The first thing to do is to report this to the Police and to Action Fraud so that you can obtain a crime reference number.
The Action Fraud website where you can report the crime is here: Action Fraud
Next, EQ is authorised and regulated by the FCA - meaning you have protection under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and you can also 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.
You are covered under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 here which means you have a right to expect a service (from EQ) carried out with reasonable care and skill. Furthermore, the service 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.
You can make the complaint by email here:***@******.***
When you do make the complaint, tell them that you plan to report them to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) who regulates them. You can reach the FCA to report the insurer on 0800(###) ###-####if you wish. It may speed matters up.
Once you have the deadlock letter the next step would be to escalate this to the Ombudsman - they will investigate and liaise with EQ which would hopefully result in a resolution. They can order EQ 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 EQ 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 EQ.
If the Ombudsman did not find in your favour, therefore, you then have the option of suing EQ 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.
You should have no reason to sue them and using the courts - that is a last resort however the Ombudsman should be able to resolve this for you.