’Where these complaints are driven by insurers delaying paying out on claims, that’s unacceptable,’ says chief executive

Complaints over building, car and motorcycle insurance hit a five-year high in the first three months of the financial year, according to new figures.

Published today (14 September 2023) by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), data showed that the regulator had to deal with 5,645 claims across the product lines between April and June 2023.

Some 3,869 complaints were made about car or motorcycle insurance, while there a total of 1,776 building insurance cases recorded during the period.

By comparison, the FOS recorded 2,626 motor and 1,275 building complaints between April and June in 2019.

Travel insurance complaints, meanwhile, more than doubled in a year – increasing from 504 complaints to 1,101 year-on-year.

Why the rise?

The FOS explained that the rise in complaints appeared to have been caused by several factors.

This included a rise in insurers delaying in paying out on claims and the availability of contractors, impacting the speed of repairs and the ability to source materials.

“Whether it’s your car, your holiday or your home, having the right insurance is fundamental and should offer people the peace of mind that, when things go wrong, they’re protected,” Abby Thomas, chief executive and chief ombudsman at the FOS, said.

“Where these complaints are driven by insurers delaying paying out on claims, that’s unacceptable. We expect insurers – as well as other businesses – to treat their customers fairly and in a timely manner.

”If consumers don’t feel they’ve been treated fairly by a financial business, they should contact our free, independent service and we’ll investigate their complaint.”