Policy holders tire of ‘exorbitant’ renewal fees

Holders of so-called discount car insurance policies are growing tired of being charged fees for renewing their cover or making minor alterations to their motor car insurance policy, with some consumer watchdogs calling the charges ‘exorbitant.’

Most Brits would think that they’re already handing enough of their hard-earned cash over to the nation’s car insurance companies, but these insurers would beg to differ, as some providers will charge administrative fees of as much as £30 to changing personal details, changing personal addresses, or initiating a transfer of cover from one vehicle to another – and this is independent of any car insurance rate increases due to changes in personal circumstances.  Not only that, but several insurers were found to charge for the privilege of renewals or cancellations.

Making matters worse, these charges are oftentimes not clearly publicised or available for perusal on the website of a given insurance provider, leading consumer advocates Which? to condemn the behaviour.  One of the more egregious examples of charging unnecessary fees is how both Switfcover and Axa will charge a customer to change the surname listed on their policy in the event that they are married – and while the old adage says that it’s better to give than to receive, it’s usually customary to be given a wedding present, not have to present a gift to your insurance provider!

Peter Vicary-Smith, chief executive for the consumer watchdog, found the behaviour of these insurers to be disgraceful.  Charging customers ‘exorbitant fees’ in order to make basic policy changes is unwelcome and seems to simply be a stratagem to increase insurer incomes, the Which? chief executive implied.

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