Most Brits ignoring insurance T&Cs
More than half of Britons fail to read the terms and conditions on their home insurance policy, while almost half have had a claim rejected, a leading insurer has warned.
Research by holiday home insurance firm Schofields found policyholders were ignoring or failing to understand their policies, then having claims rejected for not meeting the requirements of the insurer.
Only 43% of respondents had read the terms and conditions on their policy, and of them, only 26% said they were confident about how they were covered.
Of the 47% who had had a claim rejected or entered into a dispute with their insurer, the reasons behind their insurance troubles included a lack of receipts for lost items, a failure to describe the locks accurately and a failure to inform the insurer of items worth more than the single item claim limit.
Phil Schofield, spokesman for Schofields, said: "Unfortunately, we have seen an increasing number of disputes in recent months where insurers have refused to pay claims on the basis of alleged non-disclosure, arguing that the consumer had not declared relevant facts.
"This can be a huge problem for consumers, as quite often the questions asked by insurance companies are not very clear."
However, research by consumer watchdog Which? has found more than half of customers are happy with the service they receive from their insurers. NFU Mutual topped the table with an 86% satisfaction score, while Hiscox and LV= were not far behind.
In November 2012, Which? warned that consumers are unable to make sense of banking small print even when given unlimited time to try to understand it. It found that HSBC had the longest current account T&Cs, running to nearly 30,000 words – which would take the average reader more than an hour-and-a-half to read.
An account opened with a clearing bank (few building societies offer current accounts) that provides the ability to draw cash (usually via a debit card) or cheques from the account. Some pay fairly minimal rates of interest if the account is in credit. Most current accounts insist your monthly income (salary or pension) is paid directly in each month and they offer a number of optional services – such as overdrafts and charge cards – which are negotiable but will incur fees.