Drivers and homeowners are being hit with "exorbitant hidden fees" for basic insurance policy changes and renewals, the consumer group Which? has revealed.
The watchdog uncovered costs of up to £30 for simple alterations - such as changes of address and vehicle, and updating personal information.
Customers are also being charged for cancelling and renewing their policies.
But insurers say the industry is "committed" to keeping prices "as low as possible".
The data came from a review of the terms and conditions on the websites of 39 car, and 34 home insurers.
In the report - which appears in the May edition of its magazine - Which? criticises home and car insurers who "appear to be taking consumers for a ride" by failing to make charges clear and accessible.
It found "many insurers" did not publish details of fees on their websites - "making it near impossible for prospective customers to make an informed choice or compare like for like".
In particular, the report says some insurance companies - such as Axa and Swiftcover - charge a flat fee of £30 to clients only wishing to update their address, married surname, or vehicle covered.
Which? also found a number of insurers charging "excessive amounts of interest" to customers paying in instalments instead of upfront.'Disgraceful'
Sarah Bailey, from the Association of British Insurers, said it was important for customers to "understand what they are buying" and "read the policy carefully".
"There can be a balance between a lower overall price and higher charge for a change."
She also said paying by instalments cost insurers money because it reflected an "increased financial risk", adding there was "evidence to suggest that those customers choosing not to pay in full for their policy upfront are more likely to make a claim".
"Insurers are committed to keeping administration costs as low as possible, but where they do incur costs that they cannot absorb then these may have to be passed on to customers," she said.
But Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith, criticised a lack of transparency from insurers: "It's a disgrace that insurers charge exorbitant fees to make basic changes to a policy.
"These charges should reflect the real cost to the company and not be a way of making easy money from consumers who are already struggling with high and rising insurance premiums."
"We want insurance companies to be clearer about the fees that they charge and stop hiding the details away in pages of terms and conditions," he added.
He also urged the new industry regulator - the Financial Conduct Authority - to "ensure that any charges reflect the actual cost incurred by the insurance provider".
The insurance company Swiftcover also commented on the findings: "When it comes to swiftcover.com and 'hidden charges', as Which? puts it, they have simply got it wrong.
"Swiftcover.com has always been an online-only insurer, allowing customers to change their policy online whenever they wish, and as often as they need to - without charge.
"If, however, a policyholder chooses to update their policy by speaking to the help desk, there is an admin charge of £30, like with many other insurers."
A spokeswoman for Axa said: "Both Axa's and Swiftcover's home and motor policies are sold 100% online, and if your circumstances change (for example, you move house or need to add a second driver), you can update your details online and at a time that suits you, at no charge".
Headlines Newsview all
A MUSLIM hate preacher who was allowed to tour British mosques and spread the message of jihad may have planted the idea of the London ... Full story
Figures produced by the Department of Health show that, since 2007-8, the UK has paid £6.18billion in health costs for British citizens in Europe – ... Full story
ISLAMIC State has issued a chilling video warning that London is next to be hit by a terror attack at least as deadly as the ... Full story
Rate this article
MOST POPULAR ON CAPITALBAY
- Royal baby hoax hospital staff wanted to discipline nurse Jacintha Saldanha
- Trainee teacher hangs himself after split from the girlfriend he couldn’t live without
- Lacey Wildd has had 30 enhancement surgeries and is planning more
Oliver Curtis's ex-friend says the pair 'agreed we'd be in a lot of s***'Mr Curtis is accused of having a gambling problem and 'a big ...
Man charged with producing child porn created fake stories about fate of missing toddlers Madeleine McCann and William Tyrrell
Tasmanian man faces court accused of making child pornographyCourt hears fantasies about toddlers William Tyrrell and Madeleine McCannHe was last seen September 12, 2014 at ...
Egg producer Snowdale Holdings found to have 'misled' customersEggs were not 'free range' as company claimed Federal Court ruledConsumer watchdog brought the case against the ...
Nick Burge put down a $38,900 deposit for a brand new apartment last AprilNow 24, he'll put down another 10% deposit in July at settlementHe ...
Sydney University has revealed a September 2015 survey this weekOf the 2,000 students surveyed, one in four experienced sexual harassmentStudents have spoken out about ...
George Osborne condemned £3,000 tuition fees as 'very unfair' in 2003 letter to constituent - then hiked them to £9,000
Letter from Osborne soon after he was elected MP for Tatton has been unearthed by former constituentThe then-backbencher criticised Labour's £3,000 charge for students as ...
President Nicolas Maduro claims Venezuela has the best healthcare in the world after CubaBut death rates are soaring and hospitals are filthy as supplies run ...
Jailed, but only for the weekend! Convicts will be able to live at home during the week under the biggest prisons shake-up 'since Victorian times' in the Queen's Speech
Low risk criminals to only be jailed in week so they can continue workingThousands more to be allowed out with tags near to time of ...
City of Thonis-Heracleion - deep in the Mediterranean - was exposed to the world by a French archaeologist in 2000Christened the 'Egyptian Atlantis', it was ...
Robert Shapiro gave his first interview in over 20 years about the OJ Simpson case on Megyn Kelly Presents Tuesday nightShapiro admitted to trying on the ...