Insurance industry faces scrutiny over possible indirect racial bias

Pricing models to be looked at as part of Financial Conduct Authority studyRegulators are to investigate the insurance industry for potential racial bias and discrimination over the data that companies use to set their prices.The Financial Conduct Auth…

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My cellar is flooded, but as the damage mounts there’s no resolution in the pipeline

It’s been pumped out again and again but Thames Water says it is not responsible

My cellar has been flooding since early August last year when I discovered it was knee-deep in water. There had been heavy rain, and a structural engineer told me it was probably natural groundwater seepage. I hired a pump but it happened again and I pumped it out a second time.

In October, I contacted Thames Water, and an engineer visited. He assured me my pipes were intact but there was a leak in the main supply pipe which he would arrange to be repaired. Two Floodcall engineers were sent to pump out my cellar, and they installed a dehumidifier.

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Halifax cover: £1,227 if you are loyal, £370 if you’re new | Patrick Collinson

No other part of the financial services industry is more riddled with blatant, though legal, misselling than the home insurance business

If there’s one financial resolution you should make for 2018, it’s to change your home insurance policy. No other part of the financial services industry is more riddled with blatant, though legal, mis-selling than the home insurance business.

Take the case of Teresa Jackson (not her real name), who contacted Guardian Money recently. She lives in a three-bedroom terraced house in west London and has insured it with Halifax since 2005. The premiums have gone up nearly every year, from £53 a month in 2009, to £65 in 2012, and £83 in 2016. Her most recent hike, to £102.25 a month, or £1,227 a year, made her finally pay attention. Jackson went on to Halifax’s website and entered the same details for the same cover at the same address. Back came a quote for £370 a year. In other words, she was paying 3.5 times more for the same cover.

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Insurers fear tax rise in ‘raid on the responsible’

Association of British Insurers says chancellor should resist further increases to insurance premium tax, which has doubled since 2015

The government is being urged to avoid “penalising” families and businesses with another hike in the tax on insurance policies, amid speculation that Philip Hammond may be planning a fresh increase in Wednesday’s budget.

Insurance premium tax (IPT), which is added to more than 50m general insurance policies each year, including those for cars, homes and private medical cover, rose to 12% earlier this year – which means it has doubled since 2015. However, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said it was concerned that the government may be planning what it described as another “raid on the responsible” – the people who buy insurance in order to take care of their health, their belongings and their families.

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In the frame … the real cost of making an insurance claim

I claimed £123 from LV= for broken spectacles but my premium has gone up by £71

I am in dispute with LV= over the renewal of my home insurance which has gone up from of £160 to £231.

When I queried this by phone I was told it was mostly due to a claim I had made a month earlier – the first in five years. That was for a broken spectacles frame with a replacement cost of £123. I only received £73 after the £50 excess was deducted, which is almost the same as the increase in premium.

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ADT burglar alarm stayed silent while I was being robbed

The thief passed the sensor but it apparently was on a ‘pet sensitive’ setting

I was burgled recently and lost my laptop and PlayStation. My home alarm was on and in working condition (confirmed by ADT), but it didn’t activate despite burglars passing a sensor. I have since found out that this was because my alarm sensor was set up to be “pet sensitive”. I have no pets and ticked this on the contract. We did a test and my 6ft husband could move past the sensor upright on his knees (at a height of 1.3m) without it activating.

I am furious. I paid £139 for installation in July 2015 and have been paying £27 a month since for a product that essentially never worked. I have been trying to call the company but have been put on hold countless times. AW, Chingford, Essex

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Direct Line, why has my home insurance gone up by 442% in one year?

The firm’s new tool for assessing flood risk could see home premiums soar, as one reader with a £1,000 policy discovered

When Paul Barlow from south London opened his latest home insurance renewal quote from Direct Line, he was staggered by the increase in the premium. The year before the insurer had charged just £189 for his property: a ground-floor, two-bed flat he rents out in Bermondsey, near Tower Bridge. But this year it wanted £1,025 – an increase of 442%. When he rang, thinking it must be some sort of mistake, the representative said he was lucky because if he had been a new customer the insurer would have turned him down entirely.

Barlow’s home is not in some hell-hole location where burglary is rife; he has not been making large claims for subsidence or other matters that usually make insurers hike premiums. What Barlow has fallen victim to is a new flood-mapping tool used by Direct Line called geospatial analysis, which attempts to assess flood risk with pinpoint accuracy and could see huge premium increases for thousands of other homes, not just in the capital but all over the UK.

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We got a sinking feeling as Bradford & Bingley cancelled our home insurance

Mid contract, it told us we were now ‘unacceptable’

We have paid Bradford & Bingley about £600 a year for our buildings and contents insurance since we bought our little terraced house 12 years ago, and renewed again last April. We then got a call from the insurer out of the blue to say it was discontinuing the cover in nine days because its underwriters, Legal & General, had said it was “unacceptable” to keep insuring us.

We think it may be because we made two claims over the past four years to repair cracking caused by visible, but not overly serious, subsidence.

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UK insurance payouts to shrink after U-turn on lump sum formula

Hefty rises in car insurance premiums will level off as industry backlash forces government to revise Ogden rate changes

Increases in payouts to victims of car crashes and botched operations are to be scaled back after a furious backlash by the insurance industry against Ministry of Justice plans.

In a significant U-turn by ministers, changes to the so-called “Ogden rate” used to calculate compensation payouts are to be revised, after insurers said they would inflate car insurance premiums by hundreds of pounds.

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