AA raised my costs af­ter iPad query

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - READERS’ LETTERS -

Re­cently, I re­ported a dam­aged iPad to AA, with which I have my con­tents and build­ings in­surance. The in­surer ar­ranged for it to be col­lected and then called to say it could be re­paired, but I must pay my £150 ex­cess.

I ex­plained the iPad was four years old and it was not worth spend­ing this on an “el­derly” piece of equip­ment. I was as­sured this would be noted as a “no claim”.

Then AA In­surance sent me a re­newal no­tice that in­creased my an­nual con­tents pre­mium of £153 to £452.

The in­surer told me this was due to my hav­ing re­ported “an event” re­gard­less of the fact that no claim had been made. Had I been in­formed at the time of the re­port how the in­surer op­er­ated I would not have pur­sued the claim.

How­ever, it had men­tioned noth­ing of this. MC, MID­DLE­SEX

AA in­surance said that un­der the terms of in­surance, cus­tomers are obliged to no­tify their in­surance com­pany of any loss whether or not a claim is made. It says that the pol­icy you have asks: “Have you suf­fered any loss or dam­age, whether or not sub­ject to an in­surance claim, in the last five years?”

This seems far too allem­brac­ing. Where is a line drawn? Does it in­clude, say, a bro­ken vase or a ring mark on a ta­ble caused by a mis­placed cup of hot tea that no claim is be­ing made for? AA said that, strictly speak­ing, if it is some­thing that could be set­tled by an in­surer, then it should be re­ported.

It said in most cases it would not af­fect a pre­mium if no claim was pur­sued. How­ever, “sev­eral no­ti­fi­ca­tions or small claims will sta­tis­ti­cally in­di­cate that a more sig­nif­i­cant loss is likely to hap­pen and the re­newal pre­mium re­flects that”.

It said that, although you no­ti­fied the in­surer that you no longer wished to con­tinue the claim, work had started in pro­gress­ing it and ad­min­is­tra­tion costs had been in­curred. It then said this should not have been reg­is­tered on AA’s sys­tem as a claim, but in­stead as a no­ti­fi­ca­tion, and that a mis­take had been made in this re­spect.

Mean­while, it ac­knowl­edged that the re­newal pre­mium had been too high. AA said that nor­mally when one of its cus­tomer’s re­newal quotes shows a large in­crease it will first source com­par­a­tive quotes from the other in­sur­ers on its panel.

Due, it said, to a sys­tems er­ror for which it apol­o­gised, on this oc­ca­sion this had not hap­pened. In­stead, only when you in­quired was a new cheaper quote, al­beit higher than the pre­vi­ous year’s, man­u­ally ac­quired from an­other in­surer and of­fered to you. Af­ter that, you sourced cheaper cover else­where and went with that.

AA said sys­tems were be­ing mod­i­fied as a re­sult of this case and agreed to write to you ex­plain­ing this for your records. It said it would re­quest that the un­der­writer take the no­ti­fi­ca­tion of the in­ci­dent off the Claims & Un­der­writ­ing Ex­change (Cue), which is what you had wanted from my in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

More than four weeks later, the let­ter you were sup­posed to have re­ceived still had not come and you had heard noth­ing fur­ther from the AA or its un­der­writer.

Then it turned out you had taken the mat­ter to the Fi­nan­cial Om­buds­man Ser­vice. You ini­tially de­nied this but then said you had re­ferred it be­fore my in­volve­ment but had not heard from it. It was now in the sys­tem and the res­o­lu­tion I had gained for you was put on hold. Hav­ing been a per­sis­tent cor­re­spon­dent all then went quiet.

When I called, you told me that the om­buds­man’s ad­ju­di­ca­tor had turned

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