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How do you choose a loss assessor?

When I’m talking to someone after they’ve had a fire or a flood and they’re considering whether they should use a loss assessor to handle their claim, they often ask the question ‘how do I know you’re reputable?’. The answer is simple: we tell them about the regulation that governs loss assessors.

In 2005, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) launched a regulation scheme for loss assessors. As a result, by law any loss assessor who works on behalf of a policyholder when they need to make an insurance claim must be ‘authorised’ by the FSA. This means they have met the stringent standards required to manage an insurance claim and handle clients’ money.

Are they ‘authorised’?

So, our answer to that question is: before you appoint a loss assessor, ask whether they are a fully regulated company listed by the FSA as ‘authorised’. If they are not, then your insurance company may refuse to deal with them.

We also warn policyholders to make sure that the firm isn’t operating under the umbrella of another company’s FSA registration. They can check this by visiting the FSA site and entering the name of the company or the assessor in the search box. If they come up as ‘Appointed Representative’ then that means they do not comply with the FSA regulations and are using someone else’s registration. This is likely to be someone who may not be completely independent – such as an insurance broker or other financial services company – and this may be detrimental to the outcome of the claim.

Of course, if the name doesn’t appear at all in the search of the site, then that means the firm doesn’t have FSA authority and your insurer will refuse to deal with them.

So verifying the trustworthiness of a loss assessor is very simple. At Morgan Clark, we’re very proud of the fact that we were the first firm of loss assessors to be authorised by the FSA: indeed, we met all the criteria laid down as soon as the scheme was launched in 2005. We don’t think there is any better way of ensuring the loss assessor you choose will handle your claim in the best possible way.

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