Insurance assessors are turning against insurance companies to help more claimants get a fair settlement from their insurers. Assessors are traditionally hired by insurance companies to investigate claims, but more are fighting for a fair deal for customers as the companies tighten up on payouts.
In a recent survey, the British Insurance Broker’s Association (BIBA) confirmed more than 60% o0f broker firms contracted assessors to sort out claims for customers.
Brokers allege insurance firms are paying lawyers to go through policies line by line to look for get out clauses on claims of £50,000 or more.
They are also taking longer to decide claims.
Assessors are acting as gamekeeper turned poacher for clients mainly with big claims for homes (like putting right extensive fire or flood damage) and high-value car insurance disputes.
Beating the tricks insurers play to avoid payouts
Many work on a no-win no-fee basis and if they gain a pay out, take from 2.5% to 10% of the value of the money received.
Low value claims – say less than £5,000 or £10,000 – probably make going through an assessor too expensive.
But if you are making a large claim, getting help from an insider who knows the tricks insurers will try to get out of paying up may be worthwhile.
If you do decide to go through a claims assessor, you can check the firm out through the Financial Services Authority web site to make sure they are properly regulated.
Claims assessors are not solicitors and cannot sue in the courts for you – they can only negotiate a settlement with the third party covering your loss, like an insurance company
Before making a claim, also make sure that the firm is experienced in dealing with negotiating successful payouts in the market you are in – like buildings insurance or car insurance. Not all assessors are equally expert in all fields.
Many firms looking at winning compensation are claims management companies run by solicitors to take action in personal injury cases. These are not claims assessors for insurance purposes.