Insurers called to scrap premium phone line rates

Consumer group Which? has called for insurers to axe the premium-rate 084 or 087 numbers. 

As many as four in five insurance companies use such dialling codes, which can charge claimants as much as 41p per hour.

Insurers pledged yesterday (February 18th) to re-evaluate their usage and look at expanding their call-back facilities.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “Insurance companies must do everything they can to make things easier for flood victims who shouldn’t have to pay a premium to make a claim, especially when many will be calling from a mobile.”

The move came following a summit in Downing Street with ministers in relation to the industry’s response to the recent chaotic weather.

Parliamentary under secretary of state for water, forestry, rural affairs and resource management Dan Rogerson insisted the industry had got the message about the expensive phone lines, but Labour ministers criticised the government’s approach to the meeting, which David Cameron did not attend. 

Approximately £14 million has been paid out in emergency claims, according to the Association of British Insurers, while £24 million has been put towards accommodating those whose houses have become uninhabitable. 

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