A simple query put my Swinton car insurance quote up to £980

It was £420 last year, and I had only asked if the policy covered mechanical damage

The cost of my car insurance last year was £420. My renewal quote was £980. When I queried this, my provider, Swinton, informed me that I had been involved in a multi-vehicle collision in September 2021 and had lost my no-claims bonus. In fact, I had simply called to ask if my policy covered mechanical damage after too much engine oil had been put into my car. Since it didn’t, I made no claim.

The underwriter confirmed this over the phone and twice in writing, which Swinton initially refused to accept. It eventually rectified its records, but I was told that I would have to pay an additional price because of that inquiry. I therefore took out car insurance with a new provider, which later contacted me to state that my policy would be cancelled due to an open fault claim from September 2021.

It appears the incident with Swinton has been recorded on the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) central database. What can I do?
AB, Watton, Norfolk

Farcically, you seem to have paid the price for an inadequate web form and a clueless agent. Swinton tells me that there was no option on the underwriter’s incident form to record engine oil overload, so an operative, for want of a better box to tick, put you down as a road traffic accident. This was then duly registered with the Claims and Underwriting Exchange, a central database run by the MIB, which records all insurance incidents. The database has now been corrected and you have received an apology and a goodwill payment.

And sharing the secret … of great customer care

We noticed that one of our bedsheets, bought 18 months ago from the Secret Linen Store, had developed a small hole. My wife emailed the company about it on Sunday, as it appeared to be a fault in the material. It contacted her immediately on Monday morning to apologise, and arranged a replacement free of charge. It arrived two days later with a handwritten note.
GM, London

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Anna Tims

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