Can my insurance company tell me they charged me the wrong premium halfway through the policy term and demand that I pay them back?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jan 15, 2012

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Insurance Question from Hemby, NC

Asked on 01/15/2012

Can my insurance company tell me they charged me the wrong premium halfway through the policy term and demand that I pay them back? My auto insurance company made an error when they made my policy. Evidently, they did not take into consideration that I was a new driver, so they gave me a really low premium. After I got into an accident, they found out that I had only been driving for a few months and mailed me a policy change notice, doubling my premium. Now they want me to pay them back the money they said I should have been paying all long. When the insurance agent interviewed me, I was completely honest and explained to him that I had just started driving. Has my insurance company breached our contract?

Answer given on January 16, 2012

Asked to see your orginal application for insurance.  It is not unheard of to have an agent write something different or input into the computer something different on your application to make the premium favorable.  If you find this to be the case, write your department of insurance for your state and include a copy of your application advising them of the agent’s actions. Explain your insurance company as a result of the agent’s actions, are requiring back premiums. Make sure you copy the insurance on your letter. If this is not the case and the rated the policy incorrectly, they probably will require back premium for the time they gave you coverage.  The only thing at this point to do is to get comparison quotes to find a new insurance company.  However, you now have two things working against you—you are a new driver AND you have had an accident.  You may find that your premiums are no cheaper with other companies.  In that case, pay the premium and make payment arrangements you can afford for the back premiums. THis will also ensure that the accidents you were involved in will be paid. If you find that you can get insurance elsewhere that is cheaper, consider moving your policy. You will probably lack confidence in your agent after this.  To get quotes on a cheaper auto policy, click here.       

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