Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • ballybrown
    • By ballybrown 18th Sep 17, 12:01 PM
    • 4Posts
    • 0Thanks
    ballybrown
    Car insurance policy change/cancellation
    • #1
    • 18th Sep 17, 12:01 PM
    Car insurance policy change/cancellation 18th Sep 17 at 12:01 PM
    Phoned RAC Insurance to tell them I'd put a towbar on my car and they wanted to charge me £65 extra on top of the policy! Explained that it didn't enhance the power output or anything else for that matter - no joy, still wanted to charge £65, including a policy change charge!

    Words fail me, why/how can they justify that.

    Anyway went to Direct Line - they're not bothered if you fit a towbar as it is not performance enhancing or anything else.

    Went back to RAC and told them I wanted to cancel my policy, only to be told it would cost me £55. Talk about RAGING, this is scandalous that they can rip us off like this.

    Have now registered a complaint through the Ombudsman.

    Anyone else experienced this? What was the outcome?

    Also have a motorhome with a towbar and insurance company don't want to make any extra charges. So why do the RAC? Wont be renewing my breakdown cover with them again either!
    Last edited by ballybrown; 18-09-2017 at 12:02 PM. Reason: spacing
Page 1
    • paddyandstumpy
    • By paddyandstumpy 18th Sep 17, 12:41 PM
    • 916 Posts
    • 409 Thanks
    paddyandstumpy
    • #2
    • 18th Sep 17, 12:41 PM
    • #2
    • 18th Sep 17, 12:41 PM
    RAC insurance is administered by BISL, not the RAC directly. BISL are just a Broker and your insurance will be underwritten by someone else.

    If the insurer feels it appropriate to charge an AP then that is their prerogative.

    The charges for mid term adjustments and cancellations will be detailed in the T's + C's which you agreed to when you took out the policy.

    Complaining to the ombudsman when you haven't completed the brokers complaints procedure won't get you anywhere.
    • Aretnap
    • By Aretnap 18th Sep 17, 2:15 PM
    • 2,843 Posts
    • 2,339 Thanks
    Aretnap
    • #3
    • 18th Sep 17, 2:15 PM
    • #3
    • 18th Sep 17, 2:15 PM
    The Ombudsman does not get involved in pricing matters, such as whether or not an insurer should charge extra for a towbar. That's seen as a commercial decision for the insurer to make.

    For what it's worth, an insurers view of modifications is not driven purely by whether they add to the power or performance of a car. Often it's simply the fact that they mark you out as the sort of person who drives a modified car. Or with towbars (which are admittedly not very boy-racerish) they mean that you're now likely to be using the car to tow a caravan or trailer, whereas previously you weren't, which brings in risks of its own, plus with a lump of metal pointing out of the back of your car you may well be more likely to prang another car while reversing - and to cause more damage when you do.

    As for the cancellation fee, the Ombudsman allows insurers to charge a reasonable fee for cancellation or changes to the policy. One of the cases on their website suggests that they found a £50 fee reasonable ten years ago, so with inflation £55 is likely to be reasonable today.

    So no I don't see your complaint getting very far I'm afraid.
    • vtc6
    • By vtc6 18th Sep 17, 5:12 PM
    • 55 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    vtc6
    • #4
    • 18th Sep 17, 5:12 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Sep 17, 5:12 PM
    I've seen cases of the courts saying charges are unreasonable, even if they are detailed up front in the T&Cs. I've seen that insurance companies are being increasingly regulated e.g. being made to pay up or part pay up, even if policyholder didn't declare something. It's good progress.

    I don't think it's worth fighting this though. I would just not declare the towbar. The cases I've followed recently insurers aren't able to withhold a claim due to something unsubstantial like a towbar.

    I'm sure the "by the book brigade" will get angry at my suggestion, but it's your call.
    • Blibble
    • By Blibble 18th Sep 17, 6:22 PM
    • 251 Posts
    • 112 Thanks
    Blibble
    • #5
    • 18th Sep 17, 6:22 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Sep 17, 6:22 PM
    I've seen cases of the courts saying charges are unreasonable, even if they are detailed up front in the T&Cs. I've seen that insurance companies are being increasingly regulated e.g. being made to pay up or part pay up, even if policyholder didn't declare something. It's good progress.

    I don't think it's worth fighting this though. I would just not declare the towbar. The cases I've followed recently insurers aren't able to withhold a claim due to something unsubstantial like a towbar.

    I'm sure the "by the book brigade" will get angry at my suggestion, but it's your call.
    Originally posted by vtc6
    Wouldn't say I'm angry at your suggestion, more disappointed that you're suggesting OP commit a form of insurance fraud by not declaring. Let's say OP accidentally reverses into a parked vehicle, causing significant damage with the towbar - the insurer would then have a right to refuse the claim due to misrepresentation.
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 18th Sep 17, 6:55 PM
    • 26,230 Posts
    • 10,469 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    • #6
    • 18th Sep 17, 6:55 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Sep 17, 6:55 PM
    They do not charge extra for a towbar if you mention it before taking the policy. In your case its because your making a change mid term.

    Captive customer. Pay up or Cancel and err payup.. You lose / You lose?
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • Aretnap
    • By Aretnap 18th Sep 17, 9:15 PM
    • 2,843 Posts
    • 2,339 Thanks
    Aretnap
    • #7
    • 18th Sep 17, 9:15 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Sep 17, 9:15 PM
    They do not charge extra for a towbar if you mention it before taking the policy. In your case its because your making a change mid term.

    Captive customer. Pay up or Cancel and err payup.. You lose / You lose?
    Originally posted by forgotmyname
    Who are "they"?

    As above, RAC aka BISL are just a broker. The OP could be insured by any number of underwriters, some of whom will apply a loading for towbars, some of whom won't.

    If you've got a quote from the RAC with and without a towbar and found them to be the same that just tells you that the insurer they've pairs you up with doesn't load for towbars (at least not for a person with your circumstances driving your type of car) - it tells you nothing about how the OP's insurer treats them.
    • ballybrown
    • By ballybrown 20th Sep 17, 7:20 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    ballybrown
    • #8
    • 20th Sep 17, 7:20 PM
    • #8
    • 20th Sep 17, 7:20 PM
    Wish I'd kept my mouth shut now.
    Yes I don't expect to get anywhere, but unless we put our heads up, companies will continue to charge exorbitant fees to press a computer button, we as consumers need to shout louder if we're going to get treated fairly.
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 20th Sep 17, 7:32 PM
    • 33,535 Posts
    • 17,422 Thanks
    Quentin
    • #9
    • 20th Sep 17, 7:32 PM
    • #9
    • 20th Sep 17, 7:32 PM
    Wish I'd kept my mouth shut now......
    Originally posted by ballybrown

    No mileage in not notifying modifications - if it comes to light (usually at the time of a claim) they have grounds to void the policy
    • Rags2riches
    • By Rags2riches 20th Sep 17, 8:56 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Rags2riches
    RAC insurance is administered by BISL, not the RAC directly. BISL are just a Broker and your insurance will be underwritten by someone else.

    If the insurer feels it appropriate to charge an AP then that is their prerogative.

    The charges for mid term adjustments and cancellations will be detailed in the T's + C's which you agreed to when you took out the policy.

    Complaining to the ombudsman when you haven't completed the brokers complaints procedure won't get you anywhere.
    Originally posted by paddyandstumpy
    It doesn't really matter whether RAC insurance is underwritten or administered by somebody else. RAC is a brand and they should know better than allowing their brand to be used in this way. Its brand dilution.

    Co-incidentally I am a member of RAC breakdown (prob a different company still) and when my renewal came through it was up more than if I were a new customer. I phoned them and told them where to go - they reduced it from around £180 to £100 immediately. AA is very similar that its owned by the same company as British Gas.

    Unfortunately gone are the days where these automobile clubs were looking out for you... small companies doing right - now its just a money game. You have to ask, beg, plead and threaten to take your business elsewhere for them to listen.
    Last edited by Rags2riches; 20-09-2017 at 9:00 PM.
    • yogavenger
    • By yogavenger 23rd Sep 17, 7:37 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    yogavenger
    I've been hit with an unfair cancellation fee today. My car policy auto renewed in May; I was on holiday and turned everything off. Apparently, they sent a txt and email but I didn't get anything. I went to renew today, thinking it due. I was getting emails to say they had taken a payment which I thought a bit odd (I knew there were taking payments, I had arranged it!) Chap said to renew now would increase my premiums so I got insurance elsewhere. Went to cancel and told I need to pay £50. Told them I didn't even realise it autorenewed. Apparently I was told but I don't remember that. They are checking phone recording. If they didn't tell me, they wave it but otherwise I am expected to pay. Crazy.
    • FutureGirl
    • By FutureGirl 23rd Sep 17, 7:46 PM
    • 1,018 Posts
    • 415 Thanks
    FutureGirl
    If your policy auto-renewed in May then some point between then and now you would have received new policy documents. They would have also taken more than 1 payment since May, so by paying it's deemed you accepted the new premium / renew of the policy.
    • Aretnap
    • By Aretnap 23rd Sep 17, 8:14 PM
    • 2,843 Posts
    • 2,339 Thanks
    Aretnap
    If your renewal data was in May and you thought it was actually today then your lucky it did auto-renew - if it hadn't your have been driving uninsured for the last 4 months. So I'm not really sure what you're complaining about...
    • ballybrown
    • By ballybrown 4th Oct 17, 7:10 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    ballybrown
    Quick update folks.
    Received £55 refund of cancellation fee.
    Happy, so it DOES pay to complain
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 4th Oct 17, 7:59 PM
    • 33,535 Posts
    • 17,422 Thanks
    Quentin
    Quick update folks.
    Received £55 refund of cancellation fee.
    Happy, so it DOES pay to complain
    Originally posted by ballybrown
    Always worth escalating a complaint to the FOS (however poor your case may be)


    That is because a "goodwill gesture" is often cheaper for the insurer than having to devote management time and money dealing with the complaint and the FOS.
    • Amst
    • By Amst 4th Oct 17, 8:00 PM
    • 69 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    Amst
    Quick update folks.
    Received £55 refund of cancellation fee.
    Happy, so it DOES pay to complain
    Originally posted by ballybrown
    Congratulations, you've helped contribute to higher premiums for everyone else (including yourself) because you now don't agree with policy terms and conditions you agreed to at the start.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

5,062Posts Today

6,815Users online

Martin's Twitter