Customers Feel Insurers are Being Less Giving Regarding Claims reports The Indemnity Broker
Numbers show that the customers appear to be correct
The British Insurance Brokers' Association (Biba) stated that nine out of every 10 members it questioned believed insurers have become more strict when it comes to paying claims. These individuals believe it is due primarily to the economic climate, as well as cases of fraud.
Nearly 66% of brokers stated that they have had to fight harder for claims to be paid, and 75% have appealed successfully against a claim rejection by an insurer in the past 12 months.
The assertion has been backed by hard numbers dug up by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), which is tasked with handling claims disputes that cannot be resolved on the insurer-customer level.
Over the 2012 fiscal year, the ombudsman has noted a 12% increase in complaints regarding insurers, and a majority of that is regarding disagreements for claims filed.
"We are finding that insurance disputes are being harder fought on both sides," a spokesman for the FOS said. "One way insurance companies are controlling costs is by fighting insurance claims harder."
The FOS saw an increase of 26% of in the financial year to March 2012, while a 31% increase in building insurance claims, and a 23% dispute-of-claims content was noted in the same period. The largest rise was in complaints involving critical illness insurance.
In its report the ombudsman said: "It is disappointing when insurers continue to pursue cases to the final stage – requesting final decisions from an ombudsman – in areas where our approach is well known and clearly set out."
In the case of motor claims it said: "Insurers can still be too quick to assume thefts are not genuine.
"We have also had concerns in some cases about the way in which the insurer has investigated issues around 'non-disclosure' by the consumer. This has included disputes where the insurer had not properly considered whether the questions they asked the customer – or the questions on a comparison site – were sufficiently clear."
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