A Step By Step Guide
1. The Association of British Insurers and the Financial Conduct Authority both recommend taking the complaint straight to the firm you have the issue with, which can be the Insurer or Independent Financial Adviser. All firms registered with the Financial Conduct Authority have a duty to provide a free and formal complaint procedure. They also have a duty to provide you with information about this service. Complaints to the Insurer or related firm can be made by telephone, in person or in writing.
2. Financial Ombudsman Scheme: if no resolution is found a Policy-holder can then take the complaint to an independent complaints scheme. In most cases this will be the Financial Ombudsman Scheme which will intervene, investigate and attempt to find a resolution. If they find wrong-doing they can order the firm under complaint to compensate for losses of up to £100,000.
3. There are a number of firms specifically set up to help Policy-holders to pursue a complaint. They will pay a fee which could be a set share of any compensation awarded. It is vital to check the fee structure before hiring such a firm. All firms offering such a service need to be authorised by the Ministry of Justice. Authorisation status can be checked by visiting https://register.fca.org.uk/.
4. Other options can include civil court proceedings, but legal fees can be costly.
5. If the firm has gone out of business, you should contact the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This can provide funds to meet protected claims, such as return of premiums, compensation or arrange a transfer to another Insurer.
6. The Financial Conduct Authority is the regulator and therefore does not investigate individual claims. However it can deal with complaints relating to financial advertising and allegations of unfair contract terms.
See also: Home Buying Guide: Making a Complaint
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