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  • FIRST POST
    • Integr8
    • By Integr8 2nd Dec 17, 8:02 PM
    • 13Posts
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    Integr8
    Hastings want to cancel wife's insurance
    • #1
    • 2nd Dec 17, 8:02 PM
    Hastings want to cancel wife's insurance 2nd Dec 17 at 8:02 PM
    Hello forum

    My wife had just renewed her car insurance a couple of days ago. She noticed that the documentation was not showing a couple of claims I had during the previous year which she was sure she had declared at the last renewal. We have a car each and are named drivers on each other's policies.

    Thinking everything was in order from the last policy she answered no when asked had anything changed. That was a truthful response; nothing had actually changed since the last renewal. What she had failed to do was just check the renewal documentation and assumed they already knew.

    The claims I had were a glass claim in December 2015 (thieves broke window while in car park) and a theft claim in May 2016 (house was burgled for keys and car taken from outside house, recovery made after the claim was settled).

    So she just contacted Hastings to correct this and was told that the underwriters no longer wish to insure me on her policy and so Hastings have "unrisked" the policy (given her 7 days to find alternate cover before cancelling the policy). The only alternative was to remove me as a named driver.

    My wife got extremely upset at this as she thinks she has made a bad mistake and in fact is seeing it as being punished for being honest.

    This seems particularly daft as (a) they are claims in my history not hers, and (b) claims on my use of another vehicle which have nothing to do with my risk profile as a named driver on this vehicle should not increase the risk of being a named driver on this vehicle. My own car being broken into in a car park when at work doesn't affect the risk of my wife's car being broken into when left at home (she doesn't work).

    Also, my car is also insured with Hastings and these incidents have been declared on my own policy. They had to be as they were claimed against that policy!

    My wife is the most honest person imaginable and while it is possible she forgot to add my claims on her previous renewal (November 2016), it's also possible she did actually inform them but it is they who have made the error. My wife is so conscientious about this sort of thing. At renewal a year ago the theft claim particularly would have been quite recent (and burglary is a traumatic event), so it's highly unusual for her to have forgotten all about it. She usually takes pains to write down all the information at renewal time. She also had entered the full details of these claims into comparison sites before renewal and (maybe naively) assumed Hastings would have the details.

    Another factor which makes me wonder if it is their error, is during this renewal Hastings asked my wife if I (the named driver) still required business use. This had been put on for me as named driver on my wife's previous policy after my car had been stolen. This was so I could use her car to go to a conference. This cover was then removed as soon as I replaced that car as my wife only requires SDP cover. It's as if they have lost details from the last year's policy and reverted to details from the previous one.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post. We'd like some advice. Clearly I don't want my wife to have a strike of having insurance cancelled, so I'm wondering what the options are.

    (a) remove me as a named driver and live with the inconvenience until next year's renewal.
    (b) remove me as a named driver, take out a different policy and then cancel this policy. This should not be the same as a policy being cancelled by them but there will I guess be a cancellation charge.
    (c) complain to the financial ombudsman. It would seem reasonable and proportionate to charge an additional premium but it does not seem reasonable to refuse insurance on the basis of at worst an honest mistake.

    To my mind there is a good chance it is their mistake but it will be difficult for us to prove that.
Page 1
    • anselld
    • By anselld 2nd Dec 17, 8:15 PM
    • 5,418 Posts
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    anselld
    • #2
    • 2nd Dec 17, 8:15 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Dec 17, 8:15 PM
    7 days to insure elsewhere, I would take that option. Hastings are a poor outfit anyway.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 2nd Dec 17, 8:22 PM
    • 89,848 Posts
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    dunstonh
    • #3
    • 2nd Dec 17, 8:22 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Dec 17, 8:22 PM
    My wife got extremely upset at this as she thinks she has made a bad mistake and in fact is seeing it as being punished for being honest.
    She is not being punished. However, she wasnt being honest. It was a mistake.

    This seems particularly daft as (a) they are claims in my history not hers, and (b) claims on my use of another vehicle which have nothing to do with my risk profile as a named driver on this vehicle should not increase the risk of being a named driver on this vehicle. My own car being broken into in a car park when at work doesn't affect the risk of my wife's car being broken into when left at home (she doesn't work).
    a) it is an event on a named driver on her policy
    b) it has a lot to with her insurers as you are named on her policy and you have had two significant claim events in a short period.

    The damage at the car park when at work does increase her risk. What if you had driven her car to work that day?

    Also, my car is also insured with Hastings and these incidents have been declared on my own policy. They had to be as they were claimed against that policy!
    You have two issues against you. Your wife has three. Your two issues plus her non-disclosure.

    My wife is the most honest person imaginable and while it is possible she forgot to add my claims on her previous renewal (November 2016), it's also possible she did actually inform them but it is they who have made the error.
    It is also possible that she intentionally didnt tell them and was hoping to get away with it. I am not saying that is the case but giving an idea of the possibilities that exist in the eyes of the insurer.

    If you are with BT, then chances are your phone bill has a record of the numbers you have called. It shouldnt take too long to see whether that was the case or not.

    Plus, if you believe your wife did phone them, then what did they tell her would happen next? her premium would have gone up. So, what was her reaction when they told her that? Whilst anything is possible, does it really sound credible?

    Anyway, sorry for the long post. We'd like some advice. Clearly I don't want my wife to have a strike of having insurance cancelled, so I'm wondering what the options are.
    Remove you from the policy now and go elsewhere at next renewal. You could cancel it shortly after but the cost will probably not make it worth it.

    (c) complain to the financial ombudsman. It would seem reasonable and proportionate to charge an additional premium but it does not seem reasonable to refuse insurance on the basis of at worst an honest mistake.
    The ombudsman have a published guide on non-disclosure and Hastings seem to be following it more generously than the FOS would expect them to do so. The FOS position allows the insurer to cancel the policy and void it from inception. That is far more damaging to both you and her (as you would have to declare it on your policy too).

    I understand the need for you to support your wife but you also need to accept she made a mistake and hastings are giving a more than a generous way of sorting this out. Trying to blame others for what was probably a genuine mistake is not going to solve anything. Take yourself off the policy and deal with it at renewal or later cancellation and move on.
    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 an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • Sarastro
    • By Sarastro 2nd Dec 17, 9:33 PM
    • 323 Posts
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    Sarastro
    • #4
    • 2nd Dec 17, 9:33 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Dec 17, 9:33 PM
    If the renewals are annual, then how can she have said nothing had changed as your' claims were less than a year ago?

    That said, I'd take the 7 day option to go elsewhere too.
    • Integr8
    • By Integr8 2nd Dec 17, 9:40 PM
    • 13 Posts
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    Integr8
    • #5
    • 2nd Dec 17, 9:40 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Dec 17, 9:40 PM
    Thanks for your advice. However I am not "trying to blame others". Given they seem to have lost the details about another change we definitely did make before last renewal (the temporary business use), it seems entirely possible they could have done the same with these events too. We generally do her renewals together as I pay the premiums.

    It's not disputed that my wife did make the mistake of not checking the documentation thoroughly enough before this renewal. She would have assumed the events had been declared previously and so didn't check for them properly. The question is did she forget to declare it on last renewal?

    Plus, if you believe your wife did phone them, then what did they tell her would happen next? her premium would have gone up. So, what was her reaction when they told her that? Whilst anything is possible, does it really sound credible?
    I don't understand this. Does what sound credible? The premium would have been different on renewal anyway. As you don't know my wife I'm not offended by your suggestion she's lying. But seriously, she's the sort of person who has to be dissuaded from declaring childhood chicken pox and innumerable sniffles on pre-existing medical conditions when applying for travel insurance! If you knew her you'd realise how ridiculous any suggestion of deliberate dishonesty on her part would be.

    I have read the ombudsman page on non-disclosure. I did so before posting the thread. This section particularly reads to me as the Ombudsman would take the view that Hastings should simply charge the increased premium, and that cancelling the policy seems disproportionate.

    Where we decide that a consumer has not taken reasonable care but that this wasn't deliberate, we generally say the insurer should take a proportionate approach. This means that the insurer should base its approach on what it would have done if the consumer had taken reasonable care and provided the correct information.
    • rs65
    • By rs65 3rd Dec 17, 2:05 AM
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    rs65
    • #6
    • 3rd Dec 17, 2:05 AM
    • #6
    • 3rd Dec 17, 2:05 AM
    This section particularly reads to me as the Ombudsman would take the view that Hastings should simply charge the increased premium, and that cancelling the policy seems disproportionate.

    Where we decide that a consumer has not taken reasonable care but that this wasn't deliberate, we generally say the insurer should take a proportionate approach. This means that the insurer should base its approach on what it would have done if the consumer had taken reasonable care and provided the correct information.
    Originally posted by Integr8
    What it would have done was to not accept you so cancelling may be correct.

    What did last year's documents say - did they note the claims?

    I would take any option that avoids the cancellation.
    • dacouch
    • By dacouch 3rd Dec 17, 7:14 AM
    • 20,289 Posts
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    dacouch
    • #7
    • 3rd Dec 17, 7:14 AM
    • #7
    • 3rd Dec 17, 7:14 AM
    Thanks for your advice. However I am not "trying to blame others". Given they seem to have lost the details about another change we definitely did make before last renewal (the temporary business use), it seems entirely possible they could have done the same with these events too. We generally do her renewals together as I pay the premiums.

    It's not disputed that my wife did make the mistake of not checking the documentation thoroughly enough before this renewal. She would have assumed the events had been declared previously and so didn't check for them properly. The question is did she forget to declare it on last renewal?



    I don't understand this. Does what sound credible? The premium would have been different on renewal anyway. As you don't know my wife I'm not offended by your suggestion she's lying. But seriously, she's the sort of person who has to be dissuaded from declaring childhood chicken pox and innumerable sniffles on pre-existing medical conditions when applying for travel insurance! If you knew her you'd realise how ridiculous any suggestion of deliberate dishonesty on her part would be.

    I have read the ombudsman page on non-disclosure. I did so before posting the thread. This section particularly reads to me as the Ombudsman would take the view that Hastings should simply charge the increased premium, and that cancelling the policy seems disproportionate.
    Originally posted by Integr8
    That quote from the Ombudsman is regarding to how an Insurer handles a claim when there is a non disclosure.

    It is now common for an Insurer to cancel a policy when they discover a non disclosure (Generally via checking databases) as Insurers normally do not want customers on their books who non disclose
    • Aretnap
    • By Aretnap 3rd Dec 17, 9:27 AM
    • 2,840 Posts
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    Aretnap
    • #8
    • 3rd Dec 17, 9:27 AM
    • #8
    • 3rd Dec 17, 9:27 AM
    This seems particularly daft as (a) they are claims in my history not hers, and (b) claims on my use of another vehicle which have nothing to do with my risk profile as a named driver on this vehicle should not increase the risk of being a named driver on this vehicle. My own car being broken into in a car park when at work doesn't affect the risk of my wife's car being broken into when left at home (she doesn't work).
    Originally posted by Integr8
    That is unlikely to form part of their reasoning. Modern car insurance underwriting is done by a computer algorithm which takes a fairly limited number of variables (eg the fact that you have a theft claim and a glass claim) and comes up with a price (or doesn't) based solely on those variables with no human intervention. The algorithm isn't sophisticated enough to come up with a different price depending on whether the theft happened at your home, your work, your local supermarket or any of the million other places you conceivably have your car stolen. You won't get anywhere by arguing that you don't think that the particular circumstances of your claims mean that they indicate less risk than some other circumstances you could imagine.

    If you don't like that approach and want a more bespoke price then the alternative would be to go to Lloyd's of London where you could sit down for tea and biscuits with your underwriter, chat to him in detail about your theft and attempted theft, and see whether he thinks there relevant to the risk on your wife's policy. However you would have to pay more for that sort of personalised service - a lot more than the likes of Hastings charge - so in practice nobody does it.
    • Aretnap
    • By Aretnap 3rd Dec 17, 9:39 AM
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    Aretnap
    • #9
    • 3rd Dec 17, 9:39 AM
    • #9
    • 3rd Dec 17, 9:39 AM
    I have read the ombudsman page on non-disclosure. I did so before posting the thread. This section particularly reads to me as the Ombudsman would take the view that Hastings should simply charge the increased premium, and that cancelling the policy seems disproportionate.
    Originally posted by Integr8
    The Ombudsman's page as I recall is a bit vague on how the insurer should treat the policy going forwards. However their approach generally mirrors the law set out in the Consumer Insurance Act, and the Consumer Insurance Act dues survivalist give the insurer the right to cancel the policy going forwards, even in the case of careless non-disclosure. See paragraph 9 here

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/6/schedule/1/enacted
    • MABLE
    • By MABLE 3rd Dec 17, 10:07 AM
    • 3,345 Posts
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    MABLE
    I wonder now if claiming on my British Gas home care policy for a breakdown and not reporting it at renewal to my car insurance could under the heading of non disclosure.
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 3rd Dec 17, 10:28 AM
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    Quentin
    7 days to insure elsewhere, I would take that option. Hastings are a poor outfit anyway.
    Originally posted by anselld
    She has been given 7 days notice of cancellation.


    If she accepts that and goes elsewhere then she does have to disclose the cancellation to other insurers she goes to.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 3rd Dec 17, 11:06 AM
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    dunstonh
    I have read the ombudsman page on non-disclosure. I did so before posting the thread. This section particularly reads to me as the Ombudsman would take the view that Hastings should simply charge the increased premium, and that cancelling the policy seems disproportionate.
    Only if they would accept the cover. Where they would not, due to underwriting reasons, they are allowed to reject the cover. Two claims in quick succession and multiple non-disclosure events are often rejected.

    I don't understand this. Does what sound credible?
    It was where you were trying to position the blame with the insurer by suggesting your wife phoned and told them. The call would be pretty memorable for something that should have happened less than 12 months ago as they would have put the premium up for starters.

    I'm not accusing your wife of telling lies. However, she could be. That is the problem with the situation. She is now in a pot of people who failed to tell the insurer some significant details. That pot of people will contain those that made genuine errors and those that did it on purpose hoping to get away with it. Those that lied on purpose will claim it was accidental. The insurer has very little way of knowing, in this case, whether it was accidental or on purpose.

    Even where it is accidental, it shows carelessness and insurance is priced in good faith that the information is supplied correctly. Someone who doesnt do that, regardless of reason, is higher risk. A lot of insurers will not quote to people who have non-disclosure history.

    Hence, taking their offer to remove you and then changing at renewal (or cancelling down the road after removing you) is the best option. It means no requirement to declare non-disclosure for the rest of your lives.
    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 an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • Integr8
    • By Integr8 4th Dec 17, 11:45 PM
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    Integr8
    It was where you were trying to position the blame with the insurer by suggesting your wife phoned and told them. The call would be pretty memorable for something that should have happened less than 12 months ago as they would have put the premium up for starters.
    Originally posted by dunstonh
    OK I see. The glass claim was 2 years ago and the theft 18 months ago. We don't think she did phone them at the times of the incidents specifically, but she was sure she had informed them at the time of the last renewal (12 months ago).

    Having checked the past documentation though it does look like she simply forgot. My suspicions though had been aroused when on the renewal they had asked if she still wanted business use for me, when that had been cancelled over a year prior.
    • Integr8
    • By Integr8 5th Dec 17, 6:31 PM
    • 13 Posts
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    Integr8
    OK, so we phoned up Hastings today.

    Despite them having said on Saturday that we could remove me from named drivers and continue the policy, they have given us back word. We were told today that the underwriters have now said they will not insure my wife at all based on the non-disclosure!

    To top that they said that since she has had insurance declined she will now have to declare this regardless. I was prepared to accept ok she made a mistake and it's a pain removing me but at least they were giving us chance to rectify the situation. But this stinks.

    All because of her making one mistake and simply forgetting to tell them about something she didn't personally have a record of because she didn't have to deal with it, and forgot to ask me about.

    We have cancelled the policy and insured her car with Admiral, with me as named driver, all details, declaring insurance declined. Premium up £200 with one check box.

    Final irony, with full history declared and the insurance declined/cancelled box checked, Hasting and 2 other brands underwritted by Advantage were still the top 4 on price! We though it better to go with a different underwriter, lest we be accused of trying to gain insurance with the same underwriters by the back door, or some such nonsense.

    Thanks for all advice, not that it did us any good. Moral of the story, don't ever make a single mistake!

    And it might not do me any good, but I will be writing to the ombudsman because this sh!t is not on.
    • rs65
    • By rs65 5th Dec 17, 7:07 PM
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    rs65
    All because of her making one mistake and simply forgetting to tell them about something she didn't personally have a record of because she didn't have to deal with it, and forgot to ask me about.
    Originally posted by Integr8
    When you write to the ombudsman, stick to the facts. Keep it brief and tell them the outcome you want.

    Earlier you said that the burglary was so recent and such a traumatic event that she wouldn't have forgotten about it - and it was Hastings mistake. Sounds now that you accept it was her mistake.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 5th Dec 17, 7:38 PM
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    dunstonh
    Final irony, with full history declared and the insurance declined/cancelled box checked, Hasting and 2 other brands underwritted by Advantage were still the top 4 on price!
    That is something you should raise in your complaint. If they rejected it for new business with full disclosure, then their position is sound. If they accept it for new business then they are on thin ice.

    but I will be writing to the ombudsman because this sh!t is not on.
    You dont get access to the FOS until you have complained to the firm and got a response from them.
    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 an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 5th Dec 17, 8:31 PM
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    Quentin

    All because of her making one mistake and simply forgetting to tell them about something she didn't personally have a record of because she didn't have to deal with it, and forgot to ask me about.
    Originally posted by Integr8
    Your wife as policy holder will have agreed to disclose all relevant information about any named drivers.

    This is no "defence"
    Last edited by Quentin; 05-12-2017 at 8:37 PM.
    • takman
    • By takman 6th Dec 17, 9:09 PM
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    takman
    OK I see. The glass claim was 2 years ago and the theft 18 months ago. We don't think she did phone them at the times of the incidents specifically, but she was sure she had informed them at the time of the last renewal (12 months ago).

    Having checked the past documentation though it does look like she simply forgot. My suspicions though had been aroused when on the renewal they had asked if she still wanted business use for me, when that had been cancelled over a year prior.
    Originally posted by Integr8
    All because of her making one mistake and simply forgetting to tell them about something she didn't personally have a record of because she didn't have to deal with it, and forgot to ask me about.
    Originally posted by Integr8
    But it's not just one mistake; she forgot to inform them last year, then she didn't check the insurance documents to make sure they were correct. So you have got away with a cheaper policy last year due to not declaring it!. Then she didn't check her renewal this year, so there was a number of mistakes made. So she is lucky they simply cancelled the policy and didn't consider it fraudulent considering the previous years policy.
    • takman
    • By takman 6th Dec 17, 9:12 PM
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    takman
    That is something you should raise in your complaint. If they rejected it for new business with full disclosure, then their position is sound. If they accept it for new business then they are on thin ice.
    Originally posted by dunstonh
    Are they not allowed to take into account that the customer has likely gotten last years policy much cheaper due to their negligence and they have failed to spot the errors and inform them several times over an extended period?.

    I would say this is a valid reason to not want to do business with them.
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