Car insurance paper document fees

Car insurance paper document fees

It’s so easy to sort out your car insurance online, isn’t it? For most people, it also feels good to get a hard copy of their policy in the post. However, having paper documents sent to you (often for you to file and never be seen again) could cost you more than you realise. We investigate below.

Daniel Hutson From the Motor team
3
minute read
posted

Why am I charged for paper documents?

The entire process involves a human and technical chain that doesn’t come cheap – from the person who prints your policy, puts it in an envelope and posts it, to the actual postal costs, and let’s not forget the paper and ink needed to produce the document in the first place. Scale it all up for an insurance provider dealing with tens of thousands of policy holders and you can see why you might have to pay for the privilege.

As unfair as you may think it sounds, insurance providers have had to become increasingly competitive when it comes to the price of premiums; as a result, traditional admin costs that may have been included within the premium have been stripped out to give consumers a leaner, more attractive price. But those costs haven’t simply disappeared. Most insurance providers have just started charging for it directly. Look on the bright side – at least it’s a more transparent way of charging for things.

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Do all insurance providers charge for paper documents?

In a word – no. Your terms and conditions should make it clear if there are any additional fees for sending you a paper copy of your agreement or for reprinting it. If they do charge you for it, they should explicitly state what those charges are.

Not all insurance providers follow the same rules when it comes to charging you for paper copies. Some may only charge you for reprints and while others won’t charge you for the actual document, they do expect you to cover the postage if you want it delivered first class or by special delivery (but second class may be free with some insurance providers).

The fees themselves. Some insurance providers won’t charge if customers don’t have the facility to print off documents themselves. Others don’t charge you at all for sending documents through the post.

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Here’s the small print…

So, the moral of the story is that you really need to read the small print. We know it’s not riveting bedtime reading but, technically, you’ve already agreed to your policy’s terms and conditions by taking it out in the first place. Next time it comes to searching for car insurance, make sure you take some time to investigate exactly what those ‘admin’ charges cover.

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