Almost every year companies and their clients bicker over small issues in their insurance policy that then ultimately end with the client applying for a complaint with the FOS. The FOS (Financial Ombudsman Service) is a free parliament-run service that deals with all issues related to finance, including insurance. In this article, we explain how to apply for a complaint and the details about it.
What type of complaints the ombudsman handles
Although there are only some compulsory insurances (car and buildings) the FOS allows complaints from all sorts of insurances. They try to make sure both sides are treated fairly and that the outcome suits both parties. Some facts they take into account are:
The policy wording
Any applicable laws
Best industry practices
Any relevant evidence
How to complain
The way to complain to the FOS is straightforward, but just to clarify we’ve made a checklist to help you make a successful complaint.
- Try to talk directly to the insurance company first, this may resolve the issue without having to submit a claim.
- If you’re still not happy with the result, you can make a claim to the FOS via phone. They will need your basic case details, your insurance account number and personal details.
- After you’ve submitted the claim, the FOS will contact the insurer and ask for their side of the story
- After this, they will give their verdict, and if you are not happy with it, there is one last option.
- The option after this is to submit to an ombudsman that will make a final decision that will be legally binding.
- If the FOS believe that the insurer is in the wrong, they will ask for the insurance company to settle it in the right way, most likely in the form of compensation.
How long it can take
While submitting to the insurance ombudsman may be easy, it may take a long time to receive a reply. The FOS says on its website that is could take up to 5 months for them to come to a conclusion. However, it can be sped up if you are in financial issues or are in severe medical care. Also bear in mind that COVID-19 could result in many of their staff ill or away from work, leading to increases wait times.