The 14 Day Cooling Off Period

A 14 day cooling of period is common for many financial agreements including loans, credit cards and car insurance.

If you receive a letter from your car insurance that reads something like:

“If you wish to continue your policy you don’t have to do anything. If we don’t hear from you before the expiry of your policy it will be automatically renewed”

And then did you forget to try and find a more competitive price only to discover the renewal date had just lapsed and your new policy with your existing insurer has already come into effect?

Do not panic!

You still have 14 days to find a better quote and cancel your existing policy.

Because your renewal is actually a new 12 month contract you are entitled to a 14 day cooling off period from the date the policy starts in which to terminate the contract if you so choose.

This means if your new policy has just started with your existing insurer and you think you could get a better deal elsewhere, there may still be time!

If any money has exchanged hands you will need to communicate with your insurer to find out if you are entitled to a refund.

Categories: Insurance.


  1. Dawn Allen

    I have verbally agreed to commit to a remortgage deal with the Nationwide over the phone and verbally agreed to a reservation fee of £499 being taken from my bank account. Afterwards I realised the mortgage deal is inappropriate for my needs. I phoned the Nationwide today to cancel this arrangement, this canceelation as yet, has not been accepted. The reservation fee has not yet been taken from my bank account.

    Where do I stand in this matter please?

  2. Why were Nationwide unable to confirm cancellation over the phone? Are they going to send it to you in writing?

    In order to be certain things are not going to proceed, you need to hear it from Nationwide.

    I would suggest trying to call them again, writing to them or even popping into a local branch and sitting down with someone there.

    Reservation fees are often not refundable so you need to keep onto them until they confirm your request

    Always make a note of who you speak to.

    Here’s a thread from about a similar situation. The upshot of which is you need to get onto the lender.

    Click the ‘Contact’ link in the top left of the page if you want to get in touch and discuss.

  3. Nicky Sparks

    M husband had motorbike insurance with a company called Bennetts. We did not receive a renewal letter from them when his insurance had expired. The first we heard of it was when the new certificate arrived in the post & they had automatically taken payment in full from our bank account, with the payment details that we paid with originally. When we tried to tell them we had no wish to take this insurance out, they told us it was in the small print that it was automatic renewal & that if we now cancelled we would have to pay a £30 cancellation fee as well as 40% of the policy so we should be better off keeping it. Are we covered by the 14 day cooling off period?

  4. Tom


    I also noticed today that Bennets bike insurance had taken an insurance payment from my bank account. I don’t remember authorizing this transaction but I guess it was an opt out clause like Nicky’s so a roll over of my previous policy with them.

    I’m feeling 30pounds+ 40% of the policy is better than the 180 pounds I’ve been debited- but is this fare play? I mean a company could charge a 90% ‘handling fee’ or anything it likes in this scenario essentially lame ducking the cooling off period.

    I’ve got 3 days left to do something and I’m now living in Indonesia which makes communication with the UK difficult. Any advice would be highly appreciated…


  1. […] A post at UKMoneyPot states that the 14 day cooling off period you receive when buying many types of financial product, such as loans, insurance and credit cards, also applies when your policies “auto-renew”. […]