Consumer complains about how insurer takes payment for contents insurance

Contents insurance Insurance Distress and inconvenience Up to £100

Carolina brought a complaint to us after her insurer made a mistake taking payment for her contents insurance.

What happened

Carolina told her insurer she wanted to pay for her contents policy in monthly instalments. But instead the insurer set the policy up incorrectly and charged her £180, which was the annual premium.

After a few days Carolina noticed her bank balance was lower than expected and she saw the transaction. She called her insurer, but she had to wait for almost an hour before she could speak to someone. Once she did manage to get through to an adviser they apologised, refunded the payment and ensured monthly instalments were set up going forward. The insurer also reduced Carolina’s annual premium by £50 as compensation for the trouble caused. Carolina didn’t think that was fair compensation, so brought the complaint to our service.

What we said

Carolina told us she hadn’t incurred any charges or fees as a result of the error and hadn’t been left in financial difficulty. But she was frustrated by what had happened, especially having to wait on the phone for so long to get things sorted.

We agreed that the insurer’s mistake had led to some frustration, but overall felt the impact was minimal and short in duration – with things being put right quickly once brought to the insurer’s attention. Having to be on hold for an hour was unfortunate, but we thought the insurer’s apology and offer to reduce the premium was reasonable.