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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 14795
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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My vehicle insurance company has undervalued the repair

Customer Question

My vehicle insurance company has undervalued the repair costs to my vehicle. They have contradicted themselves, and failed to provide me with answers to the questions that I have raised concerning their incorrect assessment to the damage caused to my vehicle. The insurance company's engineers have also made a statement that the damage was already in existence. This is totally unfounded, and I have provided repeated evidence to this fact. I have asked the engineers to provide their evidence to their disparaging comments, and I have received nothing. The damage was also not my fault, yet they have not even started to seek recompense from the 3rd party i believe responsible.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: in the UK are you a bot
JA: Yes, I'm a bot. I make the process of talking to the Lawyer more efficient and affordable by asking basic questions. What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: i have raised a complaint to the insurance company ceo
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: please connect me
Submitted: 19 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 19 days ago.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 19 days ago.

As you are dealing with an insurance company, you have to go through a set procedure to resolve the dispute.

Given the dispute with the insurer, you can avail of the Financial Ombudsman Service dispute resolution scheme - which is much quicker than court action and free to use. You have to go through a complaints procedure first. During this time (8 weeks for the insurer then 16 weeks for the Ombudsman) the insurer should not attempt to recover the money from you.

You are covered under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 here which means you have a right to expect a service (from the insurer) carried out with reasonable care and skill. Furthermore, the policy should be “fit for purpose” and “as described”. If it isn’t then you can allege breach of your consumer rights and breach of contract.

You should now make a formal complaint and if that does not resolve the matter ask them for a "deadlock letter", which is a letter giving their final response. Their complaints policy will be detailed on their website if you take a look.

Once you have the deadlock letter the next step would be to escalate this to the Ombudsman - they will investigate and liaise with the insurer which would hopefully result in a revised valuation which would hopefully be much improved. They can order the insurer to make a financial award for inconvenience if they have acted poorly.

Once you have their final response, you can make the complaint to the Ombudsman here : www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/consumers/how-to-complain

Or by email:***@******.***

Based on the circumstances, assuming the insurer does not uphold your complaint, I am sure the Ombudsman will do. The Ombudsman will look at this case independently and will make a decision based on what happened. Their decision is binding on the insurer.

If the Ombudsman did not find in your favour, therefore, you then have the option of suing the insurer for breach of your consumer rights and you have up to 6 years to bring a claim to the court (the limitation period is 6 years from your date of loss, to when you need to issue a claim). This is considered as a last resort though - I am sure the Ombudsman will resolve this given the facts.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 19 days ago.

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Hi, I have already gone through the suggested processes above, and reported it to the Ombudsman. However, the ombudsman have told me that it will take at least 4 months
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 19 days ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** to wait the 4 months/16 weeks i'm afraid. You could ask the Financial Conduct Authority if they can help speed matters up - they can be reached on 0800(###) ###-#### You could take court action but you would have to explain to the judge why you sued the insurer now (considering court action will take 9-12 months if the insurer defends it) and not able to wait 4 months, etc.