Just to avoid any confusion, this incident occurred on Friday, 23rd September, but i’m only just getting around to publish it now, 27th September. Anyhow, without any further ado, here are my tears…
I’ve been a satisfied Halifax Landlord Insurance policy holder for years up until now. Today it went wrong. They let me down with their sanctimonious bullshit.
I received a letter this morning from Halifax, stating the following:
I am writing to advise you that your Landlord Insurance policy has been cancelled with effect from 10/07/2011. If you have any queries regarding your cancellation or would like a new quote based on less or more cover to suit your current circumstances, please call the above number.
Oddly, I only renewed the policy in July 2011, and I had received a confirmation policy pack in August, dated 18th August 2011. So the obvious question, why the FFFF was my policy cancelled with effect from 10th July 2011? More importantly, have I not been insured during the majority of July and the entirety of August? What if my tenant went medieval and torched the place, would I have been able to make a claim?
As soon I read the letter, I buried my head into my filing cabinet to pull out my insurance policy documents, and then started dialing the home insurance enquiry line on the old dog and bone.
After being on hold for 5mins (credit where due. Not bad Halifax, good job), I was put through to an advisor. I explained my situation and her response was,
I’m sorry, but for some reason your direct debit payments were cancelled, that’s why we cancelled your policy. Your last payment was in June. It was a mistake on our end.
I was surprised because, as I explained, I hadn’t changed or cancelled anything. Can payments really just stop as randomly as that? Surely that’s a massive security issue, right?
I then proceeded to explain why the situation was even stranger that the policy was cancelled. I renewed 2 Landlord Insurance polices for 2 different properties in July, on the same day, during the same phoencall. Both polices were almost identical- they started and end on the same dates, and payments were even scheduled to leave my account on the same date/time. However, only one of them got caught up in this failure.
We were both perplexed by the situation. She didn’t have a clue why it happened, nor did I. But surely she should know what happened, or at least try to investigate the issue. It goes without saying, there was no sign of this lady wanting to investigate the root cause, she just wanted to rectify the problem and move onto the next call. The problem is, I have this personal demon inside of me that lives for explanations. For example, if I make a girl orgasm before I do, the demon wants to know why. Was I too good? Did I make love too beautifully, too quickly? I want to know the answer, so I can learn and be in-sync next time.
Anyhow, she said I could reinstate the policy from June, all I need to do is play catchup and pay for the two months I missed. My response…
Wait, what, hangon?!? You cancelled my policy in June, and I never made a claim since then, but you still want me to pay for July and August? That doesn’t make sense, surely? Let me ask you this, if my policy got cancelled in June, and I made a claim in July, would I still have been covered?
Yes. The error was on our end, so you would have still been able to make a claim.
I’m sorry, but for some reason I don’t believe that.
She was NOT pleased with my response. But I didn’t care. Halifax may have honoured my claim, but I wasn’t convinced and I couldn’t be sure because it was all hypothetical. I know how insurance companies try and do everything with in their powers to refuse a claim. They’ll try every trick in the book, and if that fails, they’ll write a new book with more tricks.
I thought it was pretty ridiculous that they wanted me to pay those 2 months that they wrongly excluded me from, in which I didn’t even make a claim. The only other solution, according to the advisor, was to start a new policy from today. That seemed more reasonable because at least I wouldn’t be paying for 2 months which I didn’t make a claim for.
This is when it started getting even moreso tedious. As I was going through the process of starting a new policy, I was informed that if I go ahead with a new policy, it would mean I wasn’t insured for the months of July and August, so I was uninsured for 2 months. Guess what? According to their policy, if a property is uninsured for over 1 month, then it loses it’s no-claims bonus.
Are you kidding me? They had me over a barrel.
So basically, I ended up paying for July and August just to keep my no-claims; in-turn they reinstated my old policy, so “on-paper” I was insured seamlessly from when my policy needed renewing. They were the one’s that wrongly cancelled my policy, and they were the ones that took TWO months to inform me. Talk about poor service.
I thought that was pretty shitty of them to handle the situation like that. I don’t go out of my way to get a free meal in life, far from it. But they got this all very wrong. It wasn’t about the money, because I only had to pay £30 for the 2 months I missed in order to keep my no-claims bonus. That’s nothing. However, it’s about principle and being accountable for your own mistakes. You’d think they would have let me off for July and August and reinstated my policy from June because it was their bloody mistake!
Right, anyways, rantover.
I can’t imagine I’ll be irritated by this for much longer, because after one look at Howard’s sweet and innocent face, how can I possibly continue with any rage?
Anyone else have any moans about landlord insurance companies?
Disclaimer: I'm just a simple landlord blogger; I'm not qualified to give legal or financial advice. Any information I share is my opinion based on my personal experiences as an active landlord, and should never be contrued as legal or professional advice. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.