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  • FIRST POST
    • edy500
    • By edy500 12th Apr 18, 1:06 PM
    • 20Posts
    • 5Thanks
    edy500
    Car insurance - change of address charge??? extortionate
    • #1
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:06 PM
    Car insurance - change of address charge??? extortionate 12th Apr 18 at 1:06 PM
    Hello ,
    Right well I'm a bit shocked here if I'm honest...
    I've just received a receipt email from my car insurance company for 100... for changing my address.
    Firstly I wasn't aware of the charge as nothing was mentioned during the phone call I had with my insurance company telling them id moved...
    However after the phone call I admit I did receive a 'new insurance certificate' email.. which i just presumed was all ok so I didnt open the email at the time...

    So from my perspective obviously not been told over the phone was a bit frustrating.. and obviously had i been told.. maybe i could have looked into things a bit more.
    So for that reason alone I dont feel particularly happy and feel a bit like they have backed me in a corner as if id known and refused the payment.. i would have to end the policy and go elsewhere...which would incure a charge id expect and it sounds this can be a very loose figure in itself..

    So just for info this current car policy has only 6 months left to run.

    So needless to say I have called the insurance company this morning asking why I wasnt informed on the phone there would be 100 charge for change of address...

    The insurance company havent really listened to what im saying and have said there is nothing they will do for me.. and its my fault for not looking at the email.

    some more info ... So basically my car at the previous address was listed as being parked on a driveway and at my new address ive now explained things further as they had it down as just 'parked in a car park' which is wrong really as my new address is an old house consisting of 6 flats with its own drive and a private car park at the rear with a few parking spaces.. and actually mine being the only car parked there at this time and also the car park and building has security camera's so in reality my car is actually more secure and safe than it was at the last address!!

    I guess you can feel my frustration about this.. and sorry to vent, thank you for reading this far.

    So i feel aggrieved and Im now trying to look into what or if theres anything I can do about this now..
    Ive made the choice that in the future due to what i perceive as a lack of information when it should be made clear to a customer. I simply wont be using this insurance company again.

    So my thoughts so far is to try and end the the policy and take a new one out somewhere else... i guess they will charge again though... and obviously id have to pay a new policy cost
    ...
    But Im also just wondering if there would be a 14 day cooling off period for this payment?

    In reality im sort of thinking there is nothing I can do apart from vouch to not use this insurance company again.. and it seems now clear we are doomed and have no control of charges during our policy life!
    I have over 10 years no claims, and have used this company many times over the years as well.

    So Im sort of hoping that there maybe others in a similar situation that could advice as its seems totally extortionate to me.. and having not been told over the phone there would be this charge seems very unprofessional to me.. there answer to that is well it said about the charge in the initial email.. which is headed 'new certificate'...and we sent a letter... which i havent received!

    Ok I know some will think.. well i should have asked or i should have opened that initial email.. but as I wasnt told there would be a charge I didnt expect one and didnt feel it a priority to open the email at the time..
    And hey even if I did would I be any better situation?

    Thank you for reading and again sorry to sound venting, I will be interested to read more and hear a bit more about this if anyone has similar issues.

    Many Thanks
Page 1
    • Ant555
    • By Ant555 12th Apr 18, 1:12 PM
    • 880 Posts
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    Ant555
    • #2
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:12 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:12 PM
    Is the 100 for increased premiums rather than a 'charge' because the insurers deem your new address to be more of a risk? (ie not just the car park bit, but the actual address)
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 12th Apr 18, 1:21 PM
    • 19,728 Posts
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    AdrianC
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:21 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:21 PM
    Is it 100 charge, or is it 100 increased premium plus charge?



    What do the Ts & Cs (which you received when you originally took the policy out) say about charges for change of address etc?


    You ask about a cooling-off period - yet you need to change the address if you've moved, unless you're thinking of not moving, simply to save this charge. If you previously agreed to that charge (by taking the policy out and not cancelling it within the original 14 day cooling-off), then you cannot really complain about it, and you need to pay it, whether it was explained to you or not.


    If the charge is not in line with the Ts & Cs, then point their error out to them.
    • IvanS
    • By IvanS 12th Apr 18, 1:55 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    IvanS
    • #4
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:55 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Apr 18, 1:55 PM
    I once faced exactly the same scenario.

    Whilst there are occasions where a change of address does significantly affect risk, very often this scenario does not apply in which case it is simply the insurer levying a charge (usually reserved somewhere in the policy's small print) which is extortionate.

    As a retired solicitor I can advise with some confidence that there are several potential ways of POSSIBLY avoiding the charge. Much depends on how much policy detail was presented to the insured before the insurance contract was entered into. But it would be wrong to specifically advise without first examining ALL of the facts as each case varies. I no longer personally take on cases.

    There are normally two potential practical ways forward:

    The first is to forget about legal technicalities and simply quietly and politely 'scream' blue murder at one of the insurance company's staff. They usually have considerable discretion over this type of levy. Ask him / her if they really wish to lose your custom?

    Next, consider cancelling the policy if by doing so the insurer will make a pro rata premium refund which loses you less than 100.

    Good luck!
    • SouthLondonUser
    • By SouthLondonUser 12th Apr 18, 2:22 PM
    • 583 Posts
    • 99 Thanks
    SouthLondonUser
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 18, 2:22 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 18, 2:22 PM
    I feel your pain. I have just renewed my insurance, knowing in 3 months or so I'll be moving to a new address. Admin charges and refunds were some of the key considerations when deciding which policy to buy. Many (most?) insurers will NOT refund pro rata; the exact terms are not always made clear - I once spent about 15 minutes on the phone with a call centre lady on this point!
    • Mercdriver
    • By Mercdriver 12th Apr 18, 2:41 PM
    • 2,135 Posts
    • 1,449 Thanks
    Mercdriver
    • #6
    • 12th Apr 18, 2:41 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Apr 18, 2:41 PM
    I once faced exactly the same scenario.

    Whilst there are occasions where a change of address does significantly affect risk, very often this scenario does not apply in which case it is simply the insurer levying a charge (usually reserved somewhere in the policy's small print) which is extortionate.

    As a retired solicitor I can advise with some confidence that there are several potential ways of POSSIBLY avoiding the charge. Much depends on how much policy detail was presented to the insured before the insurance contract was entered into. But it would be wrong to specifically advise without first examining ALL of the facts as each case varies. I no longer personally take on cases.

    There are normally two potential practical ways forward:

    The first is to forget about legal technicalities and simply quietly and politely 'scream' blue murder at one of the insurance company's staff. They usually have considerable discretion over this type of levy. Ask him / her if they really wish to lose your custom?

    Next, consider cancelling the policy if by doing so the insurer will make a pro rata premium refund which loses you less than 100.

    Good luck!
    Originally posted by IvanS
    How do you politely and quietly scream blue murder? Be rude in a whisper? I doubt there will be very much in the way of discretion if this is an increased premium due to a higher calculated risk area that the OP has moved to.

    At the end of the day, it is up to every customer to read the Ts and Cs, and you kind of lose the right to complain if you don't bother to check them at the time of change.
    • edy500
    • By edy500 12th Apr 18, 4:48 PM
    • 20 Posts
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    edy500
    • #7
    • 12th Apr 18, 4:48 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Apr 18, 4:48 PM
    At the end of the day, in a perfect world we should all have read the Ts and Cs...
    But hey maybe I was busy.. maybe ive been ill.. maybe the reason I didnt was I couldnt be bothered to check every single companies I got quotes froms Ts and Cs before I took out a policy..
    Haha I will now though of course..

    But really if im honest for me its not really about all this.. although it doesn come down to the fact I didnt of course.

    For me... maybe being customer focused these companies so quick to take our money should actually make things clear over the phone as well....is it too much to ask?

    All I know now is... whether I can or cant do anything about this charge.. which looks like I cant for the sake of the extortionate price and the fact ive been pretty loyal over the years to this compnay.. I will be taking my insurance elsewhere..

    Ive have had this current car since 2004.. ive got maximum NCB..
    ive insured many times with this company over the ownership of this vehicle... the value of which isnt very high and to not be told over the phone ..oh sir.. thank you for your loyalty etc etc..but i must inform you there will be a 100 charge to pay for this change of address??

    And for me.. I know what your saying isnt a personal statement but I will always have the right to complain if I feel something isnt quite right... even if im told there is small print somewhere explaining.
    As maybe if enough people do the same it maybe looked into and also.. by even writing this post.. maybe it will help someone about to take out an insurance policy that they need to look at this...

    So its all worthwhile really.
    • Mercdriver
    • By Mercdriver 12th Apr 18, 4:51 PM
    • 2,135 Posts
    • 1,449 Thanks
    Mercdriver
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 18, 4:51 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 18, 4:51 PM
    At the end of the day, in a perfect world we should all have read the Ts and Cs...
    But hey maybe I was busy.. maybe ive been ill.. maybe the reason I didnt was I couldnt be bothered to check every single companies I got quotes froms Ts and Cs before I took out a policy..
    Haha I will now though of course..

    But really if im honest for me its not really about all this.. although it doesn come down to the fact I didnt of course.

    For me... maybe being customer focused these companies so quick to take our money should actually make things clear over the phone as well....is it too much to ask?

    All I know now is... whether I can or cant do anything about this charge.. which looks like I cant for the sake of the extortionate price and the fact ive been pretty loyal over the years to this compnay.. I will be taking my insurance elsewhere..

    Ive have had this current car since 2004.. ive got maximum NCB..
    ive insured many times with this company over the ownership of this vehicle... the value of which isnt very high and to not be told over the phone ..oh sir.. thank you for your loyalty etc etc..but i must inform you there will be a 100 charge to pay for this change of address??

    And for me.. I know what your saying isnt a personal statement but I will always have the right to complain if I feel something isnt quite right... even if im told there is small print somewhere explaining.
    As maybe if enough people do the same it maybe looked into and also.. by even writing this post.. maybe it will help someone about to take out an insurance policy that they need to look at this...

    So its all worthwhile really.
    Originally posted by edy500
    Are you sure it was a charge and not an increase in premiums? This is important as if it is an excessive service charge, you possibly have grounds for complaint. If it is an increase in premiums, then it's far more complex.
    • edy500
    • By edy500 12th Apr 18, 5:08 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    edy500
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:08 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:08 PM
    It was a mixture of both the admin charge and the premium...
    but listen..
    im generally paying around 350 for car insurance per year... so to hike that up not matter if its premium or anyother charge by 100... when I have under 6 months left of the policy is extortionate.. its basically a charge overall for where im registered for overnight parking of my car...
    as well all know during the day I could travel anywhere in the country and generally park anywhere overnight on occassion...

    But I have to say I have just received a call from the insurance company im talking about and they have knocked off the admin charge and refunded part of the premium charge.. so its now cost me 50!
    Still a hike, and im ive not moved to the 'worst part of Britain' but at least they have shown some loyalty and customer focus.
    • SouthLondonUser
    • By SouthLondonUser 12th Apr 18, 5:14 PM
    • 583 Posts
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    SouthLondonUser
    What do you want us to say? Life ain't fair. Welcome to the world. In some cases your perception of risk may differ from that of an insurer. In other cases even insurers don't know why their black-box algorithms spit out prices which vary +-30% from one week to the next (it's happened to me), or which price two identical cars (same make model engine etc) differently just because one has a 15 plate and the other a 65 plate (happened to me, too).

    Insurance prices don't always make sense. Assume nothing. Play with all the variables (without lying, of course).
    • edy500
    • By edy500 12th Apr 18, 5:37 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    edy500
    I was just trying to gauge an idea of others experience with this and what if anything could be done to help me.

    And yes what you say is true ..very true..

    But for me knowing this doesnt mean I have to sit back if im not happy!
    I will try and find out information to help me.

    And simply because would we eat uncooked chicken because a cook told us that thats just the way it is.. we always have the right to complain and should do so if we feel the need.

    Generally im very easy going and let things go... but for me as a loyal paying customer if im not happy with a service provided then of course 100% ill let them know even if it gets me nowhere as at least i have voiced it and explained why i'm not happy.

    But as I say, They have eventually listened after I completed a survey about the call this morning so I cant really say anymore.

    Just to say thank you for the input.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 12th Apr 18, 5:43 PM
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    AdrianC
    It was a mixture of both the admin charge and the premium...
    Originally posted by edy500
    Riiiight.


    but listen..
    im generally paying around 350 for car insurance per year... so to hike that up not matter if its premium or anyother charge by 100... when I have under 6 months left of the policy is extortionate.. its basically a charge overall for where im registered for overnight parking of my car...
    Yes, quite. And that's where it spends most of its time, right?


    You were paying 350 for the risk of your old property.
    You are moving, and insurers think your new address is higher risk.
    You are being asked to pay for that higher risk.
    If you were moving to a lower risk area, you would get a partial premium refund, offset by the fee to change the premium.



    But I have to say I have just received a call from the insurance company im talking about and they have knocked off the admin charge and refunded part of the premium charge.. so its now cost me 50!
    So how much was the actual change fee, and how much was the increase in premium? Clearly the fee was (substantially, I'd guess) less than 50, so less than half of what you claimed it was.
    • SouthLondonUser
    • By SouthLondonUser 12th Apr 18, 5:54 PM
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    SouthLondonUser
    But for me knowing this doesnt mean I have to sit back if im not happy!
    I will try and find out information to help me.
    Originally posted by edy500
    You're angry. Fine. Vent your anger. But be realistic.

    You have no recourse whatsoever against the fact that the insurer considers your new address higher risk.

    Do the terms and conditions of your policy explain what the admin charges are for a change to the policy? And how much you'll be refunded if you cancel after the cooling-off period? If, as I suspect, these things are in the terms but you didn't read them, there's nothing you can do. If the terms are vague, and talk about generic charges without quantifying them (I doubt that's the case), then you have a better argument.

    You have been asked before: how much is the admin charge exactly? AFAIK most insurers charge between 20 and 50. Maybe, just maaaaybe, if 100 were the result of a 95 charge + 5 different risk, you might argue 95 is unfair etc etc - but good luck with that.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 12th Apr 18, 6:09 PM
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    AdrianC
    You have been asked before: how much is the admin charge exactly? AFAIK most insurers charge between 20 and 50. Maybe, just maaaaybe, if 100 were the result of a 95 charge + 5 different risk, you might argue 95 is unfair etc etc - but good luck with that.
    Originally posted by SouthLondonUser
    Well, we know it's less than 50, because after the fee plus some of the premium have been knocked off, the remainder of the premium is still 50.
    • SouthLondonUser
    • By SouthLondonUser 12th Apr 18, 6:15 PM
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    SouthLondonUser
    Which means that, realistically, there's nothing the OP can do. He can consider if he'd save money cancelling his current policy and taking out a new one with another insurer, but he'd lose the NCB accrued in the partial year so far.
    • edy500
    • By edy500 12th Apr 18, 7:48 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    edy500
    boys..boys
    my car spends a lot of its time actually being driven and around many area's...
    But hey if you look back...I have got a partial result!
    ie the bill has been half'd which is much more reasonable... im a bit happier.. and I received a written email apology for the fact they didnt tell me over the phone when I rang in the changes that there was to be a fee... im not bothered if its premium or service charge really.. as its the overall cost thats coming out of my account..

    But hey ho, we need not go on with this haha

    Enjoy your evenings and lets all relax.. cos I'm happy the insurance company realised they didnt actually handle things very well, and they thanked me for my input and survey!
    Last edited by edy500; 12-04-2018 at 7:49 PM. Reason: missed a sentence
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 13th Apr 18, 5:32 AM
    • 3,968 Posts
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    Tarambor
    It was a mixture of both the admin charge and the premium...
    but listen..
    im generally paying around 350 for car insurance per year... so to hike that up not matter if its premium or anyother charge by 100... when I have under 6 months left of the policy is extortionate.. its basically a charge overall for where im registered for overnight parking of my car...
    Originally posted by edy500
    You moved to a more risky area with a higher chance of a claim, your policy increased accordingly. If you think its bad now wait until renewal. Could be worse, could have moved to a central Bradford postcode and then it'd have gone up a grand.
    • SouthLondonUser
    • By SouthLondonUser 13th Apr 18, 7:50 AM
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    SouthLondonUser
    You're saying he moved to a riskier area. How can you be so sure that's the reason for the increase?
    It amazes me that so many people here seem to have blind faith in insurers. A price looks odd? Well, it must be the risk profile, because insurers are so scientific, they use so much data... What?

    In the OP's example, the price example could be driven by the higher risk of the new area. Or ir could be a commercial decision to squeeze customers who move address like lemons, because they have little alternative : either they butter up and pay, or they cancel their policy and take out a new one, which may cost them even more. I am not saying that's the reason, I am saying it could be, we can't rule it out.

    Practically, nothing changes for the OP. But passively accepting there is a statistical, risk-related reason for every insurance price is naive and wrong.
    • arcon5
    • By arcon5 13th Apr 18, 8:21 AM
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    arcon5
    Im really not sure whay you was expecting when you changed address. It should have already been in your head there will be some kind of risk assessment and an admin fee.
    • edy500
    • By edy500 13th Apr 18, 11:02 AM
    • 20 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    edy500
    Haha, we can keep questioning or finding a way to make me look like the one in the wrong or stupid but Im not really going to be drawn into negative reaction by some input's.. as right now over 50% of me and my also my bank balance is a bit happier with my insurance company!
    Although I still feel it was pretty unprofessional to not mention there would be a debt of 100 from my account with being a loyal customer and all.
    But after all said and done the insurance company admitted a mistake and apologised which is rare so in my book I appreciate that as we all make mistakes, mine being and I must add during a busy time for me assuming the unsaid.

    And hey of course I'm aware that fee's do sometimes occur when we move or make changes ...and sometimes they don't as well, so it not being mentioned I thought 'wrongly' no fee.
    And in relation to not being told of a fee the email that arrived was titled 'new insurance certificate' rather than 'Bill/fee reminder' or something to that effect.

    So due to this I just didn't expect 100 suddenly being debited from my account.

    No matter what is said here I personallybelieve 100% I was right to challenge this as 100 for the remaining 6 months of my policy and above all not to be told that there was going to be a fee when I spoke with my insurance company added up to me well.. as you could see initially not being very impressed.
    So there we go.. thats the explanation.. do what you will with it.

    But I dont really feel the need to keep justifying why I wasnt pleased so I shall leave it there.

    So good day have a great weekend and thanks once again for some of the helpful input and I hope if some others read this they will also expect and demand a decent level of professional behaviour from not just insurance companies but every service provider they pay!
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