It can be disheartening when your insurance company reject (or repudiate) your claim. When you’ve paid your premiums, you don’t expect to be faced with large repair costs when your property has been damaged. However, there are various reasons why your claim may be rejected, most of which highlight the importance of reading your policy terms and conditions.
#1 Poor Property Maintenance
Your insurance policy only covers unexpected events. If the incident has been caused by wear and tear or poor maintenance, then the resulting damage will not fall within the remits of your policy.
One of the most common maintenance issues we see at Aspray are unmaintained roofs. There are many instances where a policyholder has experienced a leak during a heavy downpour. If this happened to your home, you may expect this to be covered as storm damage and inform your insurer of your intent to claim, only to find out that that the torrential downpour did not come with windspeeds high enough to constitute a storm under the terms of your policy. In these cases, your claim will likely be rejected, and the damage be chalked up to poor maintenance of the roof.
Under the terms of your policy, it is your responsibility to maintain your property to avoid this type of damage.
#2 Your Property has been Unoccupied for a Long Period of Time
Most insurance policies carry an unoccupied property clause, meaning if your property is empty for a long period of time, normally 30 days or more, the insurance policy becomes invalid. This is largely down to the mitigation of damage. If a pipe bursts and nobody is home for 3 weeks, the damage will be considerably worse than if it is found and the damage mitigated quickly.
It is important to be aware of these clauses within your policy and ensure you inform your insurer of any changes which may affect your policy.
#3 Incorrect Information Provided to the Insurer
This may be an innocent mistake but if the information provided to the insurer at the time of taking out the policy is incorrect, it may lead to your insurance claim being rejected or a reduction in the settlement amount.
An example of this is those properties that contain a flat roof. These must be clearly stated when taking out your policy as they will affect your premium and often carry extra clauses within the terms and conditions.
#4 Claiming for Something for which you are not Covered
When taking out your insurance policy, it is important to check the cover is suitable for your needs. At Aspray, we always recommend speaking with an insurance broker who can advise on the best cover for you and your property.
An example of this may be where you have cover for your contents that does not include accidental damage.
#5 Waiting to Long to Claim
Most insurers outline their claims process within the policy documentation. As part of this, they may stipulate that you inform them of the intent to claim as soon as you are aware of the incident. This is just another reason why you should read your policy and familiarise yourself with the terms.
What to do if your claim has been rejected?
If your feel the claim is valid and have evidence to potentially back this up, you can raise a complaint with your insurer. As a regulated firm, your insurer will have a strict complaints procedure they must follow, outlined to them by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Unless resolved within 3 days, your insurer must write to you to acknowledge they have received your complaint. The insurer then has 8 weeks to investigate your complaint and must get back to you in writing to confirm the outcome of their investigation. This is known as a final response. Alternatively, they may advice they need more time to further investigate the complaint and they must clearly outline this in the letter.
If you are unhappy with the outcome of the complaints process, or the company fails to contact you within the specified timeframes you can take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. You have 6 months from the date of the final decision from your insurer to escalate the complaint.
As an independent, free service, the Financial Ombudsman Service will look at the complaint from both sides and make a judgement based on the information provided. Should they rule in your favour, and you accept the terms, the insurer must comply with their decision.
How Aspray can help
If your insurance claim has been rejected and your feel this is incorrect, Aspray can give you a second opinion. Contact our qualified claims handling team on 0800 077 6705 and they will take a look at your policy and the details of the repudiation.
In some cases, Aspray loss assessors have overturned the insurer’s decision to repudiate resulting in a settlement to reinstate the property.
Want a second opinion following a rejected claim? Contact Aspray