The Sunday Post (Inverness)

Refund warning


The finance watchdog will extend its rules for banks and insurers on the fair treatment of customers claiming refunds for cancellati­ons linked to the Covid pandemic.

The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) guidelines spell out to insurers that they should not make policyhold­ers go to “unreasonab­le lengths” when they attempt to make a claim for cancelled events.

The rules also require bank card providers to avoid delays on requests for money to be returned to customers.

Introduced last October, the rules were due to run out this month. The watchdog has said it will keep them in place for the foreseeabl­e future. The guidelines were introduced as many consumers were denied refunds from travel companies or event organisers over cancelled holidays or weddings.

Policyhold­ers would typically claim a refund through their insurance policies or a chargeback from their credit card provider.

Insurers should not impose undue requiremen­ts on customers to exhaust every option before claiming on their policies, the guidance says.

The watchdog warned that customers should not have to start legal proceeding­s to prove they have attempted to get their money back – email records that prove the policyhold­er has tried to get a refund should be sufficient.

The watchdog also stressed credit card companies should process refund requests within a reasonable time-frame.

The Associatio­n of British Insurers said in February that the industry expected to pay out an estimated £152 million in travel insurance claims and £121m on other types of insurance, including event and wedding cancellati­ons.

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