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sarahchad

Cancelled insurance with Quoteline Direct

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Can anyone offer me a little bit of advice please, 

I am not sure whether I have a leg to stand on but I really do not think they have treated me fairly.

 

I arranged an online policy with Quoteline Direct, 15/01/20, which had a named driver on it (My husband's Dad)

He told me he didn't have any points or convictions on his licence.

I provided them with our DVLA licence details 3 days later.

 

I didn't hear anything from them until a month later saying they were cancelling the policy.

When I rang them (And eventually got through) they said it was because my father in law had an expired speeding fine still recorded on his licence. 

 

I apologised and asked them to remove him and that I will still keep the policy with just me on it.

They said it wasn't worth it and to cancel.

That it would be cheaper for me to either shop around or take out a completely new policy with them. 

 

I shopped around and decided to go with someone else and cancelled on 17/02/20.

Therefore the policy ran from 15/1/20-17/2/20.

 

I paid my policy in full and when I eventually received my refund they have charged me £199.95.

My policy was £358.15 for the year.

Therefore my refund into my bank was £158.20.

 

Do I have the right to complain as I have read through the terms and conditions and it looks like they have charged me for all sorts of things.

 

My understanding is that I should be charged a cancellation fee and a fee for the period I was insured for.

It looks like I have been charged extras, for it being over 14 days, but in my mind it wasn't my fault that it took them a month to read through the information I provided them with straight away.

 

I have asked for a full break down of charges and received no reply.

I have now asked again and requested that they provide the information within 14 days.

I am doing everything right?

 

Can anyone give me any advice or should I just leave it?

Many thanks

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Posted (edited)

What do their terms and conditions say about cancelation by you?  Is the amount they have charged you in line with those T&Cs?

 

It could be argued that they've done you a favour by allowing you to cancel rather than them cancelling it - which would mean that you'd have to declare for evermore that you'd had a policy cancelled by your insurer and that would make finding future insurance much more difficult and much more costly.

 

That you couldn't cancel it within any 14 days cooling-off period isn't the fault of your insurer, unfortunately it's your responsibility because you passed (albeit I'm sure unintentionally) inaccurate information to the insurer during your application.

 

The (I'm afraid costly) lesson here is that when applying for or renewing insurance - especially motor insurance - you really have to be certain of correctly answering any questions you are asked.  You don't necessarily have to deliberately give false information for a policy to be cancelled, you just need to give a wrong answer - whether you know it's wrong or not.  This is particularly important about the details of additional drivers on your motor insurance.

 

You can try to get a bigger refund off them, and if that doesn't work, follow their complaints procedure.  If you get no satisfaction from a formal complaint you can escalate your complaint to the FOS.  (The FOS have stated that insurers must treat their customers "fairly".  Whether you've been treated "fairly" or "unfairly" I would not like to say).

 

There's a similar recent thread here: 

In that one the poster inadvertently (but possibly recklessly) failed to declare that a named driver was banned because he didn't know (and he hadn't asked.  At least you asked...)

 

EDIT:  Just re-reading my reply I may come across as being over-strict about how careful you have to be answering questions.  I'm trying to emphasise that if you give wrong information when buying insurance (even if you don't necessarily know that it's wrong) then you really are running a very big risk of having that insurance cancelled and that will be very expensive in future.  You must avoid at all costs.

Edited by Manxman in exile
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Regardless of the terms and conditions, the insurance company is subject to various statutory regulation – including that they must act reasonably and also they cannot decline to insure you simply on administrative grounds.

Of course your husband's dad it is careless in not sorting out the problem of his licence – but still if the offence is expired then I don't see how that can be held against you and it seems to me that the insurance company is acting unreasonably. Furthermore, the money they seem to be charging you is excessive and even if they were justified in cancelling the insurance – which I don't think they were – they would only be entitled to charge you for the period of cover plus administrative losses caused by any breach of contract.

Not only that, at some point you may be asked if you have ever had an insurance policy cancelled – and of course you will have to say yes – because if you say no and somebody finds out then you will have further problems when another company cancels the insurance.

Have you got your new insurance?

I think that as suggested above, you should certainly begin a complaint with them. Begin a formal complaint and tell them that you want it taken to the ombudsman.

Tell them that they are unreasonable in terminating the insurance contract simply on an expired offence because it is merely an administrative matter that it appears on the licence document at all – and furthermore that they are charging you and excessive penalty which does not reflect their administrative losses.


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Have a look at this:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/6/introduction/enacted

 

And especially schedule 1

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/6/schedule/1/enacted

 

It's a bit convoluted – and there is a possibility that they do have a right to terminate the contract of insurance on giving you reasonable notice – but it is clear that they then must refund you all the premium for the unused portion of the insurance policy. I would have thought it would be reasonable for them to also hang on to a sum which reflected their administrative losses – which I can imagine would be less than 10 or 15 quid

 

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Posted (edited)

BankFodder - I think(?) the insurer has allowed the OP to cancel the policy herself, so the question of a refund of premiums when the insurer cancels isn't relevant in this case?  I think it's just a straightforward case of the policy holder cancelling after the 14 days cooling off?

 

My main concern would be that the insurer will not have asked about any "unexpired" points but will have asked something like "have there been any driving convictions in the last five (or whatever) years?"

 

My understanding is (and I must admit I might be completely wrong here) that the question should be answered truthfully even if any points have lapsed.  I suspect the insurance company would argue this is not an administrative issue and that if the OP had answered "Yes" rather than "No", then they wouldn't have issued the policy.  I think that's borne out by the fact that they threatened to cancel rather than increase the premium after finding out, and that they didn't want to continue insuring even with just the OP on the policy.

 

The OP needs to be clearer about what question the insurer asked in respect of the father's convictions, and when his speeding fine was in relation to the question asked.

 

EDIT:  It does seem completely wrong to me that insurers should be able to ask about expired points/convictions.  But I take a belt and braces approach to buying motor insurance and try my utmost to ensure that I truthfully answer any questions asked - even if the offences in question are expired.  The consequences if a policy is cancelled or voided in the case of an accident are too serious to mess about with.  No point in insuring otherwise.

Edited by Manxman in exile
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My understanding was that they told her that they were going to cancel because of an expired offence on his licence document. Then in a discussion they told her to cancel because it wouldn't be worth keeping the policy – and so she acted on the suggestion.

If that's right then it sounds as if she has been manipulated into cancelling it herself – but in any event, I don't think that they would be entitled to keep a disproportionate portion of the money. Furthermore, if we are simply talking about an expired entry on the insurance document – which of course should have no effect then the insurer is acting unfairly.

On the other hand, as you suggest, if they ask about "any offences" within a certain period of time and of course the answer had to be given truthfully.

You are right that we need more information


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BF - FYI I was in the process of editing my previous post when you posted.  Don't think it changes anything.

 

Just to add, it may cost her in the short-term to cancel herself, but it will be cheaper in the long-term if the insurer were entitled to cancel and it avoided them doing that.

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Many thanks for your replies.

To answer your questions it did specify in the small print that you needed to have no convictions or points on your licence for the policy. I answered incorrectly no for my father in law as he said he didn’t have any. I didn’t look and took his word for it. The lady I spoke to said that even though they are expired they still count.

looking through their terms and conditions it looks like they have charged me for multiple things such as giving false information added charge for it being on 14 days, admin charge and a charge to get the money back from the insurers.

They did give me 7 days to cancel and plenty of warning emails. I was given an opportunity to go elsewhere are cancel so that it didn’t go down as a cancelled policy so they were fair in that respect.

i just think the charges are excessive especially as some are for getting my own money back and for going over 14 days when I gave them everything on day 3

many thanks I have made a request for a breakdown of charges and I’ll probably decide then.

many thanks for the links you have sent me I’ll take a look 

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The speeding points offence had expired you say.  From what I understand DVLA  requires the record of points to be kept on the licence for at least 4 years. After that you can apply to the DVLA to have those points removed.  So could your father in law have requested removal of the offence ? 

 

The Insurers have  taken into account old information, when suggesting that you cancel the policy ?

 

Have a look at what you declared in regard to your father in law.  Did you have to declare expired licence points ?

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And in any event, seeing as it's completely free – and it is paid for by the insurer, I would begin the formal complaint to the ombudsman. Nothing to lose

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The question was “Any convictions or penalties within the last 5 years”

The speeding points were 4 years ago so I guess that’s another plus for them.
I can remember her saying it includes expired points .

But even so I think I’ve been charged too much 

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Posted (edited)

Yeah.  I believe the standard question is "within the last five years", which is a bit sneaky as many (if not all) points expire before then.  (I'm not sure but I think it's three years for some purposes, and four years for others).

 

I think it is unfair that they can ask about convictions which have expired, but unfortunately it's a question they do ask and has to be answered accurately - until someone brings a no doubt very expensive test case to establish whether this is lawful or not,  I wouldn't take the risk* of giving a wrong answer.

 

When you get a breakdown of their cancellation etc charges, I think your best bet is to query the amount they've charged and if you get nowhere with them with a formal complaint, consider going down the FOS route.

 

*We nearly had our car insurance cancelled when my wife changed insurers.  She was asked if we'd had any claims in the last five years and honestly, but wrongly, replied "No".  She'd forgotten I'd had a free/no-cost windshield chip repaired and because no accident was involved, neither of us thought it qualified as a claim anyway.  Fortunately they wrote to us querying this non-declaration and we corrected it before it was cancelled.

 

Similarly, when arranging travel insurance, I disclose more than I strictly need to because I don't want to end up having to make a claim and then arguing over whether I'd disclosed everything I should have done.  The response has always been:  "Thanks, but it's ok - you don't need to disclose that".  Better safe and sure than sorry - at least that's my view with insurance.

Edited by Manxman in exile
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