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Consumer Rights.

Updated: 4 Mar 2021

How to complain about your insurance provider

If your insurer dismisses your claim, don't be put off. An insurance contract is the same as any other. Follow these steps to complain effectively.
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1 Write to your insurance company

Greater awareness of your rights can help you get complaints resolved before they escalate. So, make sure you follow the right process.

If the response from your insurance company isn’t satisfactory, make a formal complaint. 

Financial service providers must deal with any complaints within eight weeks, so ensure your position is clear by heading an email or letter ‘Complaint’.

The letter should be succinct but include essential information such as dates and names of people spoken to. You should also say how you would like the problem to be resolved.

Give your provider the opportunity to put the matter right before escalating your complaint and always make a note of who you speak to and what is said.

2 Contact the Financial Ombudsman

If your insurer hasn’t resolved your complaint within eight weeks, or has rejected it, you can take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

FOS has the power to award up to £150,000 against an insurance company. Claim forms can be downloaded from the FOS website or you can call 0300 123 9123. 

Explain and document your complaint fully in your FOS complaint, again saying how you’d like the complaint resolved.

3 Financial compensation

If your complaint is upheld, you’ll be awarded a sum that aims to put you back in your original financial position.

In addition to telling the financial business to pay compensation for financial loss or to put something right, FOS can also tell your insurance company to pay costs and/or compensation for distress or inconvenience.  

4 Use the small claims court

If you're not happy with the FOS ruling, you can, if you wish take the matter to the small claims court. 

But it's worth asking yourself whether a court is likely to rule any differently than the ombudsman. 

You can use the small claims court process if you're claiming £10,000 or less in England and Wales or £3,000 or less in Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

You can pick up free leaflets from your local County Court, or claim online.