Case study – Kelly – Having an insurance policy cancelled due to a comparison company not providing full disclosure

Kelly contacted our helpline after she’d had her insurance policy cancelled due to the non-disclosure of her partner’s criminal record.

Kelly explained that she’d used a comparison website to get insurance quotes for a new van that she’d recently purchased. After disclosing her partner’s unspent conviction, she had been surprised to find that the prices quoted had been no way near as expensive as she’d imagined them to be. Although she’d never heard of the company offering the most competitive price, further research revealed that they were specialists in providing insurance to people with convictions. Kelly went ahead with the purchase and paid the first instalment.

A couple of days later she received a letter from the company stating that they were aware of her partner’s unspent conviction and were cancelling her policy due to this not having been disclosed to them. Kelly immediately contacted them to dispute this, stating that she had proof of disclosure, but the company were adamant that she had not disclosed and that when purchasing any future policy, she’d need to declare that she’d had a policy cancelled.

Frustrated that the insurance company would not help and concerned that she’d never be able to insure her van, Kelly spoke to one of our advisors.

It quickly became apparent that the insurer concerned was one of those on Unlock’s list of brokers and so it was important that we establish what had gone wrong in Kelly’s case.

Kelly provided us with copies of the screenshots she’d taken from the original comparison site which clearly set out the details of her partner’s conviction. We sent this to the insurer and asked them to look again at her case.

Several days later we were contacted by the insurer who confirmed that they had fully investigated the matter and found that despite Kelly disclosing the conviction to the comparison site, some coding on the comparison site had been set to ignore some of the data which was passed to insurers.

The insurer apologised for any problem that this had caused Kelly and were happy to amend their records to reflect that the policy hadn’t been cancelled due to non-disclosure. They also offered Kelly a small amount of compensation.

Kelly said:

“Without the help of Unlock I’d never have got the result I got. I’m going to steer clear of comparison sites in the future and go direct to an insurer. Something I thought would save me time has just caused me a lot of anxiety and frustration”.

 

Lessons

We’d always recommend individuals go directly to an insurer rather than a comparison website and always make sure you keep copies of what you’ve disclosed to the company. Comparison sites earn their money based on the number of quotes they can generate over their rivals and, as happened in Kelly’s case, can sometimes fail to pass on key bits of information which, in all likelihood, would limit the number of insurers that would be able to provide a quote.

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Notes about this case study

This case study relates to Unlock’s casework.

Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

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