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The previous owner is still paying for home insurance on my house

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I bought my house seven years ago, and the previous owner is (seemingly unknowingly) still paying almost £800 a year on buildings and contents insurance through Santander. The renewal letter arrives every year and is paid out monthly from his account. We have no forwarding address for him. I have tried everything I can think of to get it cancelled, but Santander will not deal with me as the account is not in my name, despite the fact my mortgage is with them. It seems unethical that Santander continues to take hundreds of pounds for a policy it knows the holder can never claim on.

RS, Newtownabbey, County Antrim

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All credit to you for your efforts to save a stranger from their own apparent folly. It’s the customer’s responsibility, not Santander’s, to manage their affairs, but who knows what their situation might be and, once you’d flagged it up, the bank should have acted. It did after I gave it a nudge and, while it can’t comment on a third party’s account, it found there were reasons why he had not noticed the debits. It has now cancelled the policy.

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