Private medical insurance cancellation

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02 Dec 2011 00:00 by SuperSaver Star rating. 22 posts Send private message

We have had private medical insurance for the past 7 years despite being eligible for free treatment. This year we decided to not renew our cover & sent the company an email on 5th November to inform them. We heard back from the agent to point out we had to give a minimum of two months notice to cancel & that the company would sue if we did not pay.

I sent the company a letter explaining our decision, but have now received a letter from them refusing to cancel our policies. We have also been sent their annual "update" letter (dated November 2011) informing us that the costs of the policies will be increasing.

Interestingly, their terms & conditions include a clause that states:

"The policy holder / insured person upon receiving notice from the insurer about the updating & variations of the premiums & medical care vouchers for the next year, shall have the right to choose between the insurance contract renewal, which shall mean the acceptance of the notified variations & updating, or to terminate the contract on the expiration date of the current year."

This seems to be pretty straight forward & DOES give us the right to cancel.

Has anyone had any similar experience or can confirm my assumption?

Cheers.





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03 Dec 2011 08:39 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 3391 posts Send private message

I believe that many (maybe all) insurance companies in Spain have that 2 months clause, however, it is 'usual' for people to cancel without giving notice. I have done it several times and (so far) have never had any problem.
 
If you pay by DD then maybe your bank will advise you.,



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03 Jan 2012 13:32 by andybax Star rating in Los Alcazares. 6 posts Send private message

Hello Supersaver , your agent is correct about the 2 month cancellation clause. This is the same for car and house policies too but when people cancel these a week before or even a day before , the insurance company does not enforce this rule.

With Health policies they do enforce this 2 month cancellation clause and will send out letters threatening legal action. How many insurance companies actually take the action all the way , i do not know. Most health policies run from the 1st of Jan and are for 1 year therefore you must cancel by the 31st Oct.

I have known the agent or insurance company cancel the policy when some clients have not been given the renewal figures in time , ie before the 31st of October.

Hope that gives you a bit more info.

regards Andy



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Andy Baxenden email andy.bax@hotmail.co.uk web www.theoasisvillas.com



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03 Jan 2012 13:50 by SuperSaver Star rating. 22 posts Send private message

Thanks for all your replies.

Just to give an update, the company were adamant they would persue us for payment due to less than 2 months notice given. However, when I re-read their T&C's there was another clause which stated that the client could cancel if the policy price changes. As with every year we have had the policies the price was being increased for 2012 by about 2-3%, so we cancelled using this clause about 1 month ago.

Since then the company has called us 2 or 3 times to try & persuade us to re-consider, just a few weeks after threatening us with court action!! Needless to say we refused.

Cheers.





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03 Jan 2012 13:55 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 3391 posts Send private message

Well done Supersaver.

 

Please let us know who the company are, and the agent who was less than helpful, so that  those who can will be able to avoid them.

 

John

 



This message was last edited by johnzx on 03/01/2012.

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03 Jan 2012 14:34 by andybax Star rating in Los Alcazares. 6 posts Send private message

good idea John



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03 Jan 2012 20:16 by EOS Team Star rating in In Spain of course!. 4354 posts Send private message

EOS Team´s avatar

I can only assume that along with most others businesses in Spain, insurance companies will have lost  a lot of non-essential business recently because of the "crisis", such as health insurance, and so they will try any tactic now to keep people paying!

Good to hear you got it sorted though!

Justin



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03 Jan 2012 20:26 by SuperSaver Star rating. 22 posts Send private message

The company was ASSSA, the agent Jennifer Cunningham. I must say the agent had been very helpful throughout the years we used them and they must have lost a lot of business in the last couple of years.





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07 Jan 2012 09:24 by icaru Star rating in Kalkan Turkey. 48 posts Send private message

icaru´s avatar

On April 1, 2010 we bought a health insurance policy with Sanitas.  We were told by the agent (a bank) that the premium increase generally does not exceed 5-10% annually, and that it is linked to a specific index (that index increased 4% in 2010).

Two days prior to the policy renewal date my husband received an SMS on his phone advising of the new premium.  I never received any notice either by phone or by mail.  The premiums had increased 45% and 23% respectively !  We immediately cancelled direct debit before Sanitas could take the money.  I did a lot of reading and researching on the Net and found all the laws and conditions pertinent to health insurance premiums.  Sanitas -- and every health insurance company in Spain -- are obligated BY LAW to inform the client of any increase in the renewal premium at least two months prior to the expiration of the current policy.

I wrote to Sanitas and quoted all the relevant laws and the facts of the case and told them we had the right, according to Spanish law, to have our policy renewed at the same rate as last year, no increase.  This is because they did not respect their legal obligation to inform us two months in advance.

Four months passed and we still heard nothing.  They did not take the money from our bank since DD had been cancelled.  After 4 months we got a letter from their legal department stating that we were correct and offering to renew our policy with NO increase, as Spanish law dictates.  And they did.  Probably for the reason stated here -- they need clients.  They are even offering a 6-month policy now.

Sanitas must now inform us by January 31 of any increase as our policies expire on March 31.  It will be interesting to see what increase they propose but this time I will not wait until the last minute to be informed of the new premium !

 



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07 Jan 2012 11:32 by yourrelocationtospain.com Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

Hi!

funny we are just experiencing the same problem. We decided to cancel our private health with Caser that we had through our bank Caja Murcia.

As it had to end end of year each time( december 31st), we went to cancel it at the end of october so perfectly in the delays of two months.

Our bank account lady was most displeased, as she gets commission from it, and tried to make it hard for us to cancel. Anyway, she cancelled it for the end of december and the last payment was the start of december one.

Well, to our surprise, they took the money again this month and obviously did not cancel it which means that we would be liable for another full year of it even though, we are ´autonomos´and paying into the public system and have decided to cut costs by being with public health only.

I have checked my internet banking and, surprise, surprise, whilst you have 3 weeks to cancel a payment taken from the account, this one is not available to be cancelled!

My husband is going to the bank first thing monday am; will keep you posted!





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