The FOS was set up by the government as an independent body to settle disputes, neither on the side of the consumer or financial services It deals with complaints on a case by case basis and the time it takes to settles a complaint can vary.

It covers a wide range of financial complaints and is free for consumers. It can order businesses to put things right if they have acted unfairly but it cannot write rules or fine businesses. Consumers don’t have to accept the decision of the FOS but if they do it is a legally binding contract.

Wrongly rejected claims
Insurers wrongly rejecting claims or failing to adequately settle them are common financial complaints. The FOS can examine the wording of your policy and evidence from both you and the insurer. This could include registration documents, receipts, visual evidence of damage or police reports.

They will also look into whether loss or damage was caused by events that are insured or whether security requirements (i.e. alarms, locks etc.) were met.

Fortunately for you, the FOS considers it the insurer’s responsibility to make you fully aware of such requirements as they are often seen as ways out of settling claims. So if you were not made fully aware of minimum security requirements, the FOS is on your side should an insurer use this as a basis to refuse your claim.

Inadequate settlement
For many people who have experienced loss or damage to their caravan, their primary complaint is over an inadequate settlement to their claim. When a claim is successful, insurers are obliged to ensure the customer is in the same position they were before the claim. This means they either repair damage, replace the caravan or provide a cash settlement.

Many financial complaints are over poor quality repairs or the time it took. The FOS will consult photographic evidence and expert opinion in order to decide whether a settlement was adequate. In the case of cash settlement disputes, quotes for repairs will be sought.

It may be decided that you are due compensation for inconvenience which could accrue 8% annual interest until the point the insurer completely settles.

If you’ve suffered recently or if you have a financial complaint we hope this helps you get the settlement and peace of mind you deserve.

Financial Ombudsman Service

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