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Everything posted by Wulfyn

  1. Hi Everyone! Am hoping for some help regarding the following issue. My suspicion is that to go further would likely cost me more than I would recover so if that is the case just let me know. But hopefully someone in here will be able to give some advice to help. Back in the summer of 2013 I took out a BT Sport subscription package. A couple of months later I got a job offer in a different town so I cancelled my Sky and BT Sport at my address knowing that I can get a good deal at the next place. In October I moved into the new property, booked Sky and BT Sport and everything was great. However I was an idiot and didn't properly check that BT had cancelled my initial subscription. And hence it was only in February last year when I moved house again and went to cancel my BT Sport that I realised my account had 2 direct debits from BT Sport. This came to about £800. I had noticed that I was being charged by BT Sport when checking my account but because the charges were around 15 days apart I never saw that it was being done twice a month. Also I did receive emails from BT about my account (& adverts for things) but it was only for one of the two accounts. I raised this with BT and asked that the account that I had asked to be cancelled be refunded to me. They refused and offered me 1 month's charges as a good will gesture. Needless to say I was not happy with this. I requested a SAR which they complied with. It showed the information for both accounts. Weirdly the first account was dated to have started on the 26th September (10 days before I was due to move and 10 days after I had put the deposit on the new lease). I explained to them that this could not be right due to the circumstances, but they said that's what their data said so it must be right. There was no information regarding me taking out either account, and the only correspondence in the SAR were the recent calls I'd made after I had found the mistake. To me it felt a lot like anything more than a year old was no longer on their system. As they were not willing to go further I contacted the Ombudsman service about it. I have the full story if anyone is interested but to cut it short they saw 100% in favour with BT. The first response I was really unhappy with because they made a number of factual claims that were completely untrue (like they said I should have noticed because I was getting emails for both subscriptions which I was not and never said I was). But their point was basically that I should have noticed so BT are not doing anything wrong in not paying it back, and because BT have no record of the cancellation then I am not entitled to any refunds. They completely ignored everything about BT saying the account started after I knew I was moving and had cancelled the Sky subscription to which the card was linked. So it feels to me now that I go small claims court. I'm happy to go into mediation as well. The problem is that I am worried that I will either have to hire a solicitor which will cost me more than I am looking to get back, or they will just use their solicitors to tie me in loops and then force me to pay their legal expenses. So, worth pursuing? Or chalk this one up to a learning experience and curse the name of BT forevermore?
  2. When it comes to calculating the premium for your insurance a large number of factors are considered (which you will know because of the long forms you need to fill in). When it comes to claims there are generally 2 types of claim, confusingly called "Fault" and "Non Fault". A "Fault" claim is any claim where the full cost of the claim is not recovered from the 3rd party insurer. This can include claims against uninsured drivers, unidentified drivers, or actions like theft where the vehicle is not recovered and there is no one to claim against. None of these are your fault, hence the name is misleading. A "Non Fault" claim is any claim where the full cost of the claim is recovered, which is what happened to you. This also generally includes windscreen claims. Each insurer will have their own view on what these are predictive of. When you have a claim your insurer does not increase the price in order to recover their losses. This would be a counter-productive action because if they do this then you will go to one of their competitors. Think of it this way, imagine you were rolling a die and every time you did so you got paid £10. If you roll a 1 then you have to pay a fine of £40. As you will roll a 1 on average every 6 rolls you would expect to collect £60 in 6 rolls and pay a £40 fine for a total profit of £20. It makes sense to keep playing this game because it is in your favour. Just because you roll a 1 and have to pay a fine doesn't mean you should stop playing. This is how the insurance company sees it. The reason why the premium increases is because statistically people who make a claim tend to make more claims. So that would be like rolling the die and getting a lot of 1's being predictive that the die is loaded. This is true of "Non Fault" claims as well. It is a bit of a surprise but a large number of "Non Fault" claims is predictive of a future "Fault" claim. Certainly not as much as a "Fault" claim is, but it is there. The good news is that most insurers will see one or two "Non Fault" claims and not apply any loading to your premium as that is not a strong enough predictor. But 3 or 4 or 5? Well then the loadings will start. The advice, as ever, is to shop around for the best deal if you are unhappy. You do have to declare it (many insurers now cross reference what you say against a shared claims database to spot fraud), but as long as you are honest it should not have much of an impact. I strongly suspect that if this is the only claim of any type you have made in the last 3 years then it will not alter your premium at all.
  3. This happens due to the history of the legality of insurance. When you take out an insurance policy you set up a contract with a third party (your insurance company) for them to indemnify you against a loss (of whatever is stated in the policy, i.e. your car or your home etc.). "Indemnity" has a particular legal language - wikipedia can give you a bit more information about it. The specific point is that the contract is set up to cover you against the loss of an item. If the item is lost completely then the contract is no longer valid because the item that it refers to no longer exists. In the case of a write off this is known as a "total loss" of the item, and the contract is considered as completed. Because the third party have fulfilled their part of the contract in full then the customer must fulfil their part in full as well. I know that seems awfully legalese, especially if you are used to paying monthly where it will feel like a rolling contract a bit like a pay as you go phone deal, but it is important as it forms the entire basis of insurance contract law.
  4. A Mitsubishi L200 is a van, regardless of how it is used. Allianz will only ever classify this as a van, and will never classify it as a private car. With regard to how insurance products are segregated this would be like you trying to use a motorbike NCD on a car or a van; they are different things. The insurers are therefore perfectly within their rights to refuse it as valid NCD. That said there are some special rules regarding mirroring of NCD, and Allianz are a company that will traditionally do this (most commonly it allows you to mirror a private car NCD to a van, but there is no reason it could not apply the other way around). Ask for the case to be referred to operational underwriting, and they will probably let you use your van NCD.
  5. If you don't make a claim then you do not have to declare it as a claim (but you do if they ask you for any accidents). However it may be that the accident has caused other damage that is not immediately obvious. If you decide to go the cash route then any further damages may not be willingly paid for. Also any future issues which resulted in an accident your insurer may refuse to pay out on because they may determine that the cause was due to a fault with the vehicle that you knew about but did not have adequately repaired. All in all it's better to declare a claim - especially so when it is not your fault.
  6. As the issue is being caused by water coming from another property then the owner of the other property is 100% liable for any damages caused. This would be all well and good if they were easily locatable and had insurance themselves, but as they are not then you have to fix things in the interim. Firstly you need to contact your insurance company and make a claim. Tell them that full extent of the problem and ask them to come and fix the problem. If they are unwilling to do so immediately then ask them if they are happy to let you deal with the problem, and if they are then ask them if there are any rules you should follow (cheapest of 3 quotes is a common thing insurers insist on). If they do want to let you deal with the issue and then to just pay the bills afterwards then you must get this permission in writing. This written proof is 100% essential. Do not conduct any reparation work yourself without written authorisation or else your insurance copany may find that you have been negligable and refuse to pay out any future claims (such as a future subsidance claim). If in doubt do ask to speak to a manager,and if none are available threaten to complain over how badly your claim is being handled. Really the owner of the other property should be moot to you at this point. You should make a claim against your insurance and then your insurer should make a recovery against the owner.
  7. The terminology they have used is poor. They have not cancelled thepolicy, it has been fulfilled. When you take out insurance on an item you are effectively buying the right for a 3rd party to indemnify you against the risk of loss. If you lose the item and claim on the contract and the 3rd party obliges then the contract has been complete. Because it is complete it will no longer cover you. This occurs when a car is deemed as a write off. However for a contract to be complete in full it must also be paid for in full. Otherwise it would be like you no longer paying for some things you bought on finance because the goods have been delivered.
  8. Hi Matt63, 3 things to note here. 1. The policy is in your name, but you are not the owner of the vehicle nor any longer associated with the owner of the vehicle. This means that you have no material interest in the vehicle, which makes the contract void. It is a condition of all insurance that the policy holder has a material interest in the item being insured, otherwise everyone would just start taking out insurance policies against other people in the hope (gamble) that they got hit so a claim could be made. This means that your ex, despite what she thinks, is uninsured. If I were to work in a claims department and could save my company a big payout for something like this then I would report it. 2. Your ex-girlfriend took out a new policy in your name, and is therefore stealing from you. Although I agree that there are faults from the AA in this matter, I do think that the ultimate responsibility lies with your ex. Especially as she's not even benefiting from it (see point 1). 3. In order for the AA to renew the policy then they have to notify you, in writing, at least 21 days prior to the inception of the new policy. If they do not do this then they have to get confirmation from you. So considering that the AA are refusing to talk to you because you cannot identify yourself as the policyholder, I have to ask how did they let your ex take out a new policy in your name when she could not identify herself as being you? Did the AA in fact let someone renew a policy in your name without getting your permission? I know that when I have helped family members to set up a policy it is ok for me to answer all the questions, but when it comes to authorising payment they have to speak to the account holder of the account that is going to pay. They have allowed someone that is not you to access your account. I would very much ask them why they are allowing this, and ask for evidence that the cardholder's / account holder's permission was given to use the account. Hope that information helps. I would definitely explain point 1 to your ex, because if she got into an accident that was her fault she will find herself in a lot of trouble.
  9. Cliff, the second non-fault shouldn't affect the review of the first one. However I just had a thought. A lot of insurance companies use some VERY old computer systems - things which won't be able to log the difference in a non-fault claim with someone driving and with it being unattended. I mean when you go to fill out your answers to get insurance look at what questions they ask you. If they are unable to record the difference then it won't be picked up by the rating engines. However you are doing the right thing in shopping around. One advantage of the insurance market is that it is very competitive and there are lots of people working hard to get rates as low as possible whilst still covering costs. Just because one company doesn't see much of a difference between fault and non-fault doesn't mean they all will. As ever the aggs are a good place to start in order to get some ball-park figures of a good market rate. You then have to review what is being offered in each product and select the one that is best for you.
  10. CUE checking is becoming a very common occurence in the insurance industry in order to catch fraud. It's not perfect and insurers are all taking varied and independent approaches to how they are using it. Some for example will not look for non-fault claims, whilst others will. It's a similar situation as to how insurers use non-fault claims. There is a statistical link to the number of non-fault claims you have and the chance to be involved in a future accident. This is possibly because of the 'noise' created from fraudsters who brake hard / in stupid places to make people run into the back of them. Technically they are not at fault, but they tend to get a lot of fault accidents in the future and it makes everyone else look bad. The good news is that not every insurance company does increase rates (some will allow 1 non-fault without loading but will load if there are more). So shop around... you might even get a meerkat doll for your trouble
  11. Agree with both of the above. The lens is not significantly different from the camera, and the sum insured stated accurately covers both. If it was camera + bicycle, or camera + gold watch then they would have a case, but camera + lens they are wasting their time. Complain.
  12. There's been some misinformation in this thread. I'll try to clarify. There is no such thing as short term rates. This is a complete misnomer. The insurance policies you are talking about is for annual cover. There are seperate and distinct short term policies, and they will have their own pricing structures. When you purchase your insurance policy and select to pay monthly you are not paying for the insurance policy month by month. What happens is that you take out a loan to cover the full annual payment. Then the monthly bill that you pay is the repayment of that loan. This is why you are charged interest on monthly payment methods - sometimes as much as 30% APR or more. Additionally insurers will look at the risk cost to charge a premium they feel is indicative to your risk. There is statistical evidence to show a correlation between people who select a monthly payment option and a higer risk of claiming. Nobody knows exactly why this correlation occurs. Therefore insurers would, if they could, charge a higher premium for people who would want to pay monthly. However you don't select your payment method until after you are given a quote so it is not possible to change the price at this stage. Therefore some insurers display both prices, with a "discount" offered for annual payment. If you can afford it then taking out an annual payment option could reduce the amount you pay. It could be better to take out a personal loan with a lower APR from another company than pay the generally high APR fees associated with the monthly payment selection. That all said you have purchased annual cover. Think of it another way - if you rented out a room in your house to someone, and you both agreed that the person would live there for a year, and you both signed a contract agreeing that you would rent this room for one year then how would you feel if that person moved out after just 2 months? They have broken the contract you both agreed to. In order to give some flexibility insurance companies do allow customers to cancel a policy, and will return the pro-rata risk premium. They do however have a cancellation fee. This is not an administrative charge in the same way that banks have fees for you going over your overdraft fee (etc), but a contract penalty for your early exit. Once area where you may have cause for complaint however is that these fees are often not clearly marked out in the terms and conditions of the policy. They should be clearly stated up front before purchase, as they are a major facet of the contract. Check through the pre-sales information to ensure that the cancellation fees were clearly provided to you prior to purchase (and not just in the information sent to you after you had bought the policy). If they are not there then raise a complaint on the issue of TCF - that a major contract clause was not explained to you before entering the contract. If they are present then I'm afraid that you have agreed to those conditions and you have no choice but to pay the cancellation fee. Although it won't prevent you from having to pay, you are also entitled to complain if you feel that the cancellation fee is excessive. You should do this to the company first, and if you do not receive a satisfactory answer then you can refer the matter to the FOS once all options with your insurer has been exhausted. It is also worth writing to the ABI about your concern over rising costs of cancellation fees in the insurance sector.
  13. Also just be a little wary of garages when they know it'll be covered under insurance, as they will often recommend the option that makes them the most money, safe in the knowledge that as you (the customer) are not going to be paying it you'll also want that option. I'm not saying that they are wrong in this instance, but they could be exaggerating so be careful before you go to the lengths of paying for an independent engineer to assess it.
  14. "We just want to put this whole horrid situation behind us" Sadly that's how they get away with it. Sorry to hear that yet another liar ruins someone's year.
  15. Yes, this is confusing! You need to ask for a full breakdown of the money owed, detailing: Annual Premium payable Time on cover premium payable Any administration charges Any fees Forget all this rubbish they are saying about MTA. This is not an MTA as you have not changed anything. An MTA would be like where you move house or change car half way through the year. What you have is an ammendment to your policy, which will count from the date of inception and not mid term (unless they are letting you get a cheaper price up until the point they found out!). Therefore it should be easy for them to state what your annual premium would have been with the correct information. From that you can use annual premium * %age of the year plicy was in force to work out your time on cover charge. To this add the administration charge for the ammendment to your policy, and the cancellation fee, and any other fees they applied. That will give you the total amount you owe. From this you can deduct the money you have already sent them. Depending on how much your premium increased they may be right that they don't owe you anything, but you have a right to be given the information in a manner in which you are able to understand. TCF rules prohibit them from trying to confuse you. If they do not provide a breakdown in that manner within the next 7 days I would writ a letter of complaint to them about their inability to properly explain what they are charging you for, and that you expect a breakdown within 14 days or you will seek to resolve the matter through the FOS. If a reply does not have that, if it has ANY excuse whatsoever then take this as their final response and complain to the FOS. State to the FOS that you believe that the insurance company are trying to extort money from you by not providing you with the information requested in a manner that they would expect you to understand.
  16. The only thing you can do, if you are absolutely adamant, is try to convince your insurance company to go to tribunal, and then hope that the other guy won't want to commit perjury. If the other guy is prepared to lie in court at the potential cost of his freedom, then there's little else you can do. If he doesn't lie he'll prob lose a couple years NCD and probably a few points on his licence and a small fine. If he lies and is caught then he could, potentially, go to jail. Yes the chance is remote, but would you risk it?
  17. They can't charge you anything for something you did not authorise. If it is their policy to not accept cancellation letters from 3rd party insurers and then they undertake this action then they have acted against their own policies. This then becomes a TCF (Treating Customers Fairly) issue. Whereas there is no rule to say whether you should or should not accept 3rd party letters, once you have stated a policy then you have to stick to it. You can't chop and change around. At present, as far as I see it, both Halifax and Direct Line have contravened TCF rules. Halifax stated that they could get your other policy cancelled as part of the conditions for you taking on their policy, and they have not. As such I would say that you do not owe anything to Halifax, and anything you have paid should be refunded in full with interest. Direct Line stated that they do not accept cancellation letters from third parties, and then cancelled your policy under the instruction of a third party without your authorisation. If I were you I would immediately make a written complaint to Direct Line. In it I would state: Direct Line cancelled your policy under the instruction of a 3rd party having told you that it was their policy not to do so. Direct Line were now trying to charge you an administration fee for an action that was against your authority. As Direct Line cancelled the insurance under instruction of a 3rd party and in violation of their own policy you consider the policy void, and are seeking a full refund, less time on cover*. If you do not receive payment from Direct Line within 14 days you will refer the matter to the FOS. *this means any charges and a pro-rata refund of your deposit. Say you had a premium of £120 for one year, effectively £10 per month. Your DD won't be £10 per month, it will be something like £8 per month with a £24 deposit (probably seen as £32 as it will include the first month's £8 as well). So after 3 months your time on cover payment should be £30, but you will have paid £48 at this point. Therefore you should get an £18 refund. One other thing to note - although it is not called No Claims Discount/Bonus as such, your household insurance price is also calculated based on the number of years you have had insurance for without making a claim. By only be covered for a partial year due to their mistake you have lost out. As some background to this you are a bit of a guinea pig in a marketing war that has hit the insurance industry in the last year. One of the main barriers to entry as far as selling insurance is concerned is that a customer only looks once a year, when their policy is up for renewal. That means that only 1/12th of your potential customer base is in the market at any time. It is rarely profitable for a customer to move because cancellation fees have increased a lot in the last 5 years, with some companies charging as much as £75. Hard to make that sort of saving from any new quote - especially on something like contents insurance which tends to be priced between £50 - £150. In order to get around this insurance companies are now offering to pay cancellation fees. But this is still quite a hassle for a customer who would have to phone their existing insurer, cancel it, pay the fee, and then send a copy of the fee to the new insurer to get reimbursed. So insurers are trying to fulfil these cancellations themselves. Of course they have no authority to do this, and so existing insurers are refusing to accept them, because (1) it's basically illegal as you cannot appoint your new insurer as a representative, and (2) if you don't want to lose customers you don't make it easy for other insurers to steal them. If it is any consolation (although I doubt it) people who work in the technical areas of insurance hate this idea. It breaks the "rules" of the system, and that actually hurts customers. Basically, from a technical point of view, insurance companies tend to make around 2% - 5% profit (on average) of any sold premium. So let's take a contents prmium of £100, we'd expect to make a profit of £5. The cost of your cancellation may be £50. The cost of the company fulfilling the order on your behalf may be, say, £10. To recover the £60 expense we'd need to keep you as a customer for 12 years. How likely is that if other companies will pay our cancellation fee to take them? It's typical marketing short term gain long term pain. Doesn't even help customers as the reduced profitability means that prices have to be increased for everyone to pay for this.
  18. Even if you didn't admit liability I'd be surprised if this was anything other than 50/50 given that both parties were reversing. Just too difficult to prove anything otherwise (a lot of liability decisions don't seem to make sense, or are fair to most people's views). Did the other vehicle go into the side of yours, or did you go into the side of theirs?
  19. Unclebulgaria is right - it is common practice for this mistake to happen. Even on computer systems it can be notoriously fiddly to work out the correct rate to be charged at MTA. It seems to be however that your MTA was the ammendment of your NCD from 5 years to 1 year? It is possible for this to cause a large premium increase from what you were quoted. If the full year's premium was £1,960, and the %age difference between 1 year and 5 years were, say, 20% then that would result in an approximate price difference of £400 between 1 year and 5 years NCD.
  20. Have you made an official complaint (ie something with the word "complaint" in it)? That forces them to listen to your argument. Are you paying by monthly installments?
  21. £750 cancellation fee ?!?! wow. Ok, well to apply some maths to this: VW Annual Premium = £2,000 (inc loan apr). Deposit (guessing 10%) = £200 Monthly Fee = £150 2 months in = £200 + £150 + £150 + £150 (for the month you are in) = £650 paid Therefore £1,350 remaining. New vehicle annual premium = £2,700, a relative increase of +35% £1,350 remaining + 35% = £1,822.50 Switching to a new policy is £1,700 annual premium * 9 months (effectively) = £1,275 so for the next 9 months switching would save you about £550, if it were not for that insane cancellation fee! It seems very high to me, I'd challenge your insurance company exactly why the cancellation fee is that high. There seems to be no reason for it, other than profiteering. Actually it sounds like they'd make more profit from you cancelling than keeping the policy. Oh and environmental friendliness etc has little to do with insurance prices (which are based on statistical evidence). Actually almost all insurance companies have started to move away from using the ABI list now and have their own lists as the ABI ones are pretty awful as predicting risk.
  22. I don't think it's the terminology, it's that you "agreed" to it when you took out the policy in the first place - even though it was probably never explained to you that this was so. Inertia selling would be when the policy came up for renewal and your insurer decided to remove one of the drivers and offer a price based on that, which i have sadly seen done and is completely illegal in my opinion as the nature of the contract has changed. For me the problem is not that insurers do this, but that the customer is not told about it beforehand and so it comes as a nasty surprise. If customers were told, and therefore had the information to decide that such a product was not suitable for you, then I think that would be treating customers fairly because then it is your choice.
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