Automatic Policy Renewal - Car Insurance

Last year my partner signed up to Hastings for car insurance. I duly paid for this on my credit card and had to speak to an advisor to confirm my details.

This year the policy has automatically renewed and my card had been debited, despite me not being the policy holder, not agreeing to this in any way and not having had any form of communication from Hastings.

My partner called Hastings to cancel the policy and ask for a refund, which they agreed to do, but challenged them about how they could take the funds without informing me directly.

The advisor claimed this is something they do to protect the driver, to ensure they remain insured and is FCA approved, which I would understand if it had come out on my partners card.

I think this is wrong and that, especially after GDPR, this can't be right. Can anyone shed some light on this?
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Replies

  • zx81zx81 Forumite
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    They are right to use the card details provided for that policy for renewal.

    Under GDPR, they have legitimate reasons for retaining and processing the data.
  • QuentinQuentin Forumite
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    Whenever you are unhappy with your insurer the route to go down is a formal complaint (by the policy holder) in line with their complaints procedure.


    Then if they ignore you for 8 weeks or you are unhappy with the response then you can escalate to the FOS for their adjudication all at no cost to the policyholder


    It is highly likely this is covered by the ts + cs agreed originally, but a complaint will get to the bottom of it
  • antrobusantrobus Forumite
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    ...
    This year the policy has automatically renewed and my card had been debited, despite me not being the policy holder, not agreeing to this in any way and not having had any form of communication from Hastings.

    My partner called Hastings to cancel the policy and ask for a refund, which they agreed to do, but challenged them about how they could take the funds without informing me directly....

    Your partner will have been informed of the renewal premium and how it would be collected. Give him or her a kick and tell 'em to read these things in future.
    ....
    The advisor claimed this is something they do to protect the driver, to ensure they remain insured and is FCA approved, ...

    That's correct. See Continuous Insurance Enforcement
    https://www.mib.org.uk/reducing-uninsured-driving/continuous-insurance-enforcement/
    ....
    I think this is wrong and that, especially after GDPR, this can't be right. Can anyone shed some light on this?

    You might well think it is 'wrong'. Have you read through the policy documents from Hastings? I'll bet it says they will charge the renewal using the same payment method.

    Make a note of the car insurance renewal date, and next year deal with it a month or so before, not after.
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    This year the policy has automatically renewed and my card had been debited, despite me not being the policy holder, not agreeing to this in any way and not having had any form of communication from Hastings.

    They usually issue documents reflecting the method you bought. If you bought over the phone or through post then you get notifications via the post. If you bought online then you get emailed.
    My partner called Hastings to cancel the policy and ask for a refund, which they agreed to do, but challenged them about how they could take the funds without informing me directly.

    Auto-renewal is commonplace and they would have a continuous payment authority to deduct from the card. All quite normal.
    The advisor claimed this is something they do to protect the driver, to ensure they remain insured and is FCA approved, which I would understand if it had come out on my partners card.
    That is a bit of a BS response but partially correct. Most people renew with the same insurer. So, they are catering for the majority and ensuring cover is continuous.
    I think this is wrong and that, especially after GDPR, this can't be right. Can anyone shed some light on this?

    its not wrong. Perfectly legitimate.

    Also, its not an issue. All you need to do is provide them with a copy of the policy schedule of the alternative policy you bought and tell them that you are dual insured and you didnt want to renew with them and they will refund.

    If you didnt buy an alternative, then auto-renewal has worked as intended.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • sevenhillssevenhills Forumite
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    antrobus wrote: »
    You might well think it is 'wrong'. Have you read through the policy documents from Hastings? I'll bet it says they will charge the renewal using the same payment method.

    Make a note of the car insurance renewal date, and next year deal with it a month or so before, not after.


    They do not have any authority to take money from someones bank, when they are not the person holding the policy.
  • QuentinQuentin Forumite
    40.4K Posts
    sevenhills wrote: »
    They do not have any authority to take money from someones bank, when they are not the person holding the policy.



    If they didn't have authority they wouldn't be allowed to do it.

    That is why they do get authority when the customer first buys the policy!
  • sevenhillssevenhills Forumite
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    Quentin wrote: »
    If they didn't have authority they wouldn't be allowed to do it.
    That is why they do get authority when the customer first buys the policy!


    Another person cannot give a company authority to take money from someone elses bank account. That would be ridiculous.
  • QuentinQuentin Forumite
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    The OP didn't say that anyone else did give any authority did he?
  • MndMnd Forumite
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    Never agree to auto renewal. See my other thread about saga
    No.79 save £12k in 2020. Total end May £11610
    Annual target £24000
  • I have just discovered that I am in a similar boat.
    One Call Insurance has renewed my cover, without my express permission.
    Due to a string of extraordinary personal circumstances I haven't realized this until now--two weeks after the money has been deducted from my credit card. Plus they have kindly signed me up for a series of optional extras that I would never have agreed to. Where do I stand? I am quite sure that I would never have given permission for them to renew automatically, but it will be my word against theirs. I really don't want to stay with them now. They have upped my premium by £80 from last year, too. Where do I stand? I know that I have dropped the ball on this one, but I have honestly had the year from hell so far and my attention was on other more urgent things. Any advice would be very much appreciated before I make the call on Monday. Thanks in advance.
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