Insurance Complaints – How Do They Work?

If you have had a run in with your insurer what do you do and is is worth the bother?

I’m constantly seeing letters and calls for help about insurance in the press and on forums. It seems that despite insurance company efforts there are always cheesed off customers around. Insurance is a sticky subject and no one likes having their claim turned down.

Unfortunately, making complaints can be arduous and stressful for most of us.

It might not be be worth your time, effort and grey hairs but if you do have a genuine complaint then you should go for it. It is important for any system to be tested and complaints are one of the ways to do this. Your complaint could break ground for others who have the same problem and your work can help your problem from happening in the future.

If you do want to make a complaint your first point of contact is of course your insurer. Insurance firms provide a free formal complaints service. Unfortunately, using these processes can be long and arduous so don’t let them wear you down! I know because I been in them on both sides of the fence! There are time frames within which the complaint should be handled. If you think that it is going to be a long battle I recommend taking notes of when things happen and how long they take. You are working with bureaucrats and it does help to think like one for the duration of the complaint.

When you make a complaint I recommend making a phone call before writing a letter. In some cases you can learn more about your complaint or perhaps have it resolved there and then. Remember to keep the dates, times and names of who you talk to and use any information from phone calls in your written complaint.

Don’t write an angry letter in the heat of the moment. Cool your jets for a few hours or days and state your case as clearly as possible. Make clear concise points for each of your grievances and if it’s relevant refer to parts of your policy or dealings you have had with the firm.

It can help to get to know the procedural time line too. Look online at your insurer’s site or call for a copy of the procedure if you don’t have it.

In most cases Insurance companies and insurance providers are regulated by the Financial Service Authority and so they are bound to handle complaints in certain ways.

Time lines should look a little like this:

1. Within 5 business days your written complaint should be acknowledged by letter.
2. Contact as by complaint handler as possible after that or further letter will inform you of when you will be contacted.
3. If complaint unresolved within 4 weeks further contact regarding reason for further action.
4. Within 8 weeks a formal outcome is issued or a letter detailing when the investigation will be concluded.