After widespread criticism of car insurance providers that penalise their customers with hidden charges, one insurer has attempted to stave off bad publicity by announcing it will no longer charge amendment fees.
LV= (formerly Liverpool Victoria) will no longer charge its policyholders admin fees when they amend their policies for reasons out of their control - such as for a change of address or to adjust cover levels.
In reaction, the price comparison website, which launched the initial investigation into hidden charges, has welcomed the move but has questioned LV='s commitment to providing customers with a fairer deal.
It points out that the insurer is still charging fees for customers to receive duplicate documentation and to make adjustments in terms of the vehicle or driver - something it believes is still excessive.
The comparison website has found that 14 million motorists a year are currently being hit by steep charges for car insurance alterations and that collectively the car insurance providers are netting £330m as a result. The average mid-term fee for insurers is £22 and the comparison website points out that none of these charges applied until a few years ago.
Despite the potential penalties, consumers are still urged to inform their insurers as soon as their policies require amending. Keeping your insurer in the dark about a change of address, for example, could jeopardise your car insurance cover as location is one of the factors used by providers to determine the extent of premiums.
In addition, drivers must keep insurers informed if they modify the vehicle in any way - such as by adding alloy wheels.
If your car insurance provider hits you with hidden fees you can take a stand by shopping around at renewal time for cheap car insurance elsewhere. Remember to take all charges into consideration as well as the cover offered.