Hold the phone: a simple query can increase your insurance premiums

30 September 2013

There are loads of reasons why you might want to call your insurer – because you’re VERY lonely and you want to speak to nodding bulldog with the voice of Vic Reeves, because you want to know what your cover includes, or because you’re thinking of making a claim and wondering whether it’s worth it.

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But STOP. Phoning that little red phone on wheels, or that call centre staffed by a caring sharing lady who ‘understands’ when you’ve been burgled, could cause your premiums to rise in the future – even if you simply contact them with a query.

Some people have been finding that if they’ve already called their existing insurer to enquire about making a claim, that call is logged and can affect the cost of future policies. One woman found that on a price comparison website, the cost of a different policy shot up from £213 to £425.50 when it was revealed she’d contacted her original insurer - Esure - twice about possible claims that were then settled for less than the excess. Any ‘incident’ is included on a database used by the Claims and Underwriting Exchange, and could count against you.

Adrian Webb, spokesman for Esure, said that it’s relatively rare that future premiums can be affected, but acknowledged that it can happen: ‘Unfortunately, incident records are not like a credit record that can be corrected,’ says Webb, ‘and insurers take a broad brush approach. They have to, because they cannot justify the cost of going into detail over the personal histories of every applicant.’

So don’t be too eager to pick up the phone to your insurer until you work out how much the cost will be to replace your pipes/fix your wet patch/get a new sink. The ghost of Michael Winner could be watching your every move...

TOPICS:   Consumer Advice   Mobile   Insurance   How To Guides


  • PJH
    Reeves never voiced the dog (he asked the questions) and he hasn't been in any of the commercials since 2005, when Churchill sacked him after he got caught drink driving.
  • jokester2
    Insurers use every dirty underhand tactic they can find to con money out of innocent consumers. My insurance has shot up due to being hit twice by SUVs even though both were 100% the other driver's fault, and were settled as non-fault claims. Insurance companies then see this on their "Lets Con Even More Money Out Of Every Poor Sod" database and steal more money off you. (While this may not fit the dictionary definition of theft, I still consider it theft since you are forced to pay it to drive legally) I give it 3 months until insurers start demanding a kidney as part of your insurance premium.
  • klingelton
    Not informing your insurance of an incident may invalidate and current/ future claim. This is terrible advice BW.
  • Dougal1709
    Also be very wary of recovery services supplied by your insurer. I'm with admiral and took their breakdown recovery service when I took out the insurance policy. One day I was parking and drove over something and got a puncture. I phoned admiral to get someone to come out and change my wheel for the spare (I'm paying for it, I'm taking advantage of it). I discovered later that they had entered this call for breakdown recovery as an incident and they'd put it on the CUE database. Had I had a seperate breakdown cover, they'd never have known. It took me a lot of letters to have the incident expunged from the CUE and they fought me all the way. DO NOT TAKE OUT BREAKDOWN COVER WITH YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY!
  • Alex B.
    @klingelton I don't recall my insurer asking about 'incidents', only 'accidents, claims or convictions'. Sometimes 'losses' too, which I take to mean 'an incident that left me out of pocket'.
  • klingelton
    if you read some insurance policies, they ask that you inform them of incidents and near misses.
  • Dougal1709
    Who on earth is going to phone up their insurance company and say "Hi there, just letting you know that I was backing out of driveway this morning and I missed the wall by about 6 inches"?
  • Do m.
    Surely a "near miss" is a hit. A "near hit" would be grammatically correct.
  • Dirge M.
    Inform them of "near misses"... epic wtf? "Dear insurance company I had a near miss which didnt result in any cost to anybody. Thank you for your time, here's my £100 premium increase." Fuckos.
  • Big M.
    ^ a 'near miss' is a 'miss' that was 'near' (nearly a hit). Either way to be honest.
  • Shiftyniftysshadow
    Is a near miss a ms?
  • jokester2
    If only Karma existed.... All the insurance companies would burn to the ground, and then whoever they're insured with would refuse to pay out on some ridiculous technicality, then increase their premium tenfold! Insurance companies are right on the border of being a Cartel - they all share information that has got nothing to do with them, and is often bullshit so they can ramp up the prices and increase their profits. They are nothing short of con-artists, thieves and liars! And then there is the fact that you have absolutely no right to a refund if you cancel your policy (unless it is within the first 14 days) - on or after the 15th day, insurers are well within their rights to give you no refund for cancellation.
  • jokester2
    ^ Despite the fact that the law says the cancellation fee has to be "reasonable" - According to Adrian Flux, their terms and conditions have been approved by the FCA and they tried charging me a cancellation fee of about £210. Eventually managed to get this down to £120 by bitching and moaning then I was forced to accept it but I have told them I am going to take legal action against them to recover the rest that I am owed. Don't get me wrong - I am willing to pay for the cover I have used AND a cancellation fee (around £30) - but I expect the thieving scumbags to give me the remaining £90 back!

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