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Is your Insurance Co ripping you off - Probably

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What was Halifax’s response? Did it review the premium and reduce it to reflect the prices that other people were paying in the market? Oh no. What Halifax appears to have done is reopen her former mortgage account with the bank, then charge the insurance premiums to that account. Halifax then continued jacking up the price every year, to a vastly inflated £800 at the time of her death – a figure her son says is around six times the going rate. The final insult was that Halifax charged interest on the unpaid premiums, making ever more profit out of its elderly, loyal and vulnerable customer.


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The case of a retired London professor, John Stanworth, is among the most egregious. He lectured on business ethics and social responsibility, one reason he stayed with member-owned Nationwide for 40 years. Nationwide’s home insurance is provided by Direct Line, which in recent years raised Prof Stanworth’s premium to £1,100 for cover he could find elsewhere for about £300. Worse, when he made a £3,850 claim for flood damage, the loss adjusters reimbursed £400.


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So how did RIAS repay Burton’s trust? Anyone who has been reading my recent columns about the rapacious behaviour of home insurance companies when it comes to loyal, older customers, won’t be in the slightest bit surprised to hear what RIAS did. In the early years it shoved up the premium by around 15% a year, then by 30% between 2014 and 2015. Yet throughout the period Burton had not made a single claim. Indeed, he is an almost perfect customer for an insurer, having not made a claim since 1977. Yet in the space of five years RIAS doubled his premium to £345


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It came out of nowhere. With no clear explanation, a retired academic saw the insurance premium on his second home leap by 56% – even though he has made no claims and the house is in a sleepy countryside village.

When Philip Jones* called Saga, which insures both his London home and the holiday home, to pay his premium for this year, he was told the cost had jumped from £280 to £436. His experience echoes that of other Guardian Money readers, and reflects an ongoing problem in the industry whereby some insurers have been accused of taking advantage of loyal customers by bumping up their premiums, sometimes via automatic renewals.


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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)


Millions of people should enjoy cheaper insurance after the City regulator announced measures to tackle the problem of companies bumping up the premiums of loyal policyholders.

The rule change will mean that all renewal letters relating to motor, home, medical, travel and pet insurance will have to clearly flag up the amount the customer paid the previous year alongside their quote for the coming 12 months.


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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)


Consumers who pay for car or home insurance in monthly instalments are being charged interest as high as 75%, according to the Financial Conduct Authority in a highly critical report on the £18bn-a-year industry.

Nearly half of all households in Britain pay for their insurance in monthly instalments, but many are not told the high cost when buying online.

The FCA tested 43 insurance and broker websites, including the major comparison sites, and found that 19 did not tell the buyer in full about the additional cost until they had to enter their payment details. In four cases, the interest charges were not displayed at all.


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They need to stop Insurers having different rates for new and existing customers.


It is unfortunately common for Insurers to offer new customers discounted premiums, funded by charging existing customers higher premiums.


From what i have seen, in most situations you will only get a competitive premium, if you stay with an Insurers for about 2 years. After that you may find that the premium is higher that what you can obtain as a new customer.


Suggest that people who can shop around for Insurance, to look for other quotes, when their renewals are due. Renewal documents are sent about 3 weeks ahead of the renewal date. If you find a better premium for the same cover, you may even be able to get your current Insurers to match the premium. Even try to get a new customer quote from your existing Insurers to compare.

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