‘How could Saga take £532 for car insurance without authority?’

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I am having problems with Saga over my car insurance. When it came up for renewal, the company offered unacceptable terms.

I got quotes from other insurers and accepted one that was £150 cheaper than Saga was offering. Then Saga took £532 by direct debit, which was not authorised by me.

The £532 was retrieved by my bank at my request. Saga has now sent a bill for £71. This is based on the time Saga alleges I had cover with it.

BM, Suffolk

Saga then wanted proof that you were insured elsewhere. You were affronted and chose not to give it.

Not wanting any trouble, you eventually sent a cheque for £71 while remaining very disgruntled.

My first response from Saga claimed that you had accepted the insurance. It had listened to a telephone conversation you had, which confirmed this.

There do seem to be some crossed wires over all this, however.

The second response was more sympathetic, with Saga explaining that, when a customer finds they have insured their car with two insurers, one of the insurers will refund or write off the premium owed. However, proof of the alternative cover is generally required.

Saga added though, that it understood the problems some people might have in copying their documents. It is now exploring ways in which people without easy access to photocopiers can evidence their cover.

It is refunding you the £71 and sending an extra £50 for goodwill.

The cover you were riled about included comprehensive car insurance, cover for legal expenses and personal accident, a theft or total loss hire car extension and an arrangement fee.

It is worth remembering that challenging a high renewal quote can often lead to a reduction in the premium.

  • Jessica Gorst-Williams tackles consumer problems for Telegraph readers every week. To contact her, click here. If you want to ask a general money question, email [email protected] The best of the answers are included in our weekly newsletter

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