Who Regulates Claims Management Companies?
It is not uncommon to have an unsatisfactory experience with a company or come away feeling as though you have been mistreated and deserve some form of compensation. This is where you might be looking to manage your claim with the help of a claims management company.
If you have been mis-sold a financial product, been in an accident that wasn’t your fault or had an unexpected flight delay, then you feel entitled to compensation. Claims management companies are there to help you get the money you deserve by using their years of experience.
Claims management companies can provide a useful service that helps thousands of people claim money each year, but the question remains — who regulates claims management companies? Keep reading to find out more about the governing and regulatory bodies that ensure your claims are handled correctly and fairly.
How Claims Management Companies Work
Claims management companies act as middlemen between you and the company that you are looking to claim against. They will not only take care of communication throughout the process, but they will also act on your behalf to complete any paperwork.
Initially, you may prefer to carry out any claims for free without the help of a claims management company. If you choose to do this, you can get free advice and support from the Financial Ombudsman Service.
However, there are many benefits to using a claims management company, and it can be a good idea if you have never filed a claim before. Claims management companies offer a wealth of experience in dealing with the claims process. They are also set up to deal with a large number of claims efficiently, with their own claims management software like our LogiClaim.
Who Regulates Claims Management Companies?
With so many claims management services out there, the question remains — who regulates claims management companies and ensures that the way they are conducting their business is being regulated?
All claims management companies within England, Scotland and Wales, should be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA is a conduct regulator for nearly 60,000 financial markets, services and companies. It ensures that these regulated claims management companies are trusted to provide a quality service at a reasonable cost. The FCA has three main areas of focus when it comes to regulating claims management companies:
- Claims management companies — Required to meet a set of standards and help customers get the compensation they deserve in a way that complies with the FCA’s rules and regulations.
- Customers — Should feel confident when choosing a service that meets their needs and is available at a reasonable price.
- Regulatory — Should be regulated in a way that protects the consumer, aims for a high standard of conduct and builds consumer confidence in claims management companies.
As of the 1st of April 2019, the regulatory responsibility for claims management companies in Great Britain was passed from the Ministry of Justice’s Claims Management Regulator to the Financial Conduct Authority.
The types of claims that are included under the FCA’s responsibility are:
- Personal Injury
- Financial Products and Services
- Criminal Injuries Compensation
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Housing Disrepair
The decision to move this function from the Claims Management Regulator to the FCA has generally been received with positive feedback from within the insurance market. It is likely to give consumers increased protection.
Unauthorised Claims Management Companies
Before working with any claims management company, it is essential to check that they are registered with the FCA and authorised to deal with your claim. If you would like to check to see if a company is registered with the FCA, you can find out by searching the Financial Services Register. Checking this Financial Services Register will ensure that you are not being scammed and will give you peace of mind, knowing that any company registered with the FCA will have to adhere to their high standards.
If you choose to use a claims management company that is not registered with the FCA, you will not be able to use the Financial Ombudsman Services if your claim goes wrong.
How to Complain About Your Claims Management Company?
In the unfortunate event that you feel you have been mistreated or you are unhappy with how your claims management company has handled your case, then you should follow a complaints process.
- Contact Your Claims Company Directly
Contact the firm that you are complaining about directly, in writing, and keep a record of the correspondence. You should expect a written response from the company in question confirming that they have acknowledged your complaint within three business days.
- Make a Complaint
If the company’s response is not satisfactory, or they fail to respond altogether, then you can submit a formal complaint. You can get advice from services like the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) or Citizens Advice.
- Contact the Financial Ombudsman Service
The Financial Ombudsman Service is a free and independent service that will take over your complaint. However, you must contact the FOS within six months of receiving the final response from the company in question.
- Take It to Court
Although this may be the last resort, you may be able to take the matter to court if you have not used an independent complaints scheme and you are not happy with the decision made by the FOS.
Overall, claims management companies provide a valuable service to many members of the public, who without help would not be able to get the compensation they deserve. Thanks to the work of the FCA, these claims management companies are held to high standards, which means that you can trust the services available and be confident that your claims are in the best hands.