Insurance firm’s lame excuse does not wash

Insurance firm’s lame excuse does not wash
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An insurance company was ordered to pay for the treatment of a dog’s lame paw after its owners were successful in their complaint to the insurance industry watchdog.

The case was one of more than 400 formally investigated by the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman (FSPO) last year.

The ombudsman upheld more than 200 of the complaints and issued legally binding decisions in the banking, insurance, and investment sectors.

The couple named John and Lucy had taken out an insurance policy for their pet dog in January 2017. From the beginning, they said the company knew the dog was overweight.

The pet subsequently developed a limp but the insurer declined to cover the cost of treatment, which was in excess of €700, citing the excessive weight of the dog.

A letter from the couple’s vet provided a professional opinion that said obesity was not the underlying cause of the dog’s lameness.

The ombudsman upheld the complaint and directed the provider to pay the claim along with €300 in compensation.

In another case, the ombudsman ordered a bank to pay a couple €35,000 for overcharging them interest on their mortgage.

The couple had hired an audit firm to review the interest charged by the bank who found they had been overcharged almost €24,000 in interest.

Informal mediation was used to successfully resolve most of the complaints closed in 2019.

Of the 439 complaints closed by way of a formal investigation which resulted in a legally binding decision, 201 were either fully, substantially, or partially upheld, while 238 were not upheld.

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