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The Insurance Bullies, but you can find the good guys!

As with all industries there are the good guys and the bad guys within insurance. It seems that some companies deserve to be named and shamed as they seek to wriggle out of making payments for legitimate claims. MPs have warned insurers that they must not use small print and technical details to refuse making legitimate claims and yet some companies continue to flout the law.

With policy premiums constantly being increased – and in most cases this can be justified in line with today's market forces – it is therefore astonishing to think that honest policyholders are not receiving their dues as they are being quoted red—tape and tied up with legalese, often which is incorrect. One such case caused outrage, but sadly, it is not the only type of its kind – one in which the policyholder is ruled to blame for negligence.

Armed attack

A trainee teacher has spent the past months battling with one of Britain's largest insurers after an ordeal she suffered whilst working part time at a newsagent's shop in Liverpool. The 29 year old had the keys to her Vauxhall Corsa stolen when three men, armed with guns and knives stormed into the shop where she was working one evening. They pushed her into the back of the store and demanded she open the safe. The young lady endured a knife being held to her throat and a gun to her head. The thieves then made off with about £1,000 and they also stole the lady's bag – which contained her car keys.

This was a callous crime – and resulted in not a huge haul for the criminals – but was a terrible ordeal for the victim who commented that although the whole scene took only minutes it felt like hours to her. Despite her shock, the lady was back at work the next evening.

More was to come. That night her car was stolen from the driveway of the home she shares with her boyfriend. This was then found by police some ten miles away, lying in a field on its roof. The car, worth around £2,000 was a write-off. However, her insurance claim was rejected because it was said this lady had been negligent with her keys. Talk about adding insult to injury!

Whose fault was it?

The insurance company argued that the thieves must have been the same criminals who raided the newsagent's and had discovered her address by following her home from work that evening. Imagine the poor lady's shock at discovering that she had been followed, and she naturally moved back home with her parents for a couple of months in an attempt to regain a sense of security. However, the insurance company had no compassion for the lady at all, and maintained it was her fault her car was stolen. Naturally she changed the locks at the property she shared with her boyfriend, an action which was used against her by her insurance company who commented that this proved she understood the risk to her property, even though this happened after the car had been stolen!

A happy ending

However, pressure brought to bear on the insurance company resulted in them swiftly agreeing to settle the claim. In addition, they waived the excess payment of £250 and also added a compensation payment of £500 to apologise for adding to her trauma.

So what does this tell us about the insurance industry? That there are some bullies out there, almost certainly. However, it appears that this company's PR machine whirred into action and not wishing to suffer damaging press, they realised the error of their ways and behave in a professional and caring manner: such a shame it took a media campaign to make this happen.

In all industries there are those who behave in a manner damaging to the image of their sector. Insurance has taken a great deal of flack over the years, for failing to pay up for claims and for raising their policy prices. However, as in all walks of life, there are the good guys too. Finding them could be the problem. By talking to your family, friends and colleagues, you can get some recommendations as to whom they use for their various insurances – and why. Some will automatically shop and purchase on price, others will be keen to receive excellent service and the comfort of knowing that should something untoward happen, they will receive professional and sympathetic advice to enable them to receive their pay-out without argument.

This is where the services of a first class broker cannot be beaten. One who stands out from the crowd is Westhill Insurance Services who provide a solid, customer focused service. This is delivered speedily and politely by professional individuals who work closely as a team to ensure that their clients' needs come first. Here you will deal with a named member of staff who will look after every aspect of a client's needs from the initial shopping for a policy through to any claim which may be required to be made. If you want the peace of mind of knowing you have someone who is on your side and will fight your corner, speak with Westhill Insurance Services. As an independent broker, they will listen to your requirements and then find you the best possible policy at a price you can afford: as Westhill Insurance Services is not tied to any one insurance company they will shop around for you. Take a quick look at our Testimonials and see for yourself that we are indeed, one of the good guys!

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 13th January, 2012