Car insurance cancellation fees

Last year I took an insurance online but subsequently as I was already a customer, the operator over the phone told me I could get a discount so the policy was cancelled and renewed over the phone. Bearing in mind I never auto-renew, the operator must have changed this but the policy resulted somehow as an online policy to them. Skip fwd 12 months, 3 weeks before renewals I opened a new policy with a different provider, thinking that they would call the previous insurer to get the "no claim certificate" from them. Unaware of the auto-renewal, today I get an email that my car is also insured with previous insurer. Called them to close down anything that is auto-renewed as it is also against the law to have 2 insurances on one car. Answer, as it's within 14 days from purchase they can cancel the policy but they will debit me £20 for cancellation fees on the T&C's which I never read because I didn't auto renew for a start. They even threatened me on the phone that if I don't pay them £20 they'll send me the debt collectors! this is Hastings Insurers so you stay away from them like the plague. Nevertheless, how do I get this resolved? I don't own them anything, I never set my policy to auto-renew. Anyone ever experienced this before?

Comments

  • km1500
    km1500 Posts: 2,120
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    the first thing to do is to raise an official complaint with Hastings

    if you do not get a satisfactory resolution then there is always the insurance ombudsman
  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 29,861
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    Mery said:
    ...Unaware of the auto-renewal...
    How confident are you that Hastings never notified you that the policy was set to auto-renew?  If the initial setup was done by phone, it would presumably have resulted in documents being sent out or made visible online, and prior to renewal date they should have contacted you to advise that it would renew if you did nothing....
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,124
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    edited 27 September 2023 at 2:55PM
    Mery said:
    Last year I took an insurance online but subsequently as I was already a customer, the operator over the phone told me I could get a discount so the policy was cancelled and renewed over the phone. Bearing in mind I never auto-renew, the operator must have changed this but the policy resulted somehow as an online policy to them. Skip fwd 12 months, 3 weeks before renewals I opened a new policy with a different provider, thinking that they would call the previous insurer to get the "no claim certificate" from them. Unaware of the auto-renewal, today I get an email that my car is also insured with previous insurer. Called them to close down anything that is auto-renewed as it is also against the law to have 2 insurances on one car. Answer, as it's within 14 days from purchase they can cancel the policy but they will debit me £20 for cancellation fees on the T&C's which I never read because I didn't auto renew for a start. They even threatened me on the phone that if I don't pay them £20 they'll send me the debt collectors! this is Hastings Insurers so you stay away from them like the plague. Nevertheless, how do I get this resolved? I don't own them anything, I never set my policy to auto-renew. Anyone ever experienced this before?
    It is not illegal to have two policies on one car, there are a ton of insurers offering temp insurance, learner driver insurance, courier insurance etc all intended to layer on top of a standard insurance policy. Insurers dont like you having two policies as it causes headaches but that doesn't make it illegal. 

    No matter if your policy from last year was on auto renewal or manual renewal you will have been sent a renewal quote. What happened to that email? What does it say? It presumably says that you dont need to od anything and they'll renew you automatically. 

    If you're going to say you never received it then why would you have bought elsewhere? Surely you want to make sure you are getting the best deal and the only way you can do that is by knowing what the renewal quote is. 

    Insurers are entitled to charge for cancelling a policy. Seems sensible to pay the £20 and next year remember to read the renewal notice properly. 

    km1500 said:
    then there is always the insurance ombudsman
    Contrary to there having always the insurance ombudsman, there has never been an insurance ombudsman in the UK but instead there is the Financial Ombudsman who oversees complains in all classes of financial service products available to personal line customers and some vSMEs
  • Sounds like you got lucky with such a large refund. £20 is a small admin fee compared to others.

    Insurers don't call previous insurers for no claims evidence. If they need it,they will ask you to provide it.

    You need to make sure you read your policy terms and not just assume nothing has changed. Auto renewal or not will also be in your renewal letters - make sure you read those as well.

    Make sure pay the £29 to avoid further complications but you're free to our in a formal complaint if you feel you have a case. If you're successful, you'll get the £20 back but will have avoided additional problems.


  • PHK
    PHK Posts: 1,138
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    There are at least three issues with having two policies

    It's likely going to cost you more
    The insurance companies will 'discuss' how much each should contribute to the overall settlement which will delay your claim 
    There's a principle that you can't get more by having more than one policy. 
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