New proposals to force insurers to pay claims quickly

Judith Thompson  13-10-2015

Have you made an insurance claim which was not paid out quickly? This can be a very frustrating situation for customers with valid claims. There is currently no redress if an insurer drags their feet.

New proposals in the Enterprise Bill 2015 would introduce new sections to the Insurance Act 2015. These new proposals would mean that:

  • insurers would be obliged to pay insurance claims within a reasonable time, which would include time to investigate the claim, and asses how much should be paid; and
  • insurers who failed in this obligation would also have to pay damages to the insured for breach of contract.

No strict time limits for payment of insurance claims are proposed. The insurer will merely be obliged to pay out a claim within a "reasonable" time frame. What is reasonable will depend upon the facts of each claim, and will include:

  • the type of insurance policy;
  • the value of the claim;
  • the complexity of the claim;
  • the way the claim is dealt with; and
  • outside factors which the insurers cannot control.

If the bill has an uncomplicated passage through parliament, this could become law in 2016.

Samuels Solicitors are litigation experts based in North Devon. If you have issues with an insurance company, contact us to discuss how we could help.