Complaining to an insurer can often lead to positive results for customers, Which? survey finds
UK consumers could be missing out on thousands of pounds by not complaining to their insurers, according to a new survey from consumer champion Which?.
The survey of almost 16,000 members of its online panel found that almost one in 10 had raised an insurance complaint in the past two years, with 42% of complaints being upheld.
Reasons for complaints included speed of service, disputes over policy wording, mis-selling and administrative errors.
In one instance, a member was overcharged by £1,000 due to a mistaken double payment for their travel insurance.
The survey also found that those who do complain may be rewarded with compensation.
A quarter of Which? members who had complained to their insurer in the past two years received money, with the majority receiving £200 or less.
In the first half of 2022, insurers paid out more than £83 million in redress, an average of £161 per upheld complaint.
Which? is urging customers not to assume their insurer’s decision is final and to take their complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) if necessary.
However, the survey found that less than one in 10 members who complained took their claim to the FOS.
The consumer champion is also warning customers to make sure they read the small print before signing up to policies, to avoid confusion and disappointment when making a claim.
For example, home insurance policies may not automatically cover damage from storms and may have limits on the value of single items.
Recent data from the Financial Conduct Authority found that half of insurance complaints were resolved within three days, and less than one in 10 complaints took longer than eight weeks to resolve.”
Jenny Ross, Which? Money Editor, said:
“Consumers shouldn’t put up with bad customer service at any time, but when the rising cost of living is putting severe pressure on household budgets, it’s even more important.
“Our research shows that if your insurer is not up to scratch, it pays to complain. Taking the time to read the small print before renewing is also key, as you might find you’re not covered for certain eventualities.”
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