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Insurance Fined For Playing Devil's Advocate

Fire Claims, Loss Assessor, Theft Claims

When dealing with a claim, Insurance Companies would usually hire a Loss Adjuster who would actually seem independent but are actually paid for and only work for the Insurance Company. This means that when the Adjuster’s time come to adjust your loss, they would be working with a small bias by looking for ways to limit the payout or find a way to dismiss the claim by finding small faults.

During Fires and Theft damages, it is often common that Insurance Companies do hire External Advisers and Investigators, but they are only used to determine the cause of the incident. They would build a report and share their findings with the Insurance Company to verify the information used in the claim.

But an Insurance Company took it one step further by hiring two Private Investigators to unlawfully obtain bank details of their own client. Their aim was to find any of the client’s financial history and determine how they should proceed if they were threatened by legal action.

 They were investigating an insurance claim by Michael Cookson, whose Lancashire nightclub, the Voodoo Lounge, burned down in 2004. They wanted to know if Cookson had enough money to take legal action, according to the ICO.

This practice has been ongoing for 14 years and no doubt involves other claimants. It seems at the time Mr Cookson did not engage with a Loss Assessor which meant that the Insurance Company were able to take advantage of his circumstances and prolong the claim, so much so that Mr Cookson was seeking to take Legal Action as.

Engaging a Loss Assessor would have taken all the stress away by handling all points of communications with the Loss Adjuster and their principles, the Insurance Company. A Loss Assessor would be on your side and help you to settle the claim as soon as possible getting everything you are entitled to.

The fines, totalling more than £150,000, were described by an official watchdog as the highest ever imposed under the Data Protection Act for unlawfully acquiring personal information. The sentencing on Friday marks the first convictions from an inquiry by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) into the use of private detectives by companies.

The inquiry, into what has been called “blue-chip hacking”, has centred on claims that companies, including legal, insurance and financial firms, have illicitly acquired confidential personal details of victims.

These Investigators attempted to access this information by using the Illegal practice called “Blagging”.

The blaggers often pretend to be from another part of the organisation and use jargon and internal knowledge of computer systems to make their stories sound plausible.

Hopefully this will send a stark warning to the malpractices and underhand tactics engaged by some Insurance Companies and their Loss Adjusters to try to repudiate or minimise claim payouts. Claims Handling companies and Loss Assessors should have the knowledge and skill to handle the Insurance Company in a professional manner and make sure that the client gets everything they are entitled to.

Source: The Guardian

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