Privilege insurance fail to remind me that my car insurance needs renewing

in Motoring
9 replies 4K views
I have just discovered that my car has been uninsured for the last few days (now fixed).

Normally, as my renewal date approaches, I am bombarded with emails and letters reminding me of this. I normally even receive a letter a couple of days after the insurance has run out (I change insurers nearly every year) warning me that my insurance has expired.

I have relied on this system all my life and in 40 years of motoring I have never been without insurance - something which is now apparently an offence even if you don't drive the car and it's kept off-road.

When discovered that I was uninsured (simply because I happened to check my policy about something else) I immediately contacted Privilege who confirmed that they had sent no reminders and had not renewed my policy automatically (as many firms do these days - not that that is something I've ever been very keen on).

Privilege were very apologetic, but offered no coherent explanation as to why this had happened.

Moral of the story: don't rely on your insurance company to tell you when your car insurance is running out!

Replies

  • DUTRDUTR Forumite
    13K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    alex99 wrote: »
    I have just discovered that my car has been uninsured for the last few days (now fixed).

    Normally, as my renewal date approaches, I am bombarded with emails and letters reminding me of this. I normally even receive a letter a couple of days after the insurance has run out (I change insurers nearly every year) warning me that my insurance has expired.

    I have relied on this system all my life and in 40 years of motoring I have never been without insurance - something which is now apparently an offence even if you don't drive the car and it's kept off-road.

    When discovered that I was uninsured (simply because I happened to check my policy about something else) I immediately contacted Privilege who confirmed that they had sent no reminders and had not renewed my policy automatically (as many firms do these days - not that that is something I've ever been very keen on).

    Privilege were very apologetic, but offered no coherent explanation as to why this had happened.

    Moral of the story: don't rely on your insurance company to tell you when your car insurance is running out!

    This applies to all sorts, VED, MOT, house insurance, TV License, the list goes on.
    Self manage things like that.
  • No explanation is given because your the one at fault, although apologetic to you from their end, yes perhaps a reminder (not If your on paperless or online billing) sent to you but they didn't all they can do is apologise for not sending something out not for you not checking your affairs to insure your vehicle.


    keeping in order your affairs of insurance etc is your job not the job of the insurance company
  • edited 13 August 2014 at 2:52PM
    alex99alex99 Forumite
    58 Posts
    edited 13 August 2014 at 2:52PM
    No explanation is given because your the one at fault, although apologetic to you from their end, yes perhaps a reminder (not If your on paperless or online billing) sent to you but they didn't all they can do is apologise for not sending something out not for you not checking your affairs to insure your vehicle.


    keeping in order your affairs of insurance etc is your job not the job of the insurance company

    Yes but my point was that I've obviously been lulled into a false sense of security over 40 years by the fact that every other insurance company I've ever dealt with has sent several reminders.

    The fact that every other insurance company makes strenuous attempts to warn their customers suggests that they do feel a certain moral responsibility - even if they have no legal responsibility in this area.

    I was simply trying to warn others not to be similarly lulled. It could cost them dear.
  • alex99alex99 Forumite
    58 Posts
    DUTR wrote: »
    This applies to all sorts, VED, MOT, house insurance, TV License, the list goes on.
    Self manage things like that.

    I do get a VED reminder from them every year.
    Ditto for my TV licence - which in any case I pay by DD.
    My garage reminds me when my MOT is due every year.
    My house insurers have always reminded me every year.

    You are right, however. This experience has taught me that we should not *rely* on others to remind us - which was exactly the message I was trying to put out in my post.
  • edited 13 August 2014 at 3:15PM
    alex99alex99 Forumite
    58 Posts
    edited 13 August 2014 at 3:15PM
    also, I found this (which suggests that Privilege are in breach of their FSA obligations here):

    This is the FSA requirement, taken from the FSA Insurance:conduct of Business document:

    No less than 21 days before the expiry of the policy, an insurance
    intermediary must
    :
    5.3.18
    (1) if the insurance undertaking is willing to invite renewal of the
    policy, take reasonable steps to provide the retail customer with
    renewal terms in a durable medium in accordance with
    ¦ ICOB 5.3.21 R
    ; or
    (2) take reasonable steps to notify the retail customer if the insurance
    undertaking is not willing to invite renewal; or
    (3) notify the retail customer that the insurance intermediary no longer
    deals with the insurance undertaking.
    ¦ ICOB 5.3.18 R(2) includes circumstances where the insurance undertaking is not willing
    to invite renewal through the insurance intermediary in contact with the retail customer.
    5.3.19
    ¦ ICOB 5.3.15 R has the effect that a renewal of a non-investment insurance contract of
    more than one year's duration must be treated as a new sale, in order to comply with the
    5.3.20
    DMD. A renewal of a non-investment insurance contract which has been extended in
    accordance with ¦ ICOB 5.3.22 R(4), so that it is longer than one year, must also be treated
    as a new sale. For these contracts an insurance intermediary should provide information
    in accordance with the rules in ¦ ICOB 5.3.1 R to ¦ ICOB 5.3.8 R and not ¦ ICOB 5.3.15 R.
    The information to be provided to the retail customer in accordance with
    ¦ ICOB 5.3.16 R or ¦ ICOB 5.3.18 R(1) is:
    5.3.21
    (1) a statement of any changes to the terms of the policy;
    (2) an explanation of those changes, where necessary;
    (3) any changes to the directive-required information in ¦ ICOB 5.5.20 R
    (subject to ¦ ICOB 5.5.17 G to ¦ ICOB 5.5.19 R);
    (4) the statement of price at ¦ ICOB 5.5.14 R;
    (5) information about cancellation (¦ ICOB 5.3.12 R to ¦ ICOB 5.3.14 G);
    and
    (6) a prominent statement of the retail customer's right to request a
    new policy document.
    ¦ ICOB 5.3.18 R and ¦ 5.3.22 ICOB 5.3.21 R do not apply where:
    (1) the insurance intermediary has reason to believe that the retail
    customer does not wish to renew the policy through it;
    PAGE
    13
    FSA Handbook ¦ Release 052 ? March 2006 5.3.22
    Section 5.3 : Provision of information to retail
    customers
    ICOB 5 : Product disclosure
    5
    (2) the insurance intermediary has notified the retail customer that
    it does not wish to act for him on renewal;
    (3) the retail customer has already been notified that the insurance
    undertaking will not invite renewal; or
    (4) the retail customer requests an extension to the non-investment
    insurance contract for a period less than that of the original
    non-investment insurance contract.
    5.3.23 (1) Examples of situations where the insurance intermediary would have reason
    to believe that the retail customer does not intend to renew are travel
    insurance for a single trip, mortgage payment protection insurance where
    the mortgage has been repaid, or creditor insurance tied to the term of a
    loan.
    (2) An insurance intermediary who contacts a retail customer at least 21 days
    before expiry of the policy to check whether the retail customer wishes to
    renew, can rely on an oral statement by the retail customer that he does not
    wish to renew or on the retail customer's failure to respond to a request in
    a durable medium to contact the insurance intermediary by a specified date
    if he wishes to renew.

    PS Above may be out of date but FSA site is down so I can't check for sure.
  • bod1467bod1467
    15.2K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    You only bolded (1); (2) and (3) could equally apply. In essence it seems that the insurer failed in their duty ...

    (1) if they wanted to insure you again, they should have told you
    (2) if they didn't want to insure you again, they should have told you
    (3) if they weren't able to insure you again, they should have told you

    Bottom line - they should have told you (in advance).
  • InsideInsuranceInsideInsurance Forumite
    22.5K Posts
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    As per the quoted ICOB rules they should have contacted you beforehand but they only need to do so once, not a barrage of them as you say you have previously experienced.

    I have to say I thought the ICOB rules had been updated to remove a specified timescale but a more generic "reasonable" but circa 21 days was the yardstick for reasonable.

    On the basis you havent actually suffered a loss as a consequence there is not much really you can do/ expect. Presumably there has been an IT glitch that has prevented the renewal quote being generated, assuming it wouldnt have gone to a referral for some reason and a complaint will simply result in them saying this and its now been fixed/ investigated.

    If you had been stopped for no insurance etc then Privilege's breach of ICOB and a complaint would probably result in a retroactive policy being put in place. I've had similar cases where we did write on an autorenewal basis but due to system glitches the policy didnt actually renew and obv we as the insurer put our hands up and fully defended our policyholder.

    Arguably this is one of the advantages of autorenewal as sometimes letters do get lost by the postman/ are thrown away by accident etc and so do prevent uninsured driving when people forget their renewal date.
  • alex99 wrote: »
    also, I found this (which suggests that Privilege are in breach of their FSA obligations here):

    This is the FSA requirement, taken from the FSA Insurance:conduct of Business document:

    No less than 21 days before the expiry of the policy, an insurance
    intermediary must
    :
    5.3.18
    (1) if the insurance undertaking is willing to invite renewal of the
    policy, take reasonable steps to provide the retail customer with
    renewal terms in a durable medium in accordance with
    ¦ ICOB 5.3.21 R
    ; or
    (2) take reasonable steps to notify the retail customer if the insurance
    undertaking is not willing to invite renewal; or
    (3) notify the retail customer that the insurance intermediary no longer
    deals with the insurance undertaking.
    ¦ ICOB 5.3.18 R(2) includes circumstances where the insurance undertaking is not willing
    to invite renewal through the insurance intermediary in contact with the retail customer.
    5.3.19
    ¦ ICOB 5.3.15 R has the effect that a renewal of a non-investment insurance contract of
    more than one year's duration must be treated as a new sale, in order to comply with the
    5.3.20
    DMD. A renewal of a non-investment insurance contract which has been extended in
    accordance with ¦ ICOB 5.3.22 R(4), so that it is longer than one year, must also be treated
    as a new sale. For these contracts an insurance intermediary should provide information
    in accordance with the rules in ¦ ICOB 5.3.1 R to ¦ ICOB 5.3.8 R and not ¦ ICOB 5.3.15 R.
    The information to be provided to the retail customer in accordance with
    ¦ ICOB 5.3.16 R or ¦ ICOB 5.3.18 R(1) is:
    5.3.21
    (1) a statement of any changes to the terms of the policy;
    (2) an explanation of those changes, where necessary;
    (3) any changes to the directive-required information in ¦ ICOB 5.5.20 R
    (subject to ¦ ICOB 5.5.17 G to ¦ ICOB 5.5.19 R);
    (4) the statement of price at ¦ ICOB 5.5.14 R;
    (5) information about cancellation (¦ ICOB 5.3.12 R to ¦ ICOB 5.3.14 G);
    and
    (6) a prominent statement of the retail customer's right to request a
    new policy document.
    ¦ ICOB 5.3.18 R and ¦ 5.3.22 ICOB 5.3.21 R do not apply where:
    (1) the insurance intermediary has reason to believe that the retail
    customer does not wish to renew the policy through it;
    PAGE
    13
    FSA Handbook ¦ Release 052 ? March 2006 5.3.22
    Section 5.3 : Provision of information to retail
    customers
    ICOB 5 : Product disclosure
    5
    (2) the insurance intermediary has notified the retail customer that
    it does not wish to act for him on renewal;
    (3) the retail customer has already been notified that the insurance
    undertaking will not invite renewal; or
    (4) the retail customer requests an extension to the non-investment
    insurance contract for a period less than that of the original
    non-investment insurance contract.
    5.3.23 (1) Examples of situations where the insurance intermediary would have reason
    to believe that the retail customer does not intend to renew are travel
    insurance for a single trip, mortgage payment protection insurance where
    the mortgage has been repaid, or creditor insurance tied to the term of a
    loan.
    (2) An insurance intermediary who contacts a retail customer at least 21 days
    before expiry of the policy to check whether the retail customer wishes to
    renew, can rely on an oral statement by the retail customer that he does not
    wish to renew or on the retail customer's failure to respond to a request in
    a durable medium to contact the insurance intermediary by a specified date
    if he wishes to renew.

    PS Above may be out of date but FSA site is down so I can't check for sure.

    The FSA hasn't existed since 31 March 2013 and the ICOB rules haven't been in force since 5 January 2008.

    The current insurance rules are the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) ICOBS rules in the FCA Handbook. http://fshandbook.info/FS/html/handbook/ICOBS
  • macmanmacman Forumite
    48.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    At the end of the day, if you are stopped and charged for driving without insurance, the court is not going to accept a defence that 'the insurer failed to remind me'. It's ultimately down to you to manage it.
    No insurance is required if the car is not kept on the public highway and is SORN'd: that's been the case since 1998.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
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