Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Why are insurance claims handlers so bad at handling claims?

For the first time (as far as I can recall) in our 6yr history we have recently had cause to claim on our public liability insurance. We fitted a ball valve to a storage tank, the valve subsequently failed, the overflow couldn't cope and water flooded into the customer's property, damaging paintwork and carpets.

No huge drama, but large enough cost (well into four figures) to warrant claiming on the insurance. How long would you think it might take, from notifying the insurance company to them authorising the repairs (bearing in mind this is water damage, so pretty unpleasant to live with for any length of time)? A week? Two weeks?

Six weeks on, and we still haven't had any decision from the insurers (AXA, who have subcontracted the claims handling to Cunningham Lindsey). In the meantime, we've just gone ahead and repaired everything that we can do ourselves, but customer is still left with old carpets. We don't want to tell him to just get new carpets and send us the bill, because the insurers might want to inspect the old carpets.

Why does it take so long? Why can't it work like this:

Day 1: Notify insurance company of potential claim
Day 1: Insurance company contacts customer and arranges to inspect damage (in, say, 5 days time)
Day 2: Customer gets estimates to repair damage
Day 6: Insurance co inspects damage, reviews estimates
Day 7: Insurance co authorises repairs

Why does it take weeks and weeks? And why do we have to manage the process (i.e. we only see any progress at all if we badger the insurance company)?

Although this is the first time we've had to claim on our own insurance, we've often had to claim on other peoples for road traffic prangs, and the process is always extremely painful even when there is no dispute about liablity.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

We had a similar issue also with a claim handled through Cunningham Lindsay, they managed to archive the claim before they paid out and then took months to retrieve the files from the archive. Needless to say it took 6 months until our claim was finally settled!

Anonymous said...

gosh you should see the way insurance carriers pay claims in new york..all i can say it pay to be insured here

Anonymous said...

I have had dealings with Cunningham Lindsay, who used to be the BBC's Loss Adjusters. They are notoriously slow and inefficient, which is why the BBC has taken their business elsewhere - one hell of a customer to lose!...

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Anonymous said...

We are also in the same situation but with paragon on home insurance, they said it should take a couple of weekes for a decision and its already been a month..and still no go ahead...has any body dealt with paragon before?

Anonymous said...

Cunningham & Lindsey are a waste of time. They never return calls and think that their engineers "sole opinion" is sufficent evidence although profesionals with better qualifications beg to differ. There are ways to make them pay and trust me they will PAY!

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Loss adjusters UK said...

Loss adjusters are not normally like this but this kind of delay is not at all considerable as it disturbs our daily routine.Loss adjusters UK are one of such adjusters who act fastly and help you get your claim on time and let you get out of the miserable situation.

Anonymous said...

We also have a raft of complaints about the way in which Cunningham Linsdey mismanaged our claim following a flood. After MONTHS of trying to get them to sort it out, we have left it to the Financial Ombudsman's Service to resolve it. CL don't learn. A direct result of their mismanagement has resulted in our landlords opting for another loss adjusters. AVOID CL LIKE THE PLAGUE!

Anonymous said...

MY SON HAD A FIRE 14 MONTHS AGO AND CUNNINGHAM AND LINDSEY ARE STILL PASSING THINGS ON TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE IN THE SAME OFFICE STALLING FOR TIME HOPING MY SON WILL GET CHEESED OF AN SETTLE FOR A LESS AMOUNT THEY HAVE ALREADY AGREED TO PAY FOR BUILDINGS AND CONTENTS BUT NOW ARE TRYING IT ON AGAIN WANTING TO REDUCE PAYMENT CONTRADICTING ANYTHING THAT HAS BEEN SETELED BEFOR I THOUGHT ANYTHING WRITEN DOWN WAS FIXED NOT ACORDING TO CUNNINGHAM AND LINDSEY ALL MY FREIND AND RELATIVES HAVE TOLD ALL THERE FREINDS DO NOT INSURE YOUR CAR PROPRTY OR ANYTHING ELSE WITH AVAIVA AS THEY USE CUNNINGHAM AS THERE LOSS ADJUSTERS WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP AVOID THIS COMPANY LIKE THE BLACK DEATH

Anonymous said...

Hi

Im new to all this, my most unfortunate experience ever due to Cunningham Lindsey Loss Adjuster. It has been 18 months since insured event but CL next to useless at progressing the claim. I have seen in many forums of many people are at 2 - 3 years in a claim and one was 9 years ago. A repeating of requesting the same documents and refusal to accept proof of who lives in the property. We have many examples of lies and deception with recorded delivery proofs. They Requested us to breach data protection Act. Also dont accept proofs of Electrol Register from us but I noticed on another threat they used that as a reason to not pay out claim. After we rejected the low phone Offer to settle (for around half the value of the claim) they appointed new claim handler who put the claim into reverse gear and had no record of the Offer and began a fishing exercise to frustrate the claim. CL refute all allegations and refuse to answer any of my questions put to them but to respond with new lines of inquiry. I sent the Underwriter around 100+ pages of examples of CL customer feedback and why they choose to but us in harms way of such a Loss Adjuster still no response from the Underwriter.

I have never put a foot wrong in life or claimed and I feel for those who experience ill health due to CL. We are currently being led round in circles with no end in sight of the investigation/fishing process. They use the line still awaiting a response from policyholder again and again after a response is given to frustrate the process deliberately. So in essence CL keeps asking questions and we respond and therefore FSA and llloyds will never investigate our complaints.

Also the Insurance broker has no "empty property Insurance" and therefore washed their hands of us with that house. We are now uninsured for that house as other insurances refuse to insure without some proof of estimated costs of claim and if there is a claim. I can not take my other policies away from the Broker (without major financial penalty) as they set us up with CL/Underwriter policy until the claim is resolved.

Any one interested in sharing experiences and/or joint legal action against CL?

Anonymous said...

E My claim was declined last April by C and L. I put my house on the market for the market value , only to be told there was a problem,had to pay for my own survey,c andl then accepted the claim in October.said they would pay without me paying the excess,then went back on this because some trees needed to be taken out. Ihave taken this to the ombudsman,it's (given me very severe worry,not something I or anyone else should go through and i have still no resolve}

onesureinsurance said...

Personally I think its because they don't really want to help and according to this blog, what I have said seems true. 6 weeks and there was still no decision I think that is quite poor.

Ian Love said...

You can avoid all these problems and have your claim independently assessed and handled by a third party expert.

Just visit

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who will manage your claim for you and speed up any settlement that is due to under 1 week

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SteveS@Bolton said...

8 months and 17 days after a simple escape of water from a downstairs wash basin and Cunningham Lindsey are using all the aforementioned tricks on our claim. Except that we were advised to use an independent loss adjustor from day one, and he has been dealing with them and yet even with a professional on side we are still awaiting a satisfactory outcome. We have three children and the youngest was a 'babe in arms' when this started ... he's since learnt to crawl, then walk, and is now ready to start toilet training but without the benefit of a downstairs cloakroom because most of the ground floor is still awaiting repair!

A friend of ours in the building industry said that we shouldn't have any problem with CL because they're one of the country's biggest loss adjustor companies - wait until I point him at this site and inform him that they lost the BBC as a client due to the way they handle claims!

First claim ever made in 14 years on household insurance since owning a property - am absolutely disgusted that a company can routinely behave in this way.

Glad I stumbled across your blog after searching for "Complaints about Cunningham Lindsey being slow to resolve insurance claim" ... says it all, really!

Steve in Manchester

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