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So, back in 2016 we bought our home with the help of a mortgage adviser. During the process they signed us up for home insurance and life insurance. At the time I (perhaps stupidly) believed they were processing everything correctly.

Now the renewal date has come up for these insurances. It seems that we have a shared life insurance policy and one personal policy each. For home insurance it seems that they set up two policies (both offer the same protection) with the only difference being the on one policy it says that the house is semi-detached (it's actually an end terrace).

Now I suspect this all stems from a mix up on their end. They first submitted our mortgage application for another property (one we asked them to put an offer in on). This resulted in the purchase taking several weeks longer than it should have. Our account with the mortgage advisory company was also transferred between advisers during the mortgage application process.

Would I be within my rights to complain about the fact I've been paying for an additional (invalid) home insurance because of their mistake? Or is it just my fault for not noticing the error sooner?

  • this seems like a legal question – depperm Jun 6 '18 at 12:34
  • What's a shared life insurance policy? Whose life is being insured and who is the beneficiary? What happens if both spouses die simultaneously, or if the marriage breaks up? – Dilip Sarwate Jun 6 '18 at 15:42
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    @DilipSarwate these are common in the UK ("joint life" is the usual term). Both lives are insured, ususally on the 1st death with the other life being the beneficiary. If both die simultaneously, they are handled pretty much in the same way as the house by default (other clauses are possible). There doesn't need to be a marriage in the first place, or even a family relationship (you could buy a house with a friend). If a marriage or similar does break up, you can stop the policy and start a new, more appropriate one. But if there are kids you may want to keep it going – Chris H Jun 7 '18 at 13:19
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In general, it is a bad idea to purchase insurance from someone who does business by doing something else. For example buying insurance from a banker or financial adviser typically gets one into trouble.

Yes you probably made a mistake and paid too much for insurance. It is far from the worst mistake, and part of adulting is that when a mistake is made it cost money.

What can you do about it? The most important part is to correct it as soon as possible. That means making sure that you and your wife have the proper amount of life insurance and that you have the right amount of home owners insurance. Use an independent insurance broker for such things. Make sure the new life insurance is in place prior to canceling the old policies.

Can you complain? For sure. Here in the US we have state insurance commissioners that highly regulate the insurance industry. I doubt the UK is much different, governments need to highly regulate the insurance industry. Complain to them. However, I would not count on it getting very far. The money is spent on this excess insurance.

You can always leave online negative reviews of the mortgage adviser.

Buying a home is a stressful time, and it is very easy to make errors. It is okay that you made one. Just move forward and do not beat yourself up at all. Look at the bright side, your home will be even more affordable now!

  • If one of those policies is for a house they have no interest in, then they needed to sort that right away. Yes they should complain. If they are doing this routinely it may even be a criminal matter. It may have been an honest mistake, and the duty of care may have been mitigated (signature), but it is still clumsy. – mckenzm Mar 5 at 1:45
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You are within your rights to complain, but whether it gets you very far (without considerable effort) is another matter. The Financial Ombudsman Service handles complaints about both mortgages and insurers, and their guidance, after telliung you to complain to the broker (in your case) first, tells you how to handle it.

I believe they can also advise you at the very beginning of the process, on how to take this up effectively with the broker.

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