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Thursday 5 December 2019

Know your rights: Dermott Jewell

Confusion over dual insurance on a mortgage, and shoes that don't fit. What are your rights? Our expert has the answers...

Mortgage confusion. Photo: Stock
Mortgage confusion. Photo: Stock

Q Hello Dermott, I have recently found out that the building society I have my mortgage with have been charging me a monthly premium for home insurance going back to 2006 as part of my mortgage repayments. I have always had home insurance from a separate source and it is always hundreds of euros cheaper. From what I have been able to gather this is called dual insurance and I have been led to believe I can claim some of it back.

I have two questions. First, as I didn't sign or agree to purchase home insurance through my building society should I be entitled to a full refund of all moneys incorrectly taken from my account for the last 10 years? And what is the procedure for this? Regards, Brian

A There are a couple of confusing items here, Brian. So, let's first get the main issue here, in context. Since 1995, under the Consumer Credit Act, a lender is obliged to make sure that you have a life insurance policy in place for the duration of the loan. That insurance, and any other cover you want, such as home insurance, you are - always - free to buy from any company.

The reason I mention confusion is because 'Dual' insurance that you refer to applies with Life protection and provides cover for the lives of the two borrowers in a joint mortgage agreement. Home insurance would not come with that provision as it is the home and its contents etc. that you are covering.

So, check first whether this is life or home insurance as you just may be OK and paying for two entirely different policies. If not, and you never signed (I would first check the mortgage agreement in detail Brian) for any form of policy with your lender then write and tell them you believe you were mis-sold a policy and are seeking a full refund of all premiums paid. If they reject this then seek assistance from the Financial Services Ombudsman Bureau at (01) 6620899. They will advise and, if necessary, make your case to the lender.

QI purchased a pair of trainers size 6 a few days ago. I decided against taking the box and was told by the assistant that I would be able to exchange but not return the shoes. The shoes were too small when I tried them on at home. I went back to the shop with the unworn shoes and was told I was not entitled to a refund under company policy and would have to take shoes on the spot if I wanted an exchange and was not entitled to a credit note.

None of the shoes I tried on were a correct fit and no half-sizes were available. As no replacement shoes are available, should I get a refund? Evelyn

AHi Evelyn. I am afraid that you are going to be disappointed on this one!

Consumer rights only kick in when there is a problem of quality, manufacture or description. That is not the case here and you will not get a refund - except through exceptional goodwill from the shop.

It seems that you bought the shoes without trying them on and only now understand they do not sell in the half-size you most likely need.

I would return though and request a credit note as a middle ground resolution - and tell them all here would appreciate the goodwill.

Irish Independent

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