Car insurance paper document fees

Some things need to be done the old fashioned way; you know, important, grown up stuff like your car insurance. It’s all very well doing it all online but more often than not, it feels good to get a paper copy of your policy in the post – it feels a bit more, well, official doesn’t it? But having paper documents sent to you (to file and never be seen again) could cost you more than you realise.


Document fees

Insurance admin fees are nothing new. We’re all aware we’ll be charged if we want to cancel a policy or make a mid-term adjustment. But did you know that you could also expect to pay up to £26 just to have your policy documents reprinted and reissued to you? Of course, not all insurance providers will charge you for paper copies – either for new documents or reissues – and those that do, charge varying amounts. Most providers will detail additional fees within their terms and conditions, so make sure to get your magnifying glass out and read that small print.


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Why am I charged for paper documents?

There are of course reasons why you might be charged for hard copies of your documents. The entire process involves a human and technical chain that doesn’t come cheap – from the person who prints your policy, stuffs 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 policyholders and suddenly 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 which 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, 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.

So does everyone 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 whilst others won’t charge you for the actual document, they do expect you to fork out for the postage if you want it delivered first class or special delivery (but second class may be free with some providers).

The fees themselves vary – from as little as £5 through to a whopping £26. Some insurance providers won’t charge because customers have the facility to print off documents themselves. Others don’t charge you at all for sending documents through the post.

Here’s the small print – concentrate

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 – unless you like surprises of course. 

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