Problems cancelling car insurance

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Fincaman
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Location: Colmenar and Midhurst

Problems cancelling car insurance

Postby Fincaman » Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:53 pm

Have any other members experienced such problems with obtaining partial refunds, or is it just me?

Twelve years ago I had to cancel a "direct" Spanish car insurance halfway through its year. It was far from easy to extract any refund from them, and initially they were most evasive. However, I persevered and eventually obtained a fair settlement.

Two years later I bought another Spanish car and, as the previous experience left rather a sour taste, I decided to insure it with a large company offering Gibraltar-based cover under UK rules and backed by the UK insurance ombudsman in case of any problems. Last October my policy was coming up for renewal, yet I knew that I was about to sell this car, and would not be replacing it. So, in view of past experience, I called the company and asked whether a short-term policy could be arranged, just for the month or so while I found a buyer. This was not possible, so I specifically asked whether I would get a proportional refund upon cancellation. They replied that I would, but only for complete remaining months and subject to a 45€ administration fee, which I thought was fair enough; so I renewed the policy for the tenth (claims-free) year on that basis.

Five weeks later I was able to sell the car. I notified the insurers by email, attaching a copy of the sales contract, and asking for a refund as agreed. Having received no reply to this, I called them and was told that any refund would only be for less than 25% of the sum I had just paid. They did not quote an exact figure but suggested that I might receive a better deal if I took out some other type of insurance with them - house, contents, travel etc - which I did not need.

After a few weeks of having received neither refund nor even a firm offer, I wrote to the Managing Director in the UK, following the procedure stated in their terms. More delay and I eventually had a call from him offering to discuss the matter with "the insurer" with a view to negotiating a proportional offer. Now the time has arrived when my original written complaint has not been answered for four weeks, and - again as per the Terms - I am now free to approach the ombudsman. Which of course I will... but what a pain, and so unnecessary.
Restoring an old finca near Colmenar.

gus-lopez
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Location: Lorca, Murcia ,Spain

Re: Problems cancelling car insurance

Postby gus-lopez » Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:04 pm

Many spanish insurers do not offer any refund whatsoever.
Todos somos Lorca.

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Fincaman
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Location: Colmenar and Midhurst

Re: Problems cancelling car insurance

Postby Fincaman » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:34 am

That is certainly a point which I would recommend everyone to check before taking out or renewing a policy - but the annoying thing is that I did just that! Refunds are in fact allowed and covered in the printed terms but they avoid giving actual figures except during the initial period of cancellation. It will be interesting to see what the Ombudsman has to say about it all; I never had any such problems while living in the UK.
Restoring an old finca near Colmenar.

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Fincaman
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Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:04 am
Location: Colmenar and Midhurst

Re: Problems cancelling car insurance

Postby Fincaman » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:40 pm

There is a happy ending to this, although it took more than two months to resolve. Lessons learned are-
1. Yes, there are advantages in taking out insurance in Spain which is responsible to the UK Ombudsman.
2. If you have a genuine grievance, always take it up with the insurer, follow it through and be persistent.
Restoring an old finca near Colmenar.

Miro
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Re: Problems cancelling car insurance

Postby Miro » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:48 pm

I just received my annual renewal notice for household insurance with a well known "direct" insurance company. Although the premium has only increased by €3 since last year and is pretty reasonable anyway, since we (hopefully) will not be in the property for more than a few months more, I rang and asked about 6 month policies, the possibility of paying for six months only, or cancelling and receiving a refund for unused time. As expected, none of the above were options. However, they did immediately offer me a 25% discount "in light of our circumstances", which I gladly accepted! :thumbup: As and when we need to cancel the policy, we can do so with a simple phone call (to ensure it doesn't automatically renew again next year).
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peteroldracer
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Re: Problems cancelling car insurance

Postby peteroldracer » Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:28 pm

I have just instructed the "red phone people" not to renew my car insurance in March as I have sold the car to our house buyer and they sent a form which I had to sign and return (thankfully all by email) before they would accept the cancellation.
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