Home Insurance company won’t payout on your claim? Don’t Give up!
Year after year we all payout hundreds of pounds to insurance companies! Watching those direct debits to your home insurance company go out of the bank can be frustrating at times, especially if you’ve never had to make a claim. It can be even more frustrating though when you do need to claim and your Home insurance company won’t payout or is offering only a partial payout! If you’re in this position you might think there is nothing you can do, but you’re wrong, you can fight back!
The first thing you need to realise is that your Home Insurance Company, however much they portray themselves to be so through advertising and marketing to get you to insure through them is not your friend! They are a business, they have shareholders and they are in business to make money and in most cases immoral profits! For this reason they will try any means possible to get out of making a payout on your claim! If you’re currently making a claim and having problems you’ll probably be familiar with the following actions of an insurance company to get out of making a payout on your claim.
The first thing they’ll do when you inform them you want to make a claim is appoint a loss adjuster. What is a loss adjuster? Well the name really gives this one away! Loss adjusters are appointed by the insurance company to asses your claim by doing two things
To determine if your claim is an insurable event. In our language are you covered by your policy.
To evaluate the losses you have suffered.
Before we go on lets just think about what’s happening here. Loss adjusters are not usually directly employed by the insurance company, they are themselves private companies or individuals whose livelihoods depend on getting work from insurance companies. In my opinion they are therefore extremely biased to find any possible excuse to payout as little as possible on your claim as this will boost insurance company profits and keep the loss adjusters phone ringing!
The problem is that most people just accept what a loss adjuster says as final because they trust their insurance company!
Sadly insurance companies also know this and play on it!
The good news is that this is where your fightback can begin! I’ll be honest though and say you now need to prepare yourself for a lengthy fight and be ready with patience as your main weapon!
You don’t have to accept the loss adjusters word as final!
If you GENUINELY FEEL that your claim is valid or you are entitled to more money than the loss adjuster says you are your next step is to phone the insurance company and tell them that you don’t agree with the loss adjusters decision! Read your insurance documents to see what you’re covered for and outline to them exactly what you feel you’re entitled to and that you wan’t a second opinion on your case and are also planning to assign your own claims management company to asses the claim!
There are companies out there that will asses your claim on your behalf and fight the insurance company on your behalf for everything your entitled to. The only catch is that you will then have to use the claims management company’s contractors to carry out the works. If this sounds fine then just google claims management company and you’ll be able to find someone to do everything for you.If you’d prefer to stick with the claim yourself to be able to use your own contractors or get a cash settlement then you need to read on!
Your insurance company will now likely appoint another loss adjuster to reassess the claim. If they come back with the outcome you want then great, you’ve won! If not and they are of the same opinion on your claim as the first loss adjuster then the fight is not over!
Go back to your insurance company and tell them that you still don’t agree and you wish to make a complaint. Insurance companies have to take complaints very seriously as they are regulated by the FSA (Financial Services Authority) and are required by law to deal with complaints within a certain time frame and could be in line for a big fine if they don’t deal with it properly! Again you have to be patient as you go through the complaints procedure. Be aware that this is still an internal complaint and your insurance company will still employ any tactic to put you off, making you feel that your claim and complaint are not valid and they may still insist that they are refusing to payout and this is their final decision!
The key here is to be persistent! Stick to your guns and don’t let them put you off! This is where we bring in our final and most powerful weapon, the Financial Ombudsman Service or FOS!
The Financial Ombudsman Service is a regulatory body that reviews all complaints independently on your behalf! Tell your insurance company that you intend to take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. At this point only, will the insurance company take your complaint and claim very seriously! They may still try to put you off but you will start to notice a change in their tone and manner because if they are found to be in breach of FSA guidelines by not making a payout or not paying out enough on your claim they could be in for a hefty fine!
If they still refuse and this is confirmed as their final decision by letter then go to the Financial Ombudsmen Service! It’s free and you’ve got nothing to lose. They will asses the case, make a decision and this decision will be final! If you have a genuine claim it will often not get to this stage as your insurance company won’t want to risk a fine and will just payout but on the odd occasion it might need to go this far.
The fight can be time consuming, exhausting and drag on for months but it will be worth it in the end when you have your insurance payout! You will also have a feeling of pride that you forced justice to be done!