New general insurance complaints to FOS rise in Q1
New general insurance complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) jumped 15% in the quarter from 1 April to 30 June 2017, according to Insurance Times calculations.
This was mainly driven by increases in personal motor, travel and specialist insurance (see table).
|Q1 2017||Q1 2016||change %||change (number)|
|Car and motorcycle insurance||3,137||2,550||23.0||587|
|Home emergency cover||568||512||10.9||56|
|Pet and livestock insurance||408||335||21.8||73|
|Mobile phone insurance||279||159||75.5||120|
|Legal expenses insurance||172||174||-1.1||-2|
|Commercial vehicle insurance||109||157||-30.6||-48|
|Personal accident insurance||105||191||-45.0||-86|
|Card protection insurance||94||156||-39.7||-62|
|Commercial property insurance||71||124||-42.7||-53|
|Business protection insurance||54||80||-32.5||-26|
But the good news for the industry is that the proportion of complaints upheld in favour of the customer fell for most lines of general insurance business.
The ombudsman received 7,879 new general insurance complaints in the quarter, Insurance Times calculates, compared with 6,824 in the same quarter last year – an increase of 1,055 complaints.
The FOS reported that complaints about car and motorcycle insurance, the biggest source of general insurance complaints, rose 23% to 3,137 (Q1 2016: 2,550). This was an increase of 587 complaints, making up a large part of the increase for the quarter.
Big rises were also seen in travel insurance, where complaints rose 27% to 763 (Q1 2016: 601), specialist insurance, where complaints increased 152% to 419 (Q1 2016: 166) and mobile phone insurance, where complaints rose 76% to 279 (Q1 2016: 159).
Partly offsetting the increases were falls in commercial vehicle, personal accident, card protection, commercial property and business protection insurance.
Falling upheld rates
On a more positive note, upheld rates fell in all but three of the business lines Insurance Times included in its calculation for total general insurance complaints.
While car and motorcycle insurance drove the increase in number of complaints, the upheld rate for this business line held steady at 29%.
Specialist insurance upheld rates saw the biggest fall, with the upheld rate dropping 11 percentage points to 31% (Q1 2016: 41%).
The only lines where upheld rates increased were legal expenses insurance, with a nine-point rise to 31% (Q1 2016: 22%), and card protection insurance, with a 12-point rise to 34% (Q1 2016: 22%).
|Q1 2017||Q1 2016|
|% of cases upheld||% of cases upheld||Change (points)|
|Car and motorcycle insurance||29||29||0|
|Home emergency cover||45||46||-1|
|Pet and livestock insurance||25||28||-3|
|Mobile phone insurance||37||38||-1|
|Legal expenses insurance||31||22||9|
|Commercial vehicle insurance||27||33||-6|
|Personal accident insurance||17||22||-5|
|Card protection insurance||34||22||12|
|Commercial property insurance||35||38||-3|
|Business protection insurance||23||33||-10|