Simon Read: Don't assume your insurance auto renewal will automatically be right


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The Independent Online

Here's a good tip from reader Sam Cowen of Buckinghamshire: check the insurance renewal quotes you're sent very carefully if you don't want to end up paying over the odds.

She took out cover for her iPhone last year, and last weekend she got a renewal email from The company said it would auto-renew the policy at a cost of £109.78 and promised Sam: "Prices held for your second year".

But the price seemed a little high so she checked how much she actually paid for last year's premium: it was just £54.

In shock, she rang the company to find out what was going on.

"I asked why they were auto-renewing my premium at double the rate while claiming to hold prices down. They said it was because I was insuring two phones with them."

It was the first she'd heard of it as she only has one phone. And to be fair to the firm, it quickly corrected the error when she pointed it out and honoured the previous year's price.

But the story highlights the importance of not simply accepting what an insurer – or, for that matter, any company – tells you.

There's no suggestion that the mistake was anything other than that, but if Sam hadn't spotted it, she would have ended up forking out twice as much she should have for cover.

"I'm concerned that this kind of error could be happening to others, so wanted to warn people to look out for it," Sam says.

It's a fair warning. Many people could simply accept an auto-renewal quote from their insurer on trust and not bother to check. That really could be a costly mistake.

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