It is a nightmare when your home insurance is rejected. There are steps which you can take to overcome this or even appeal it. These steps include an internal dispute resolution, the financial ombudsman, a court case or even a simple letter of complaint.
Steps to take if your home insurance has been rejected
It is important to remember that every case is different when it comes to insurance refusal, so you may need to seek legal advice for more subjective help about your particular situation if you are refused home insurance. First, in almost all situations, your insurer is required to make any refusal officially in writing. If your insurer calls you on the phone to state that your claim has been refused verbally, you should ask them to put this in writing. It is best to have tangible evidence should you need to call upon it later.
Internal Dispute Resolution
When you are officially refused house insurance in writing, you then have a number of options. The first is to lodge a complaint in writing to your insurer's Internal Dispute Resolution (or IDR) Department. You should be able to obtain the contact information for this department from your insurer, either on their website or over the phone.
Financial Ombudsman Service
Your second option is to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service (or FOS), but you should only do this after attempting the first option. The FOS will require you to at least attempt to go through the IDR first, so keep a record of any correspondence you send (photocopies, postal receipts or email records may be useful).
If you genuinely have a case against your insurer when you are refused buildings insurance, the FOS should be able to help you. Using the FOS has the added benefit of being free and informal to consumers, so you can complain without the risks you might face when taking your insurer to court. Insurers are obliged to abide by the ruling of the Ombudsman by law, so you can rest assured that any result in your favour will be followed up on.
Do you want to go to court?
This said; you always have the right to take your case to court, or to consult legal council before taking any further action. The Ombudsman advises that the company you are complaining against should be given the chance to resolve your complaint first, and you need to allow the insurer eight weeks before you can take your complaint to the FOS. The FOS are unlikely to take action before this period has elapsed. When you have been refused home insurance it is likely that you will be understandably upset, but it is important that you try to keep perspective when talking or writing to your insurer. Being offensive or aggressive will not help your case in the long run.
A letter of complaint
Any complaint letters are best kept brief and to the point; stating facts clearly and logically in a readable format. Say what you are unhappy about and why, and state what you want the insurer to do about your complaint. Remember to follow up any correspondence, and ask for confirmation of receipt. Badgering the company is not advisable, but you do have the right to be apprised of what they are doing. If they prove unco-operative, make a note of it and keep any evidence as you might be able to use this later in support of your case.
If you are refused house insurance for any reason, this might make it hard to obtain future insurance quotes. This is not the case with HomeProtect. We can give you a competitive quote online, even if you have been refused buildings insurance for any reason in the past.