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  1. Hi We bought a house, last May in Norfolk. We don't live in it. It was bought with our inheritance to retire to one day. In the meantime we rent one 140 miles away that we live in as we can't afford to retire yet. Our house in Norfolk was bought with the intention of renting it out until we can move in about 4 years time. We had some work to do in the house to make it fit for tenants, and we (wrongly as it happens) thought we would be liable for capital gains tax if we rented it in the first 6 months, so knew it wouldn't be tenanted straight away. We have finally got a tenant, with the contracts ready and signed to move in at Easter. When it came to insuring it, it was hard work. Because we didn't live there, but it wasn't a holiday home, and it didn't have a tenant in yet. We went through 'Your Insurance' online and filled in the forms to be given an appropriate policy. They placed our policy with Churchills, who sent us out the paperwork, which we checked through and that was that. The one point that stood out was that the house must NOT be left vacant for more than 14 days. It wasn't an issue though, because of the work and decorating that needed doing we've been there pretty much every other weekend working. Fast forward to the beginning of March and the ball valve in the water tank in the loft snapped. It wasn't the cold weather, it was simply the valve gave up the ghost. My neighbour called me within 2 hours of this happening and I was able to have the water turned off and the rest of the tank drained. Sadly though we lost all the upstairs ceilings, the carpets and the electrics were a mess. We called Your Insurance who had an answer phone message at the time, due to the high level of calls they were receiving because of the cold weather. It instructed people to start interim work and send email copies of bills to them. For us it was simply getting the remains of the wet stuff out to stop any more damage occuring, which we did immediately. A few days later and we finally get though to Your Insurance. Within 3 hours they told us our insurance was invalid because we'd 'told them we had a tenant in place'. Apparently we did this via a phone call. As such, because there was no tenant then our insurance was invalid. Boom. They wouldn't actually go to Churchill with it as they said it wasn't valid. I actually commented on Churchills page about the Brokers they had selling their policies and we were given a number to call them directly, which we did. They went off to investigate, including the phone call and promised to come back to us within 4 days. 4 days later they called, and told us there was no record of this phone call, but we had clicked the wrong button on a drop down menu. They apologise for the mistake and say it may have been date inputted wrongly! Therefore we were still an invalid claim. We have checked and rechecked our policy and there is literally nothing about it being tenanted or us telling them we had a tenant in there. They have now told us they base their policies on 'assumptions' and sent us a list of these 'assumptions'. Again, we've breached none! They claim though that this 'compromises the integrity of the contract of Insurance' and this is sufficient to 'void' the policy. So now it's not 'invalid' it's just 'void' like it never happened! They seem to move the goalposts every time we prove them wrong. I have a £200 electric bill for the last quarter, I have receipts from shops in the immediate vicinity, I have so much evidence that this house was not abandoned, but they don't want to see it. More worrying they have told us have 'voided the policy for both properties from inception' which is odd. We only have one property! The one we live in is rented, however our contents insurance is through them as well on this one. We've always made sure we have insurance and in 20 years we've made 2 claims. 1 in 2005, for a broken front door on the buildings, and 1 this year when our garage was broken into and my partners fishing gear was stolen. Both relatively small claims. It feels now that they're trying to discredit us in anyway possible and I don't quite now when or how to approach the ombudsman or if its worth it?
  2. Good evening all, I've just renewed my insurance policy and moved from Churchill (Who wanted £1400 to renew me) to Hastings Premier, who wanted £400 to renew. I've informed Churchill that I'll be leaving them and my policy lapsed on 14/11/15. At this same date, my policy with Hastings has come into force. I had a bit of a grumble on the phone to Churchill, as I don't like change, and said that I think it's disgraceful that my insurance has gone up by £1000, especially seeing as I'm now 25 and have five years NCD behind me. None the less, I've left them. But do you think I can get them to send me my NCD proof? I've had at least four phone calls now with promises relating to my NCD letter, but nothing. Then, today, 18/11 I get a letter saying "Your motor insurance policy is due to expire soon and we recently wrote to you with details of your renewal. Please therefore take a few minutes of your time to discuss your cover for the next year"... etc. If they can fire me a letter out dated 13/11, then why the hell can't they get my NCD out to me when I called them and told them I wouldn't be renewing about 3 weeks ago! I don't know what to do, as Hastings Direct aren't exactly the most sympathetic of companies, I don't want to annoy them by chasing my NCD around and around, and risk having my policy cancelled! What's the crack? Where do I stand? Cheers, Caeleb.
  3. Churchill have written off my car on a category D. It was collected this morning. The haulage guy said any paperwork would have to be handled by Churchill. I did not even get a receipt for the car! I took name/photos/reg etc though. Anyhow I asked about what happens with regards payments and was told I had another payment due the beginning of September because obviously I am paying behind by DD. I asked about cancellation fees and was told it would be fifty odd quid! She said I could tell them to suspend the insurance (Hold on I have no car it's been written off what's that all about?) and when I get another car to put it on and adjust the amount then. If I don't put a car on it after 28 days suspension it will auto cancel (I bet they still want the fifty odd quid though!). My renewal date is in November I think. On their site it says. "You may also suspend your policy for a period of time if you meet certain criteria. For example, if your vehicle has been written off following an accident and you have not yet purchased a new vehicle. Just call us on 0845 603 3551. You’ll need to continue your monthly payments if you pay by instalments." I am a bit confused about that last bit. EDIT: From Moneysupermarket's myths page. "9) If my car is written off in an accident, I can reclaim the remaining premium If you pay for a year's car insurance, but then crash and the vehicle is written off after two months, you cannot then demand ten month's worth of premium back. The contract you enter into with an insurer is for an entire year, not month by month. Even if you're paying on a monthly basis, you're just paying what you owe on the entire year's cover, so if you wrote off your vehicle, you would need to continue paying." I am guessing this means that because I made a claim and the car was not just sold/scrapped I am still liable for the rest of the years payments???
  4. I’ve just had a claim with Churchill home insurance in relation to a damaged kitchen floor and am wondering if anyone can help with two questions I have: Is there a minimum standard an insurance company’s claims service must meet? My experience to date with Churchill has been that it takes a minimum of thirty minutes waiting before a call is answered on the claims line. Churchill did not answer letters or faxes in weeks. When I finally got through to speak to someone I was told that some customers have been waiting up to eighty (80) minutes to speak to the claims department this winter. My letters - including a formal complaint - had been scanned onto their system, but they’d just not had time to deal with them. Churchill’s Facebook page is littered with customers having similar experiences. Am I entitled to see a breakdown of Churchill’s contractor’s costs if they use their own contractor to provide an equivalent replacement? On two occasions Churchill refused to provide a breakdown of those costs and only in the reply to my formal complaint was any sort of breakdown given. However, this provided insufficient detail for me to be happy the replacement would be of the same quality as the original. I became so fed up with the whole process that I eventually took a cash settlement after Churchill improved their offer, but I’m wondering if I should approach the Ombudsman. Any advice gratefully received. For amusement here’s a summary of my claim experience which I forwarded to Churchill’s marketing department for use in their next campaign. It might be funnier if it weren’t true. Why won’t you talk to me, Churchill? On 28th November I made my first home insurance claim in twenty years and I can’t understand why you don't you pick up the phone. I thought you were a trusty dependable Bulldog, but why don't you get back to me when I write you a letter or send you a fax? Only when I called on 7th March about a policy renewal did you actually acknowledge my complaint. My letters had been scanned into your system, but you just hadn’t had time to do anything about them. You told me this winter it had not been unusual for customers to wait thirty-plus minutes to speak to you. It seems that some of your valued customers are waiting up to eighty minutes to get through. I bet that 0845 number at 4p a minute is turning into quite a money-spinner. And when I finally got through to discuss my claim, why do you keep saying "no"? Some years ago John Lewis fitted a new kitchen for us and also fitted a quality vinyl floor .... "oh yes" But, sadly last year a small leak damaged the floor and now the vinyl has to be replaced .... "oh yes" I've shown your loss adjustor the original receipt from John Lewis, so you know what I paid .... "oh yes" John Lewis have quoted like for like to replace the flooring, so please can they do the work? .... "oh no" You're saying you have a contractor who can fit equivalent flooring ... "oh yes" The total amount he is quoting is within a few pounds of the John Lewis quote ... "oh yes" You tell me your contractor gives you a 32% discount and still manages to make a profit ... "oh yes" Can you send me a written breakdown of his costs, so I can compare quotes? ... "oh no" Is it possible to get a cash settlement, so John Lewis can do the work? ... "oh yes" But, you'll only pay their quote less 32%, so it matches your contractor's discount? ... "oh yes" Perhaps your contractor could source exactly the same flooring as John Lewis? ... "oh no" So, can your contractor really provide an equivalent to the original John Lewis flooring? .... "oh yes" But, I know nothing about your contractor and they don't have a retail outlet near me .... "oh yes" How do I know where they source their flooring? I'd be in a right mess if it came from Cheap-as-Chips Flooring Supplies ... "oh yes" I'm worried that your contractor might use Bodge-it & Scarper to fit the new flooring. Do you understand my concern? .... "oh yes" Great, so you will after all pay the full cost for John Lewis to supply and fit the new floor? ... "oh no" So, can I really trust you to fit a new kitchen floor of equivalent quality to the original? ... "oh ....... "
  5. Why is it the above companies cannot give you a discount but if you cancel and restart a new policy from them they then give you the 10/20/30% discount even going as far as giving you 2 months free insurance ?
  6. Churchill car insurance My mothers(whom is 72 years old) car was crashed into whilst parked and liability has been excepted by the third party. We asked Churchill if it would be possible to repair the car through our family mechanic whom we have used for years and is so reliable and trust worthy. They said all repairs must be through their authorised repair center (Uk Assistance Crawley). It has now been 3 months in repair, the car was sent back twice, and it is now worst than we sent it to them, we still have not had a engineer report for the exact work that has been carried out. They have claimed the engine is no longer any good, even though there was never any problem with the engine, the car has been well maintained. I would suggest avoid Churchill Car Insurance and Uk Assistance Crawley. Can someone please advise us what we should do now thank you.
  7. I could do with some advice please... Back in March 2011 I returned to my vehicle from a doctor's appointment to find that a hit and run driver had "T" boned my car damaging the driver's front wing, alloy and door. I asked around but no-one saw or heard anything, so I went across the road to the Police Station and filed an accident report, in order to get an accident number to give to my insurance company. I subsequently contacted Churchill Insurance, my insurers at the time, and informed them that my vehicle had been hit by a hit and run driver. I also informed them that I was not in the vehicle at the time, that there appeared to be no witnesses but that there were CCTV cameras at both ends of the road that would have recorded the incident. At the time Churchill were very helpful and organised a hire car and to have my vehicle (only 6 mths old) repaired. Later that year I sold the vehicle (group 19 insurance) and bought a smaller car with a much lower insurance group (group 6e insurance). When I contacted Churchill to notify them of the change over of vehicle they wanted to charge me an extra £300 plus because I had moved 1 mile down the road into a new postcode area and their excuse. I refused to accept their postcode discrimination and immediately went about sourcing new insurance, which I did find at much less than my original policy. I then cancelled my insurance with Churchill (did not receive any refund on my payment in full of one year's premium). 3 weeks into my new policy, having spent countless hours on the phone to Churchill trying to obtain my proof of NCD, my new insurer's Octagon contacted Churchill on my behalf. I believe that this is something they do not normally do. However when they contacted Churchill, Churchill informed them that I had a "Fault Claim" on my policy. This was news to me as I had never been informed of this and subsequently Octagon said that because I had said "No" to the question on the proposal that asked if I had had an accident that was my fault, that the policy was going to go up by about another £400. In the end I had to cancel that policy and take out a new policy with Octagon - worked out about the same as the previous one but minus the excessive charges for altering the policy. It eventually took Churchill two attempts and 2 months to supply me with proof of NCD. The first NCD letter contained incorrect information, the second was correct in that it stated that I had 9 years NCD, with the NCD Protected and a "Fault Claim". I had in the meantime being trying to ascertain why Churchill did not follow up on the fact that there was CCTV footage that would have shown the parking area where my vehicle was parked and more than likely shown the vehicle that collided with mine, thus enabling them to counterclaim for damages against that driver. No explanation was given to me and despite my protestations that I should not have to be penalised because someone in their Accident/Claims department could not do their job, the outcome was basically "there was no-one else to claim against so the fault automatically becomes yours". Basically I was told to suck it up and get on with life. At the end of August my insurance with Octagon ran out but no new policy was taken out with them as I was added as a named driver on another policy. I requested and received my Proof of NCD from Octagon but on receiving it I found out that Churchill had furnished false information to Octagon regarding the circumstances of my supposed "fault claim". Churchill told Octagon that the claim was lodged as a fault claim against me because "I hit a Third Party in the Rear". Nice one - how do they work that out from a vehicle that has been "T-boned" with no occupants in it by a hit and run driver. Do they employ people to falsify details on their behalf? I contacted Octagon to try to get them to send out a corrected Proof of NCD but as they explained, they cannot do this without first receiving the correct information from Churchill. I have spent the last two days on the phone to Churchill being passed from one person to another. The first person I spoke to in Customer Relations told me he had escalated my query immediately to a top level complaint and told me that I would be receiving £75 in compensation for having to have my insurance the previous year cancelled because of their laxity in releasing my Proof of NCD and also the numerous phone calls I had made to obtain it. He also organised for an enquiry into why Churchill had not acted on the CCTV information and had instead penalised me. He arranged for someone from their Claims department to call me that day who was supposed to be organising for the correct information to be gotten to me in order that I could get Octagon to rectify the Proof of NCD as my partner's insurance company require it and time is now very short for getting it to them. I spoke to someone from their Claims department who was incredibly unhelpful, but who told me that she would arrange for yet another person to call me by lunchtime yesterday to rectify the incorrect information that they supplied to Octagon regarding my "fault claim" on my Proof of NCD No one bothered to follow this up so I contacted them again yesterday afternoon twice, and eventually having spent over 2 hours on the phone to them again, I was informed that the best that they could do was to put in a request to have a variance letter sent to me to furnish to Octagon (this would take 7-10 working days) stating that I had NOT hit a 3rd party up the rear and that in fact my vehicle had been hit by a hit and run driver. The woman from Churchill refused to even contemplate that the "fault claim" could be registered as a "No fault claim" because of the fact that the policy was cancelled. She also could not care less that their laxity and their furnishing false information had resulted in my previous insurers being unable to provide me with the correct Proof of NCD details for the current policy that I am on or that because they can only get information to me "maybe in 7-10 working days" that my partner would stand to lose his motor trader's insurance because of being unable to provide "legally factual" information on my Proof of NCD. I am sorry that this is so long but there is a lot of background information. Basically what I need to know is: If my partner's insurance is invalidated because I cannot provide my "legally factual" Proof of NCD to them can I sue Churchill for providing false information in the first place. This will affect his ability to trade and run his business and also to obtain future Motor Trader's Insurance. Also what recourse do I have for compensation against Churchill for not investigating my accident fully when it was initially reported to them. (I was told that "If we had known about the CCTV footage we would have assigned an investigator"). They were informed of the CCTV and neglected to follow it up with the Police. In fact from conversations with the Police Officer assigned to investigate the report, Churchill did not bother to contact him either. I also requested that they listen to the recording of my conversation with them from March 2011 and from August 2011. Any advice and help that you can give would be gratefully received. Thank you
  8. Hello I would welcome advice for my problem. Last month, someone ran into my Land Rover Discovery which was parked outside my house, my insurance company Churchill insisted that the repairs were carried out by a company in Spalding. The car took quite a while to be repaired and I was given various dates as to when the car would be ready, it was finally delivered to my home on Tuesday afternoon after three weeks. The next day, I drove the vehicle and loud rumbling noise was heard and didn't drive properly, I rang the insurance who contacted the garage this morning. The garage claim that they must have the right to assess whether I have have damaged the car between Tuesday afternoon - which I have not. I asked our local garage to look at the vehicle, who found three faults, two of which relate to repairs not being carried out correctly and another due to damage in the initial accident which was not repaired. Issues involve the handbrake and bearings, which is worrying as I use the vehicle to tow every weekend. In short, the car is unsafe to drive, which I feel particularly distressing as I had been driving my children to and from school along country lanes with deep ditches. The garage are refusing to provide a courtosy car until they confirm that I have not damaged the car (!) and Churchill have offered a hirecar over the weekend, however this car has not yet arrived. Has anyone else encountered any problems similar to this? I only want my car to be repaired to a suitable standard for it to be road worthy and safe for myself and my daughters. Due to my circumstances, I require a replacement car whilst mine is off the road (ideally with a tow bar). Any ideas how I can resolve this issue with both the garage and Churchill? How can I ensure that my car is returned in a roadworthy state?
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