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Insurance policy problems

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X-Ray production team X-Ray production team | 13:55 UK time, Monday, 14 March 2011

Your bank statement is rarely the place where you can find a missing fortune, but it was for one Cardiff couple when they spotted a direct debit they didn't recognise.

Last November, Edward Brown decided it was time to really look at his bank statement, payment by payment.

Edward Brown

Edward Brown

He said, "I think for the first time in goodness knows how long I felt the urge to go through it line by line and see what was on there. This one transaction leapt out as being unusual." They didn't recognise the company CPIMS, and they were paying them £18 a month so tried to track it down.

After a little investigation they discovered they were paying an insurance company called Cardif Pinnacle. While that was one question answered, the bigger question of what they were paying for was trickier to solve.

Edward said, "They asked me to confirm my address, so I gave them my current address, and they said we have no record of you with that address. So I said we have moved in the last 18 months so I'll give you my last address. I gave them my last address - no record at that address."

Indeed Edward went through every address the couple had lived in since they rented in London in their early twenties.

Eventually after using bank account details and his date of birth the company confirmed it was a protection policy for a house he hadn't bought. This redundancy insurance policy covered a mortgage on a house in Waltham Cross just north of London which the couple tried to buy 14 years ago.

Edward and his wife Annie were confused how they could have a policy on a house they never completed on and why they had been paying the money out to protect this property since 1997.

Annie admits they should have examined their bank statements more regularly. She said, "We both work full time and we've got a young growing family and as long as the bank account looks alright at the end of the month then you just think phew and let's get on to the next month."

The total the couple paid out was £2,862 over 159 payments but getting the money back from the company wasn't as easy as the couple thought.

The Browns think they must have bought the policy when they visited a mortgage consultant for advice in 1997, but they were completely unaware that they'd signed up for it.

It's underwritten by Cardif Pinnacle - that's the name that appeared on Edward and Annie's bank statements - but the policy was sold to the couple by insurance company Countrywide.

The Browns complained to both companies, but they've been told the policy is still active and they could have claimed on it at any time - even though all the details related to a house they never bought.

We contacted the company and after the Browns were able to show they'd bought a different house it helped convince the companies involved the couple knew nothing about the policy. They now say it's a misunderstanding and a very unusual case.

The company have since agreed to refund all of the money plus interest to the couple.


  • Comment number 1.

    You should also check your credit card for extra payments. I did not bother as long as the bill was less than £150 it was payed by direct debit. I found out when i got arrested my card has been used by a criminal and i was charged. So please check all your bills very carefully especaily credit card. I had a direct debit to pay the who bill so did not bother for about 3 years.


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