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matta78

Car insurance cancelled due to no proof of no claims bonus

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Apologies for length of this post! :wink:

 

I got pulled over by the Police last night at approx 9pm and asked if I had insurance for the vehicle. I truthfully replied that I did so and stated which company it was with.

 

The officer said that the vehicle check flashed up as uninsured, but he accepted that this was not always completely up-to-date. As it was out of hours he was unable to do a proper phone check. He then gave me a producer to show my insurance documents at a Police Station.

 

He then phoned me today to say that the policy has been cancelled and I needed to sort it out immediately. He said the insurance company issued five letters (I have found five letters from them). He arranged to come to my house on Saturday where I'm expecting to be issued with a ticket/fine. He said he was being lenient as he could impound the vehicle.

 

This has come as a genuine surprise as I thought I had completed my proof of no claims online (admittedly close to their deadline) and have not received a letter to say that the policy has been cancelled.

 

I took my policy out in November with Auto Direct, but due to being generally disorganised, having young babies, work pressures etc etc had not sent in the proof of no claims bonus. I had received a number of reminder letters and eventually went on to the companies website to get further details on what they needed - intending to send it in the next day or make a call to my previous insurer to sort out asap before the final deadline.

 

I then noticed on their website that it was possible to prove no claims on their website by completing a form, which I then did. This was several days before the final warning of cancellation was set (8th Feb 2012). I completed the form and then thought no more of the matter as it seemed that they had everything they needed.

 

I have now found that one of the letters dated 10th Feb states the following:

 

'We are pleased to confirm that a refund of £106.84 has been passed to your Credit Card account in respect of your insurance policy."

 

The letter goes on but it does not mention anywhere that the policy was cancelled. To be honest this letter has been sat on a shelf unopened until now so I only have myself to blame as I suppose I could have queried why they had refunded.

 

Is there anything I could do now as it seems that I have not received a letter to categorically state cancellation of the policy? I would have thought that I should have a letter saying my insurance is now cancelled and that is why money has been refunded? I completed their online form, but if this did not work, surely they should have come back to me instead of cancelling the policy two or three days later?

 

The company say that they informed me in writing that it was cancelled. I have found five letters (as previously mentioned), but cannot find anything to state a cancellation only the threat of cancellation if I don't send in the proof of no claims.

 

I hope you can help me in this matter as it seems like it is going to be a big fine, points and difficulties in getting another policy. The company have already quoted £762 for a new quote! This assumes I get a INT10 fine on Saturday when the policeman visits. :sad:

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Its an IN10 - and they carry 6 to 8 points. Fines are based to an extent on your income and any events/mitigation stated in court.

 

However, if you can show the police the five letters they mentioned - and none mention your policy to have been cancelled - then it would clearly have been impossible for you to know.

 

Also - what was your £106 payment from the insurance company - as its too low to be a full refund I suspect, so would it be reasonable for you to assume this to be a refund related to your NCB going through after submitting it on line?

 

Did you receive any email confirmation following the online submission of your NCB?

 

Its a long time since I looked at motoring offences, but as this has a variable number of points, it would not be a police issued fixed penalty, although the police do have powers to impound uninsured vehicles.

 

Are you a member of a motoring organisation such as the AA who will cover you for legal advice?

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Bang! Thank you very much for your speedy reply and advice

 

The £106.84 refunded I assume is part of the initial quote of £290 minus the amount of time that the policy was valid - it started on 3rd November 2011 and their costs, I presume. However, the letter does not give any reason for the refund. It just advises to contact them if we wish to discuss.

 

We have breakdown cover with Green Flag but I have just checked the policy and legal costs are not covered if the offence is related to driving without insurance.

 

I did not receive an email confirmation of the online submission of the NCB so I guess I do not have written proof that this was ever done which does not help.

 

Thanks again

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Are you sure its not a refund for your NCB being introduced - as surely if they were cancelling your policy - with it potentially making you a criminal without knowing it - then surely they would have mentioned?

 

I am sure the police would be far happier if you thought it was a refund for your NCB being registered as there was nothing in the letter to indicate otherwise.

 

If you insurance company have sent you nothing saying the policy was cancelled - then they have caused you to drive without insurance, so have committed an offence too (IN13 I think).

 

So when the police are there - show them everything to point at your not knowing or being able to know. I am sure most people would see a refund, after registering a NCB and without a letter saying the policy was cancelled, as money coming back for their NCB discount.

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I spoke to the company again last night and they say that they sent out a cancellation one day prior to the refund letter. I cannot find this letter. They also say that they sent out two 'chase' emails prior to this. These emails did not arrive - I've also checked my wife's email and the junk mail box in case. The address is correct as I have four emails from them. Two relating to the policy docs when I first bought the policy and two others asking to complete a customer service questionnaire. Interestingly one was sent after they cancelled my policy! Surely this should not happen unless all is well with your policy and another reason for me to assume there were no problems!!

 

I've just double-checked my correspondence from them and there are letters on the dates they sent emails, so I assume whoever I spoke mis-read this information?

A manager is calling me this morning for me to take this further. I still maintain that there online submission form does not work correctly and they should have contacted me with greater urgency if the form was unacceptable which is the stance they are taking. They say the original NCB documents were required as stated on the letter. My argument is that their website shouldn't direct you to do this online if they need original documentation and if you submit online and they then have a problem contacting my previous insurer they should contact me immediately. They would have had to phone my previous insurer who for whatever reason were unable to assist. They then cancelled my policy within two / three days of this.

 

Again, I've just checked their letters and the first one does not ask for original documentation and it encourages you to complete their online NCB form. Why would later letters insist on original documentation?

Furthermore, they did phone us in January to get confirmation of the type of usage of the vehicle, so I'm upset that they did not do this with something as important as cancelling a policy. They say that they cannot phone every customer to do this.

 

Do you think I have a case?

 

Thanks again for helping

Edited by matta78

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hi there just wondering how you got on with the manager and if you had to pay cancellation fee

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You will probably find in one of those 5 letters you do have that one of them would be something like a 7 day cancellation letter advising you that your policy will be cancelled within 7 days. Am i correct?

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I think this behavior is a total disgrace! I've just had a 'near miss' with eSure claiming they would cancel my insurance (with a hefty cancellation fee of course) because they hadn't received my NCD proof. It turned out that they had received it but just a few hours after sending me the snotty letter.

 

In the very worst case all they should be able to do is increase your premiums corresponding to no NCD. I had actually paid for the whole annual cover upfront so even if they hadn't received NCD proof I would have been entitled to several months of cover.

 

Yet again, it's the insurance companies way of screwing more money out of us but unfortunately in this case it makes us unintentional criminals as well.

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Hi, I know this was a while ago but can I ask what the outcome was? Did you accept the points and fine or contest it? The exact same thing happened to me two days ago and I don't believe that adequate steps were taken to inform me of the cancellation. All previous correspondence had arrived by post but still nothing has arrived to tell me my insurance was cancelled two weeks ago. After digging around in my emails I have found the notification but this was only received one week after the date of cancellation, so even if I had seen this it could already have been too late. My car actually was impounded, which cost a fortune to release due to the required special insurance and impounding fees. After checking my bank, it seems they issued a partial refund a week after the date of cancellation which totals less than half of the insurance premium, meaning they've charged me a hefty cancellation fee. I'd be interested to see how this had played out were I paying by installments, as this seems like a great way to make money out of those who pay upfront. Now I don't know what to do; as far as I was concerned, I was an insured driver so I'm considering letting it go to court but I'm worried about the potentially more severe repercussions. Sorry if this post is garbled and senseless, this has really put me out!

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I'm afraid you probably wouldn't get anywhere with it :( I was lucky in that my insurance was never cancelled but very close to it. I suggest complaining to your local MP along with consumer groups such as Which? etc. If enough people do then some sort of action will be taken. This behaviour by the insurance companies needs to be stopped by law!

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Good idea, thanks! Can I just add that I absolutely sent the NCB well in advance of the deadline, in the freepost envelope provided by them. If they didn't receive it on time this is either due to their failure to provide adequate measures to ensure receipt of the document or incompetency in their admin department causing a delay in the processing after delivery. In hindsight I realise that this sort of thing should be sent recorded delivery or even emailed as a PDF but my only mistake was being naive enough to follow the procedure that they stipulated, which I will now be paying for.

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