisan sites it's always cheaper, is this a new thing that they auto renew - had similar with my car insurance last year but caught that in time
    It has been going for about 30 years.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). 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.
    • Stigofthedump
    • By Stigofthedump 18th May 17, 11:03 AM
    • 27 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    Stigofthedump
    • #7
    • 18th May 17, 11:03 AM
    • #7
    • 18th May 17, 11:03 AM
    So, are you saying you didn't get a renewal letter/email?
    I found it in my spam/junk folder
    What prompted you to buy a new policy from the renewal date? Most when buying a new policy compare it with their old one. So, your actions seem a little unusual.
    Not really I have an annual calendar reminder to shop around and get new policy
    - its not wrong. The regulator has no issue with auto-renewal.
    2 - The FOS have considered auto-renewal complaints and as long as they follow the required format then they will not uphold a complaint.
    3 - It is your fault for not reading a simple renewal instruction.
    If I'd received the instruction I would have read it...my email deletes all mail over 1 year so I don't have any records of last years letter when I signed up for the policy originally
    Why stop it? It is useful for the majority (over 70% of people renew their existing policies)
    Because auto renewal takes away my ability to shop around for a new policy - for over a month now I've had 2 policies running together
    Why stop it? It is useful for the majority (over 70% of people renew their existing policies)
    because this is not something I ever want - I've never yet had a policy that is same price or cheaper second year along - it's always cheaper to get brand new policy - I thought this was something that this site recommends?
    and just to add insult to injury - even though the policy renewed I didn't receive any paperwork or confirmation of this by email or by letter...
    Yes it was probably in the small print but I think this is very misleading and when applying for a policy I feel there should be a question "do you want automatic renewal?" - that then give the purchaser the CHOICE - I didn't get that and because the email went to junk I was completely unaware until I was checking my statement and couldn't figure out why I had 2 lots insurance payments come out on same day....
    • bertiewhite
    • By bertiewhite 18th May 17, 11:18 AM
    • 485 Posts
    • 441 Thanks
    bertiewhite
    • #8
    • 18th May 17, 11:18 AM
    • #8
    • 18th May 17, 11:18 AM
    Swinton did this with me last year BUT I did get a renewal letter through the post saying they'd be automatically renewing unless I cancelled beforehand.

    So I did. Interestingly though, I looked at taking out a new policy with them online and it was cheaper than the automatic price they were going to charge
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 18th May 17, 11:19 AM
    • 88,835 Posts
    • 54,176 Thanks
    dunstonh
    • #9
    • 18th May 17, 11:19 AM
    • #9
    • 18th May 17, 11:19 AM
    I found it in my spam/junk folder
    Ok, so that is your failure and not that of the insurer. I know its more likely your email provider or your security software provider but ultimately, it is your failure.

    Not really I have an annual calendar reminder to shop around and get new policy
    And when shopping around, you do so without knowing the premium of the existing provider?

    If I'd received the instruction I would have read it...my email deletes all mail over 1 year so I don't have any records of last years letter when I signed up for the policy originally
    That was not a sensible thing to do. You should keep the attachments on file. However, that is not the only place the insurer tells you. Indeed, it is the least important place. What is more important is that on the renewal letter, they must state in there what happens next. It is not hidden away. It is in the main bulk of the short cover letter.

    Because auto renewal takes away my ability to shop around for a new policy - for over a month now I've had 2 policies running together
    It does not take that ability away. It is a simple mechanism for those that wish to continue. For those that do not, they just tell the insurer not to renew it.

    because this is not something I ever want - I've never yet had a policy that is same price or cheaper second year along - it's always cheaper to get brand new policy - I thought this was something that this site recommends?
    That may be your experience but it does not match the majority. People frequently stay with the same company and the same company can often be cheaper than the alternatives or sufficiently in the ballpark to remove the hassle.

    There are providers out there that value ongoing relationships and others that do not and price with big year one discounts but are expensive when those discounts drop off. If you keep buying the latter then you will be best to move around. If you buy the former then you are more likely to save by staying. And then you have the quality providers who are never the cheapest but they dont want to be priced with the cheapest rubbish at the top of the comparison site.

    This site recommends you check every year but not change unless it makes sense to do so.
    and just to add insult to injury - even though the policy renewed I didn't receive any paperwork or confirmation of this by email or by letter...
    If you opted for paperless then you get it by email. You have already confirmed you did get it and it was in your spam folder.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). 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.
    • anniecave
    • By anniecave 18th May 17, 11:47 AM
    • 2,140 Posts
    • 683 Thanks
    anniecave
    You are clearly financially savvy and will have saved far more than £25 over the years by moving around between companies. Accept it and move on.

    But I'd recommend if you only use web-based email that you save policy documents separately somewhere. Or use folders within your emails and don't use an email provider that deletes old emails.

    HTH
    Indecision is the key to flexibility.
    • macman
    • By macman 18th May 17, 12:18 PM
    • 41,127 Posts
    • 16,874 Thanks
    macman
    The only way to avoid this is to pay by some means other than a credit or debit card (cheque or BACS), that way they can't apply a CPA to your card. But this may be difficult or impossible to do online.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 18th May 17, 12:52 PM
    • 1,000 Posts
    • 2,161 Thanks
    IAmWales
    The only way to avoid this is to pay by some means other than a credit or debit card (cheque or BACS), that way they can't apply a CPA to your card. But this may be difficult or impossible to do online.
    Originally posted by macman
    You can choose to opt out of auto renewal.

    I think auto renewal is a good thing. I do normally refuse it (at the time of renewal), but this year I was too ill to look elsewhere. Had the policy not auto renewed I would have been without coverage for several months. None of us know when/ if we're going to unexpectedly fall ill, it's good to have provision in place for if that happens.

    And you should check your spam folder everyday, or at least every week. The spam filter is so random it can often send important information there, so I think of it as a second inbox (albeit with random porn and Viagra ads!).
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