Abbey sorry for premium error

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ABBEY NATIONAL has written to 2,000 customers to apologise for giving them incorrect quotations for premiums on household buildings and contents, writes Maria Scott.

The policies, sold to people with Abbey mortgages, were all due for renewal. They were basic buildings and contents policies with no extra cover to protect personal possessions, such as jewellery and cameras outside the home. But the renewal quotations all stated that the policies would include this cover.

One Independent reader, who was about to go on holiday, noted this and thought it would be useful to have this cover. She compared Abbey's price for her policy, pounds 17 a month, with quotations from other companies for the same cover. Their rates were similar to Abbey's, so she decided to stick with the bank's policy.

But this week the woman received a letter from Abbey explaining there had been a mistake. She would have to pay an extra pounds 6.41 to get the cover for her personal possessions.

She complained to Abbey, which offered to give her a month's cover free. But she said she would not have agreed to renew her policy if she had known it did not include the personal possessions cover. 'I might have gone to one of the other companies I got quotes from for policies that included personal possessions.'

A spokeswoman for the bank said she was the only customer who had complained. 'This only affected 2,000 policyholders and we have 1 million in total. There was a problem in our mailing house and we sorted the problem out as soon as we spotted it. No one was left without cover as a result.'

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