Questions Of Cash: Insurers right to insist on seeing licences before settling claim

Q. I had a road accident in December 2006. Nationwide, my insurers, will not settle the claim. I think this is because some of the damage seems to have been incurred while the car was in for repair. Nationwide had not kept a full record of my report of the accident and the extent of damage reported. It has sent me just two payments of £150 and £200 to settle a claim for a car that was written-off. Now Nationwide has asked for the MOT certificate, a copy of the insurance certificate and a copy of the driving licence for every person on the insurance. At one point Nationwide threatened to close the file unless I produced all the documents. If it needed all these documents, why did it not ask when I made the claim, rather than six months later? I feel Nationwide is trying to push me around.
JK, London.

A. A spokesman for Nationwide said: "Nationwide and [the reader] agreed that the vehicle concerned was a total loss valued at £4,145. As with all total loss payments, Nationwide requires a copy of the customer's MOT and driving licence before any payment can be made. Since May 2007, Nationwide has sent repeated written requests for the paperwork." As a result of our intervention, Nationwide is willing to pay you an additional £350 as compensation for the delays in settling your claim and agreed to drop all its requests for documentation, apart from your own driving licence. You can take this to your local Nationwide branch, have it copied there and immediately returned to you. We share your opinion that asking for driving licences for other people listed on the policy seems excessive, but it seems entirely reasonable to us that you should be expected to produce your driving licence. However, you disagree and demand that you are paid without showing this. We are therefore unable to help you further. If you wish to pursue your complaint, you may take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service – but we would be very surprised if it took a different view from us.

Q. In December last year I visited an Alliance & Leicester branch and opened an Issue 3 ISA with £3,000 and also transferred into it my holding in another A&L ISA. In January I received a scribbled note from the branch asking me to sign a new form as they had accidentally shredded my signature. This I did. In February I received a letter stating that as I had not returned the application form, my account could no longer be considered an ISA and had been invalidated. I visited my branch, where the manager promised to sort this out. The next day I had a phone call from him suggesting that I instead open an Issue 4 ISA and transfer the funds to it, as it was paying a higher rate of interest. I had a another form to sign and return, which I did. On checking my account a few days later I found both Issue 3 and Issue 4 ISAs had been opened, but the cash in the Issue 3 ISA had not been transferred. I phoned customer services, which said this took several days. But still no transfer took place, despite repeated phone calls and letters. Customer services told me that no application for a transfer had been received. I signed and returned another form. But A&L then said the application form had not been received – and that the cash was frozen, so I could not move it to a more reliable financial institution. My branch has not replied to my messages. A&L has now lost three application forms and I have spent more than £10 on calls to it, listening to piped music. What do I do next? RF, Bristol.

A. A&L says the explanation for the problems is more complicated than you suggest. It claims that on two occasions you filled in application forms using the wrong date, and that this is the reason for much of the hold-up. However, this does not explain why A&L told you on the phone that the forms had not been received, nor why your branch shredded your form. Recognising that it has performed badly, A&L has sent a staff member to your home to get the right forms filled out, signed, with the correct date and hopefully not lost. It has sent you £10 for your phone calls, £50 as compensation for its errors and a hamper as a goodwill gesture. A&L says that "on this occasion our service did not meet the high standard we aim to achieve". Regular readers will note that this is not the only time it has failed to do so.

Q. My son used to have an Egg credit card, but paid off the outstanding balance and cancelled his card when he lost his sight last year. Despite several letters to the parent company, which is now Morgan Stanley, and phone calls by me, he continues to receive demands for the payment protection insurance – with additional charges for non-payment. PG, Hungerford.

A. Goldfish is unsure how problem arose, but has agreed to write-off the balance on the account.

Q. I am writing on behalf of my daughter's partner. His electricity meter was renewed recently and the charges for electricity increased sharply. npower told me this was due to arrears of £500 that had built up since charges were increased, but the meter not adjusted. However, the operator also told me that since the property was only occupied from March, 2006, he could not see how so much arrears could be charged, since the change in tariff was quite small. A large amount of arrears was apparently added to the account in June 2007, and it appears likely that a significant proportion of this was accrued by the previous occupant. DM, Scunthorpe

A. npower says: "The debt on the meter resulted from a combination of increased energy consumption, increased tariffs and bills calculated using estimated meter readings. As a goodwill gesture, we have reduced the debt from £558 to £70."

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

    Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

    £40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

    SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

    £22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

    Day In a Page

    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
    Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

    No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

    Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
    Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

    Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

    The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
    Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

    Something wicked?

    Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
    10 best sun creams for body

    10 best sun creams for body

    Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

    Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
    Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

    There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

    The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map