Tony Novak profile picture
  "AskTony" column archive        


Most Popular

AskTony Archive

This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

The author is paid for product endorsements and has an ownership or other financial interest in the businesses related to the topics covered.

New questions

Submit consumer finance questions at and health insurance questions at

Sponsored by: Insurance Exchange - your source of valuable information on state and federal health reform benefits.

Core Health Insurance - America's favorite mini-med insurance  with affordable premiums, freedom to choose providers, optional PPO discounts and guaranteed eligibility regardless of medical conditions.

Please support the Web sites that make publication of AskTony services possible.

Insurance policy fees

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: I never received my auto insurance policy and the company wants to charge me an additional fee for a duplicate policy. Is this allowed?

A: A growing trend among insurance companies is to charge a fee for services that were once free to policyholders. Assurant Health, for example, now charges $10 for a duplicate policy or ID card and $20 for a payment by phone or a returned check. The fees tend to be lower than those charged by banks for similar services, but may come as a surprised to policyholders who were used to having these benefits for free. The insurance companies argue that these fees keep the premium costs lower for everyone by only charging those individuals who incur the costs for extra services. Similarly, agents used to be paid by the insurance company are increasingly likely to charge their client directly, rather than have this as a built-in cost of the policy. Some customers like this because they know what their agent is paid and are not concerned that sales commissions motivate the agent. One advantage of paying the duplicate policy fee is that the policy is delivered by FedEx or another service with signature request, so you are assured that it will not be lost in transit again. All of the companies that charge these fees, to my knowledge, still offer the same services for free online. So if you don't want to pay the fee, just get the instructions on how to download and print the policy yourself. None of the insurance companies listed at charge a fee for an additional policy or ID card download.


More resources: