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Complain for change: getting insurance admin fees refunded

Cartoon cars sitting on hand

If you’ve ever moved house or got married, you may have been hit by additional charges for making simple changes to your insurance policy. Find out how my brother in-law got £90 worth of admin fees refunded.

With some T&Cs taking longer to read than a good novel, you might be forgiven for not reading all the details in your insurance policy.

Well, when my brother-in-law moved home he was faced with a charge of £35 for changing his address on his car insurance policy. A few months later, his family decided to move from two cars to one, which required the cancellation of the policy. This incurred another £55 fee.

After paying the equivalent of a quarter of his insurance policy in fees, he decided to make a quick complaint.

Bringing in the Financial Ombudsman

He complained directly to his provider, but was rejected. Not content with the outcome, he decided to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

The Ombudsman conducted an investigation and then contacted the insurance provider to find out whether it wanted to resolve the complaint. In my brother-in-law’s case, he was lucky that his insurance provider chose to refund the £90 in fees. Although it took a few weeks to resolve and get the cheque in the post, it was a successful outcome nonetheless.

So, the lesson from my brother-in-law is to challenge any charges you might think are unfair, and consider taking your case to the FOS if you’re not satisfied with the firm’s response.

Have you ever challenged your insurance provider’s additional fees? Or have you had to escalate the issue and get an Ombudsman involved?

Stephen Rosling says:
4 January 2013

It would be interesting to understand the basis of the complaint resolution. Was this because the provider determined that they had incorrectly charged your brother in law, or was it simply a gesture of goodwill in order to get the customer and FOS off their back. A quick look at the charges section of the T&C’s might provide a clue.

alan exley says:
17 January 2013

my insurance company has charge £236 for change of address this was because of the area i live in my wife ‘s insurance has charged her £25 and she lives with me in the same area same address can they charge this much?

Chris says:
24 May 2018

Just tried to cancel my Home insurance after 2 years at renewal time as we’ve just moved house. Being charged £75 for the pleasure. What am I supposed to do? Insure a house I no longer rent? Even if it is in the T&Cs it seems unreasonable.