The Financial Ombudsman Service07 August 2012
The Financial Ombudsman Service (or FOS) covers a wide range of financial businesses. If you have been refused buildings insurance then the FOS may be about to help you.
The Financial Ombudsman Service
The Financial Ombudsman Service
The Financial Ombudsman Service (or FOS) covers a number of different financial businesses. In total there are approximately 30,000 businesses that come under the regulation of the Financial Services Authority (or FSA), which are listed on the FSA's online register. There are some 80,000 businesses that operate under the Office of Fair Trading's (OFT) consumer credit licence, which you can find listed on the OFT's consumer credit register. All fall under the jurisdiction of the FOS, as well as some businesses that fit into some additional criteria. If you have been refused buildings insurance then the FOS may be able to help you.
Can the FOS help you?
The FOS may or may not be able to help with a complaint you wish to lodge against a business they cover. It will depend on your specific circumstances and the nature of your complaint. There are a number of restrictions placed on the FOS with regards to the types of complaint they can handle. There may also be a time limit on certain types of complaint as well, so it may depend on how long ago a particular event took place. If you have been refused home insurance, you will also need to give your insurer time to address your complaint themselves before you escalate the matter and involve the FOS. The FOS does not deal with business to business disputes, and you will usually have to have been an actual customer if you want to use their service.
Though there is a wide variety of complaints the FOS can handle, ranging from stocks and shares to refused house insurance, the legislation surrounding what complaints fall into the FOS's jurisdiction is quite complicated. In addition to this fact, if complaints date back over a considerable duration then rules that no longer exist may still need to be considered. Generally a complaint must be lodged with the FOS six months after the final response has been issued to the complainant by the business, as long as the six month limit was mentioned in the response. Also, the complaint must be made within six years of the event they are complaining about or (if later) three years after the complainant could reasonably have realised they had cause to complain.
Elapsed time limit
There are certain instances where the FOS can look into complaints that fall outside of an elapsed time limit, defined as "exceptional circumstances". These might include cases where a business does not wish to object to, or does not object within a reasonable time. The FOS requires that any business they cover informs their customers about their right to refer, in instances where the business is unable to resolve the complaint themselves. This is true when you are complaining about being refused buildings insurance, as you will first need to complain to your insurer before taking your case to the FOS.
If you have been refused house insurance in the past, you need to disclose this as a "material fact" in all future home insurance applications. With HomeProtect you can still get a competitive quote online, even when you have been refused home insurance elsewhere. We strive to offer cover to anyone who needs it, regardless of whether you have been refused home insurance before.
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