An investigation by the insurance group Which? has revealed that Axa, Swiftcover, KwikFit and Esure are responsible for charging the most extras on their insurance plans – often totalling up to £100.
Which? examined the policies of 44 different companies and learnt that people who choose to pay for their insurance on a monthly basis are charged the equivalent of 64% by KwikFit, 40% by Endsleigh and 33% by Zurich.
There are charges incurred for drivers who want to receive a copy of their insurance certificate and also for those who want to change the level of cover that they receive on the policy. The survey found that there was no uniformity when it came to the amount that differing companies charged for these various requests. There are other hidden fees that are imposed for things such as using a credit card.
AgeUK came out on top as the company that performed best in the survey and is one of the very few insurers in the UK that does not charge its customers more for paying monthly as opposed to annually. VW, Volvo and Direct Line all also performed well in the survey.
Richard Lloyd of Which? said: ìWeíve found some insurers charging customers eye-watering admin fees Ö We want companies to ensure their fees reflect actual costs and arenít just a way to squeeze more money from customers.î
Insurers are normally to be heard responding to this by pointing to the amount of people who they feel are lying about their personal details when applying for insurance cover. This is supported by the Association of British Insurers who said that last year there were over 212,000 dishonest applications for insurance policies.
Insurance premiums are thought to be rising in the next year, with many companies blaming this on the ever increasing costs of personal injury claims. Esure stated that they had seen an 80% fall in profits in the first half of 2015.
Stuart Vann, its chief executive, said: ìThe claims environment for the motor market continues to deteriorate and as a consequence we will seek to implement further rate increases in the second half of the year.î
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