The FOS saw a 26% increase in complaints relating to motor insurance from the previous year, a 31% increase in buildings insurance complaints, a 23% rise in disputes about contents insurance during the 2011-2012 financial year.
In its report the ombudsman said: "It is disappointing when insurers continue to pursue cases to the final stage – requesting final decisions from an ombudsman – in areas where our approach is well known and clearly set out." In the case of motor claims it said: "Insurers can still be too quick to assume thefts are not genuine.
"We have also had concerns in some cases about the way in which the insurer has investigated issues around 'non-disclosure' by the consumer. This has included disputes where the insurer had not properly considered whether the questions they asked the customer – or the questions on a comparison site – were sufficiently clear."
The Association of British Insurers said it rejected Biba's research claims. Nick Starling, director of general insurance, said: "We do not accept any suggestion that it is getting more difficult for genuine claimants to be paid and we have seen no evidence pointing to this.”
"The priority of insurers is to pay all genuine claims as quickly and efficiently as possible."
Lisa Jefferies, Managing Partner at LJM Partnership LLP, advises why it’s so important to utilise the services of an experienced broker: “Brokers are in a unique position to work with both the client and the insurance company to process claims in an efficient and fair manner. Whilst some people prefer to work directly with an insurance provider, a broker provides invaluable skills and expertise in the unfortunate situation that you do need to make a claim. ”