Yes, you heard me right ‘’Screw you!’’.
No this isn’t some sort of belated April fools, or me insulting you. In fact, this isn’t me at all. This is what Insurers tell you when they don’t want to pay your claim. Maybe not in these rude abrasive terms.
Of course not, but I wanted to shake you out of your comfort zone. I want you to sit up and take notice. I want you to do the right thing now, and not wait till it’s too late.
You see, they normally start or conclude their letters to you with…. ‘therefore we regret’’…. ‘’ we are sorry to tell you that’’….’’unfortunately we must advise that due to…..(fill in the blank), ‘’ we are unable to cover your claim in this occasion’’.
There are so many reasons they can cite, some valid, some spurious. But the bottom line is the same -‘’Screw You!’’
When I first started out in the Loss Adjusting industry back in 1990 (blimey where have the last 29 years gone), I was acting on behalf of Insurers, dealing with the usual range of property related claims on their behalf.
Fires, thefts, storms, floods, and burst pipes. There was a strong sense that our role was to ‘Adjust’ the claims in Insurer’s favour. You can guess what ‘Adjust’ means.
Don’t believe me? Well, I can lift the curtain little and let you have a peek behind. Insurers measured how many claims we would decline.
How many claims we would refer to Special Investigations (treat as fraud, treat you like a criminal). Measure our performance on ‘leakage’.
That’s a good word isn’t it – ‘leakage’. Leakage is another way of saying that Insurers think they’ve paid you too much. It gets better. There is ‘’hard leakage’’ and ‘’soft leakage’’.
In fact, I recently started to count all the exclusions (‘’we will not pay for….’’) clauses in a standard Home Insurance policy and got bored when I got to over 160.
Over 160 standard exclusions. That is just the basic things Insurers won’t pay for and doesn’t even take account of the specific endorsement and warranties that may apply to your specific policy.
Frankly, its mind boggling.
And when you consider the contractual small print language that is used, it’s hardly surprising that no one bothers to read it all.
How on earth can you be expected to?
So when your house burns down, or your shops is burgled, and you put your claim in, why on earth would you be surprised when you get a ‘Screw You’’ letter.
Insurers and their Loss Adjusters, who are experts at interpreting insurance policies will always look to find a reason why they should not pay your claim, in part or in full, or simply just to ensure you get less.
Once upon a time, I was a Client Relationship Manager for a major firm of Loss Adjusters. That’s a fancy way of saying, it was my role to ensure our relationship with our Insurance company clients ran smoothly.
So I oversaw a load of management data, service standards, and key performance indicators (KPI’s). It was also my role to deal with complaints from the claimants.
Boy, was this a thankless task as you can imagine.
One Insurer we worked for, said they were different, and that they always wanted to find a way to pay a claim. Crickey, what a shock. Just let that sink in for a minute. If this was their stance, what were the rest of the market up to.
So when you get your ‘Screw You’ letter, don’t say I didn’t warn you.