An insurance firm told a grieving widow the cost of her car cover would go up after finding out she had recently lost her husband.
Eileen Sykes, 63, of Richmond Hill, Leeds, rang her motor insurer, RIAS, to query a renewal quote that was significantly higher than one being offered by a competitor online.
She says she was asked if her circumstances had changed – and when she replied that her husband had passed away in September, the advisor said the amount she would have to pay with RIAS had gone up.
Mrs Sykes subsequently got a letter offering her a year’s cover for £541 – around £120 more than she had previously been quoted.
She has been left fuming by RIAS’s attitude – but is also bewildered, as her late husband, George, did not even drive.
Mrs Sykes, a retired Leeds General Infirmary housekeeper, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “If he had been on the policy then I could almost understand it, I know having a second driver can make your insurance cheaper.
“But he didn’t drive – he never even had a lesson.
“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, having gone through losing George it was the last thing I needed.”
Mrs Sykes says she protested with the RIAS advisor after being told of the price rise but was cut off.
The mother-of-two has now switched to another insurance provider.
She said: “I decided to speak out in the hope it stops other people being treated like this.”
RIAS’s website says the firm provides “great value insurance for the over 50s”.
A spokeswoman for RIAS today said the change in Mrs Sykes’s personal circumstances would have had “no bearing” on the increase in suggested premium.
The spokeswoman admitted a “cap” on Mrs Sykes’s original quote of £425 had been lifted when her status was changed on the firm’s computer system.
She also said, though, that the lifting of the cap had been down to “system error” and it was highly likely the £425 quote would have been honoured if the call had been completed.