Someone I know was told by an insurance company that since he got a new car they could not insure him because it was too old and he would need to cancel the policy. He was told multiple times on the phone that there was no money owed. He was also told in an email the account had been paid in full. Now the insurance company is saying that all the people who told him there is no money owed were wrong and he needs to pay £913. Can they change their mind like that? Surely it is their issue and not my friends?

Edit for more information: they have said that had he not made a claim there would be some sort of automatic refund to the finance company they (the insurers) use but because he made a claim there wasn't a refund and now my friend has to pay the money.

When he was told on the phone the first time the person checked with a supervisor and it was followed up in an email. Now the company have told him the first person didn't have all of the information.

Also, yes you would expect the insurance company to cancel it if they need to but my friend is a mug and didn't argue that in the first place so he just cancelled it himself and paid a cancellation fee.

Second edit: this is exactly what he was told on the phone:

“When you cancelled the policy the loan agreement was not cancelled but he [the supervisor] has cancelled the loan now so there won’t be any premium that will be going off your account so we do apologise for the inconvenience. The loan has now been cancelled from today the 7th December. There will be no payment. We were supposed to cancel the loan when the policy cancelled. This should have been cancelled immediately when the policy was cancelled but my manager has now cancelled this.”

2 Answers 2


It isn't illegal to change your mind, and it isn't illegal to make a billing error.

If your friend has a written statement that the bill is paid in full that carries more legal weight than what someone may have told them on the phone.

Otherwise there isn't enough information to determine the legitimacy of the charge or legality of their verbal demand for payment.

(I'm curious though because the question doesn't really make sense: From my experience policies are typically paid in advance of coverage, not in arears, so that if you cancel usually a refund is due. If the policy is cancelled, what are they billing for? Are they trying to collect for coverage in dates past?)

  • as to the curious part, companies don't make customer cancel things, they are cancelled by the company.
    – Tiger Guy
    Commented Mar 22 at 13:16
  • @TigerGuy, customers can cancel too, and that wasn't what I'm curious about. Commented Mar 22 at 14:30

Can they change their mind like that? Surely it is their issue and not my friends?

They can change their mind however they like.

However, your friend only has to pay what he has to pay as per the contract. This amount can be calculated by your friend too, not only by the company, and it has nothing to do with the company's mind changes.

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