Making a complaint against your travel insurance company

If you've taken out a travel insurance policy, occasionally you might be unhappy with the way you’ve been treated. Or if you’ve made a claim, you might be unhappy with the way it’s been handled. In these situations, you should contact your insurer.

All insurers have a complaints procedure. Once you’ve contacted them, they’ll explain what happens next. Following these steps can help you get problems sorted out more quickly:

  • Contact the person you originally dealt with. If they can’t help, say you want to take matters further. Ask for details of the official complaints procedure and find out who will be handling your complaint.
  • It may help to put your complaint in writing. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you could ask a relative, friend or carer to help you.
  • If you’re making your complaint in writing, write ‘complaint’ at the top of your letter. Make sure you include important details such as your customer, policy or account number.
  • You can also make your complaint by phone, but make sure you ask for the name of the person you speak to and their job title. Keep a note of this, along with the date and time of your call. Write down details of the conversation. You may need to refer to this later.
  • Try to stay calm and polite, however angry or upset you are. This will help you explain your complaint as clearly and effectively as possible.
  • Keep things brief and to the point. Set out the facts clearly and in a logical order. Say why you’re not happy and what you want the insurance company to do about it. This will make it easier for them to look into the problem and sort things out.
  • Send copies of any relevant paperwork you think will support your case. Keep a copy of any letters between you and the insurance company. You may need to refer to them later.
  • Don’t expect immediate results. It may take time for some complaints to be investigated properly and resolved. By law, the company you’re complaining about has up to eight weeks to sort out the complaint itself.

If you still think you’re being treated unfairly, you can have your case referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service. This is a free, independent service for consumers and an informal alternative to going to court.

The Ombudsman will decide whether your complaint is valid by looking at the facts of the case. Insurers must obey its decisions. To submit a complaint to the Ombudsman, you firstly need to request a complaints form. You can do this through the website or by phone. You’ll then need to fill in the form, sign it and post it back to the Ombudsman.

You can also find impartial information and guidance about financial services from the Money Advice Service.

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