August 1, 2014

Yet another unworthy attack on motor insurers’ right to earn an honest crust came this month from rabble-rousing people-power rag Witch? who claim in their latest issue that motor insurers are bringing in “sneaky” new charges to compensate themselves for having to charge less for their policies following HMG’s moves to outlaw whiplash and other personal injury claims.

Charges described by Witch? as sneaky and/or hidden include: surcharges of the odd couple of percentage points for paying premiums in full by credit card, fees of £50 for cancelling a policy early, fees of £30 for MTAs, fees of £30 for providing duplicate documents, fees of £20 for renewing a policy (so-called loyalty penalties), etc. etc.

Witch? accuses insurers of having “quietly been hiking up” such fees by as much as 200% over the past three years, singling out Endlessly for tripling the cost of cancelling a policy to £75, which surely is just a prudent way of discouraging policyholders from rocking the boat and cushioning the blow of any defection.

Witch? accuses Alcoholics Anonymous of the supposedly shocking crime of charging £28 to set up a motor insurance policy. So presumably insurance firms should simply accept people’s custom free of charge!

Motor insurance customers are particularly upset about all these new or inflated charges, Witch? alleges, because they are completely unaware of them. Many inhabit some kind of fool’s paradise, blithely rejoicing in plummeting premium costs, whilst little suspecting the barrage of sneaky hidden charges to which they are being subjected.

Richard Lloyd of Witch? says “people often don’t know what they’re really paying for” and are “fed up of” it.

The ABI’s Huge Saveloy countered by insisting that nobody is hiding anything and that insurers are simply “following regulatory requirements so any additional charges are clearly set out.”

Look – there they are on page 33.

Here, try my glasses.



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