Insurance is the one product you buy in the hope you’ll never need to use it. The big problem is that it’s virtually impossible to know how it’ll respond to a claim, until you’re claiming. And paying more doesn’t guarantee that you’re more likely to get a payout.
Therefore if you’re in the right, the most important information is to stand your ground. Firmly but politely let the insurance company know you’re expecting a payout. This email I’ve just received from Maggie sums it up nicely…
Hi, I just wanted to share my insurance claim story.
We were burgled last year and in the burglary our safe was stolen – this contained over £2,000 in cash. The insurance company refused to cover the loss as it said I couldn’t prove the cash was there. This argument went on for months and it was refusing to pay out for other losses too.
With Martin Lewis’ stubbornness ringing in my ears, I told it that if it was refusing to pay up on the basis I couldn’t prove the items and cash existed, then that must mean I was lying, this would be a fraudulent claim and therefore I needed investigating.
I gave it till 5pm that day to issue my cheque or I was going to the police station myself to ask them to investigate!
After six months of arguing, it rang me that day at 4.50pm to say it would be honouring my claim in full as well as replacing the existing damaged CCTV and alarm system with a £2,000 system as a goodwill gesture for the inconvenience caused by the delay.
I just wanted to share with others that if you are willing to dig your heels in and take these companies on, you can win."
While perseverance does pay off, there is a more formal route too.
If you believe an insurance company hasn’t treated you fairly by not paying out, then make a formal complaint to it. If that’s rejected, you can take it to the free Financial Ombudsman Service (the link includes help on how to do it), which has the right to overturn decisions and force the insurer to pay out.
Do let me know your insurance claim tales below.
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