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Insurance Renewal Refused after 1 claim


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Hi

I have Buildings and content insurance bought through Hastings Direct. In May 2016, we had a very large fire in our property which caused extensive damage costing upwards of £100k to repair. The cause of the fire is unknown, but it likely started in the washing machine (it wasn't on but was plugged in.) There had been no alterations to the wiring in the 10 months that we had owned the house. There is no suggestion of foul play.

 

It is the first time I have made a claim in over 21 years of having home insurance.

 

Hastings have now written to me to say that are refusing to invite me for renewal, no explanation as to why. Obviously it is because we have a very large and outstanding claim.

 

However it strikes me as extremely unfair that we make one claim (not a string of claims, just 1 in 20 years) and we are now being massively punished for it. Now I have to declare that I have had insurance refused. Last year my insurance was approx. £240 per year; my new quote with another company for next year, having had insurance refused is now £2,500.

Is there anything I can do to protest?

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UncleBulgaria will know this far better than me – but I thought that in terms of buildings insurance anyway, there was a convention that it could not be refused by an existing insurer.

 

I'll be interested to see what UB says about this

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UncleBulgaria will know this far better than me – but I thought that in terms of buildings insurance anyway, there was a convention that it could not be refused by an existing insurer.

 

I'll be interested to see what UB says about this

 

I was under this impression as well.

 

Also Hastings are a broker, try going direct to your insurer.

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Yes, they do owe you an explanation as to why renewal is not being invited – you will also have to explain this reason to any new insurer.

Your insurers will have a complaints procedure if you do not feel they’re playing fair, plus there is always the FCA/Insurance Ombudsman if this matter needs to be escalated.

Good luck.

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I will contact the insurance company directly and see what they say? Maybe there is a legal basis for them to carry on with my insurance; I expect enhanced premiums but to be refused is pretty disheartening.

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I think you might want to send a Data Protection Subject Access Request to obtain full disclosure of all policy records and everything on the claims file.

 

I have a feeling that someone has raised concerns about the claim and based on this, a decision has been made not to offer renewal.

 

Having run a House Renewal department, it is pretty unusual to not offer renewal, in particular when only one large claim has been made, where nothing suspicious or concerning about future risk applies. The Insurers usually want to have opportunuty of increasing the premium to get some of their money back over a period of time.

 

Suggest you write to Hastings Insurance head of customer services asking for a full explanation of why they are not offering renewal. Ask them to reconsider this, as obtaining Insurance at an affordable cost with this declinature needing to be disclosed is very difficult. Make the Data Protection request and ask them to ensure it is dealt with urgently.

 

As far as I know there is nothing in Insurance rules requiring Insurers to offer renewal in this situation. There are agreements in regard to things like flooding, but not fire related claims. But Hastings owe you a full explanation that they have reached a fair decision based on the information they have and that you have not met their underwriting guidelines as to what risk they can offer cover for.

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