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Wednesday, May 2

Money Money Money

Oh, it's like a babbling brook, a running stream, a flood with the flood gates open, after the stable door has bolted the horse. Money flows out of my bank account. Oh yes.

Yesterday was a positive gain, in some ways. I had been to the bank recently and asked for the change of my correspondence address. For some reason, some smartarse had managed to use this as the opportunity to change the insured address for the buildings insurance for my house in Newcastle. Now, if you ask me, that's pretty stupid. You insure an address, not where you happen to receive mail. Especially given that this was the insurance I set up to cover a mortgage for a rental property in Newcastle, through the bank, who also arranged the mortgage, I would have expected all the ends to join together into a coherent whole.

I rang the insurance company and explained the error. They explained that they'd put it right, but then started asking me questions about the property that I was supposed to be insuring. I gave them the answers. Then they basically said that there'd be an effect on the premium. I asked them why. They said the risk address was changing. I pointed out that I didn't expect the policy to have changed since it was set up. There was much to-ing and fro-ing and I wasn't happy. Out of interest, I checked the original monthly cost of the policy - about £36 per month - not cheap, but not the end of the world. The policy had gone up to £45 per month when they incorrectly changed the address on it. I was expecting it, therefore, to go back down to £36 for the correction back to the necessary address.

The woman explained that, since it was a rental property, the policy would now cost £50 a month. I explained that the policy was originally £36 when it was arranged by the person who sold me the buy-to-let mortgage so the house could be used as a rental property. Essentially, either I was missold the original insurance (quite possible) or they were taking the mickey asking for an extra £14 per month for a policy which would have been fine if they hadn't incorrectly put it through their system a couple of times with new address details.

I explained that I realised that the lady in the call centre was just doing her job, but she had a choice. She could reinstate the original premium or I would cancel the policy outright. She tried to get help and came back and said it was £50 a month or nothing. I asked her to cancel the policy. While she was in the process of doing that, I was polite and kind in my praise of her for doing her best under the confines of the system. Where, at first, there had been some irritation as she was explaining her side to me and I was explaining my side (i.e. I just change my contact address and all of a sudden people want more money from me), the mood changed. She got a little giggly, a smile entered her voice, she was offering to help more. In fact, after I'd finished the call, she called me back to confirm that everything was cancelled. Very effusive indeed. I think I pulled. I doubt she'd come over from Bangalore just to date me, though.

Anyway, I rang up the insurer I used to get insurance for Reading. I now have a policy which works out at about £22 per month. Brucie bonus!

Of course, for every gift of a few hundred pounds, the monetary gods must make something else more costly by more. So, I may have gained some alleviation of my house-costs in Newcastle. I also have only one tenant and no clue of how to start advertising the property (my guess is that going online would help). But to top all of that, I had a man come to the house this morning to talk about TV aerials. The difference between my guesstimate of the costs and the cost he quoted (a quote I accepted on the spot, rather than dick about and keep scaffolding up longer than necessary) was, just over £300. D'oh!

Still, I might be able to watch TV next week, though I'll be too busy as I have a couple of trips to London organised.

It'll all add up someday.


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