Getting an insurance refund after an auto-renew authorisation was cancelled - advice please

glasgowcyclist

Charming but somewhat feckless
Location
Scotland
I've recently discovered I've been charged for home insurance after emailing the company (Halifax) 2 years ago telling them not to auto-renew.

I was insured by Admiral at lower premiums over the same period.

When I got a renewal reminder in from Halifax last week, something felt off so I checked back through my insurance emails and they've taken payment for two years while I've been insured by Admiral.

I contacted Halifax and they say they'll refund half of the premiums they took and Admiral will refund half of the premium paid to them. This approach still leaves me out of pocket but the Halifax says this is what happens when dual insurance occurs.

My argument is that it's not dual insurance, I'm asking them for a refund of money I told them not to take. They accessed my account after I had written to them withdrawing the authority.

Does anyone know the applicable legislation here? I can't be doing with arguing over insurers' preferred internal agreements.
 

Phaeton

Grumpy Old Barstool
Location
Oop North (ish)
If you paid by Direct Debit I would have thought your bank would give you advice.
 

Cambram

Active Member
I had a similar problem with Direct Line, re car insurance. They had pumped up the cost over two years and I did a comparison job that produced a much lower price. I emailed them to stop the auto pay and signed up with the new insurer. As the start date got closer I couldn't see any sign of DL cancelling my DD. I rang them and talked to a very nice woman who said that they only accept a letter or phone call to stop payments. I remember looking at the insurance document and it showed that to be the case. I caught it before they continued with the withdrawals.

I don't like these auto renewal systems but they did, at least, email warning me of the new premiums. Should have read the instructions!
 

PeteXXX

Cake or ice cream? The choice is endless ...
Location
Hamtun
Have you read their small print? John Lewis said I had to cancel autorenewal by telephoning a certain number, not email or chat.
 
It may be that you have to take the 50:50 refund thing as the best of a bad job solution and move on while putting it down to experience and being careful not to get caught out again.

I recently had a minor trip up due to an 'it's in the small print' weasel out from a company I was dealing with, also over insurance. Was verbally given a very strong indication that any refunds would be 100% pro-rata to the cancellation date but in reality there was a not insignificant fee deducted before the pro-rata was applied meaning I lost out to the tune of around £25-30 :cursing:
I reckon I was mis-sold but to prove it would mean a protracted argument and demanding recordings of phone conversations (likely also incurring a fee).

It helps if you go into all financial dealings with the suspicion that the other party is a crook and will try to rip you off. It makes you wary of the pitfalls discussed above and means you are less dissapointed when it happens and can sometimes be pleasantly surprised when you are actually treated reasonably and with respect.
 
OP
glasgowcyclist

glasgowcyclist

Charming but somewhat feckless
Location
Scotland
Do you have records of the cancellation email and proof that it was sent to the correct address and not to a 'do not reply' un-manned address?
Yes, I replied to their notice of the upcoming renewal premium. It's not a 'do not reply' address. (info@customer.halifax.co.uk )
 
OP
glasgowcyclist

glasgowcyclist

Charming but somewhat feckless
Location
Scotland
It may be that you have to take the 50:50 refund thing as the best of a bad job solution

Agreed. If there's a magic word or phrase that someone knows I can go back to the Halifax with then I'll try to get all my money back. Failing that, I'll not get into a protracted dispute to get the difference.

I've already given myself a slap for not chasing up the requested confirmation of non-renewal.:blush:
 

Phaeton

Grumpy Old Barstool
Location
Oop North (ish)
What is the difference between a full refund & a 50/50 from Halifax & Admiral, is it worth the argument, I know there is a principle & as far as I am concerned Auto-Renewal should be illegal OR you should have to complete a specific form or process to enrol in it.
 
OP
glasgowcyclist

glasgowcyclist

Charming but somewhat feckless
Location
Scotland
What is the difference between a full refund & a 50/50 from Halifax & Admiral, is it worth the argument, I know there is a principle & as far as I am concerned Auto-Renewal should be illegal OR you should have to complete a specific form or process to enrol in it.
The difference is around £100.
 
OP
glasgowcyclist

glasgowcyclist

Charming but somewhat feckless
Location
Scotland
But give yourself another slap on the wrist for not noticing that payment going out for 2 years on the trot!
I know.

They were each one-off payments as that's how I prefer to pay. And being around Christmas, when there's a lot of bigger payments going out, I missed it.
 

Phaeton

Grumpy Old Barstool
Location
Oop North (ish)
The difference is around £100.
In which case you have to decide if it's worth fighting for, I feel I would, I would write a letter sent registered with a copy of the email in which you advised them that you had cancelled the policy & they were in breach of the Direct Debit mandate. That you do not accept their off of 50% from them & 50% from Admiral as

A) you will be losing out by £100 &
B) It has nothing to do with Admiral this is Halifax's error
C) They are in beach of the Direct Debit mandate
D) Failure to make up for their error your next letter will be to the Ombudsman
 
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