Home and car insurers are charging policyholders “exorbitant hidden fees” for basic policy changes and renewals, according to a Which? investigation.
The consumer group reviewed the terms and conditions on the websites of 39 car, and 34 home insurers.
It highlighted examples of costly policy amendments, including:
AXA and Swiftcover charge a flat fee of £30 to update address details, change surname on marriage or change vehicle
Hastings charges £35 to amend details on its car insurance policy.
Which? said some insurance companies also charge people a fee for renewing their policies. 50plus Insurance Services and Hastings charge a renewal fee of £10 and £5 respectively, and both also charge a £10 setup fee. Budget Insurance charges £75 to cancel a car insurance policy.
The watchdog also found that a number of insurers charge what it considered “excessive amounts” of interest to people who want to pay in instalments rather than paying for their cover upfront.
Budget Insurance, AXA and Swiftcover all charge between 29.3% and 32.3% interest depending on the policy. Age UK and First Direct charge nothing extra for their monthly payment options.
It lambasted insurers who don’t publish details of their charges on their website. This made it “near impossible for prospective customers to make an informed choice or compare like for like,” Which? argued .
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