This page will tell you how we can help if you have a complaint about settling a home insurance claim.
If your home is damaged – and you’re unhappy about how an insurer has handled your claim – you can complain to us. We’re here to look at the facts and make sure there’s a fair outcome – for both you and the insurer.
Home insurance is sometimes called household insurance. It is usually made up of two main parts:
- cover for the building itself, and
- cover for the contents inside your home.
In most cases, both buildings and contents insurance policies will require your insurer to get you back to where you were before the loss or damage happened.
They’ll need to decide how to settle your claim, for example, by:
- repairing the damage
- replacing something lost or damaged
- paying cash to cover the cost of repair or replacement
Types of complaint we see
People typically bring their complaint to us when:
- their insurer arranged the repairs but hasn’t fixed the damage
- the repairs caused additional damage
- the insurer says it can repair the damage but the customer thinks the item should be replaced
- the insurer offered the customer a replacement but it’s not the same as the lost or damaged item
- the insurer offered them money but it wasn’t enough to complete the repairs or replace what was damaged
- the customer isn’t satisfied with the quality of work carried out by the builder that the insurer appointed
How to complain
Talk to your insurer first so they have the chance to put things right. They have to respond within eight weeks. If they don’t respond, or you’re not happy with their response, let us know.
Bringing a complaint to us is straightforward and won’t cost you anything. We’ll check if your complaint is something we can deal with, and if it is, we’ll investigate.
What we look at
One of the first things we’ll look at is whether the complaint involves contents or buildings insurance and whether your insurer suitably advised you.
We’ll look carefully and fairly at the details of each complaint, including when:
- items have been temporarily removed
- the amount insured isn’t enough to cover the claim – underinsurance
- the property is unoccupied
- incidents happened outside the home
- there are questions over poor maintenance
We can usually reach a conclusion about repairs by looking at available evidence. We might ask for additional expert evidence or encourage the two sides to agree a settlement between themselves.
Depending on your circumstances, we may ask for more information.
We’ll check the policy wording that applied at the time the damage occurred and consider how that might affect the way your insurer has settled the claim.
In most policies, insurers include a term explaining how they settle claims, such as: "We will decide whether to repair, replace, pay cash or reinstate the damaged part of the building."
This allows them to choose how to settle, but we expect them to also take your specific circumstances into account.
Putting things right
If we decide you’ve been treated unfairly, or that the business has made a mistake, we’ll ask you to put things right. Our general approach is that you should be put back in the position they would have been in if the problem hadn’t happened.
We may also ask the business to compensate you for any distress or inconvenience you’ve experienced as a result of the problem. Read more about our approach to compensation.
The exact details of how we’ll ask the business to put things right will depend on the nature of the complaint, and how you lost out.
Insurer rejects claim as ‘betterment’ – but expert opinion said it would be needed
Customer wants to replace windows after break in despite insurer’s offer to repair
Helping to find a fair cash settlement following water damage
Information for financial businesses
If you’re a financial business looking for information on settling complaints about home insurance claims, you can read more about this on our dedicated information page for businesses.