Car insurance companies under fire for high fees

Car insurance companies that charge their customers high fees when making simple changes to their motor car insurance policy documents, such as when they change vehicles or addresses, have been called out by consumer groups, it was recently reported.

Some customers have experienced charges of as much as £26 when attempting to make policy alterations such as changing names or addresses. In fact, this charge is levied against the customer even if their new address does not carry a heightened risk or facilitate a change to the car insurance rates they currently pay.

However, there are even more kinds of profiteering being perpetrated by insurers, according to research findings. Many motor and home insurance policy holders are being fined as much as £10 if they make their insurance payment with a credit card, even though the Government has been attempting to stamp out such activity.

Those who pay their insurance premiums in monthly instalments are also being whittled away by processing gees and high interest charges which can increase the overall price of the policy by as much as 10 per cent – or even more in some cases.

Consumer Focus, an industry watchdog, remarked that insurance providers need to be more transparent in regards to any extra charges, with the fees being reflective of the true costs incurred by the insurer for instituting any policy changes.  Additional charges should never be used as a way to penalise those policy holders who have taken steps to ensure their details are accurate, Consumer Focus’ financial services director, Sarah Brooks, stated.

Ms Brooks added that Consumer Focus has chosen to call upon insurance providers to be more straightforward about their charges and fees while at the same time working to minimise costs.  There is no need to pass on the cost of inefficient systems incurred by insurers to their customers, she also said.

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