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‘Complaining through CMC can halve compensation’

Consumers receive more than double the payout for an endowment claim if they go direct rather than use a claim firm, according to research from the Association of British Insurers.

It says policyholders complaining through a claim management company receive an average £1,400 compared with £3,200 when individuals complain themselves.

The research shows that 71 per cent of complaints made direct this year have been upheld compared with 51 per cent of claims received through a CMC.

The FSA produced research this week indicating that the industry has now paid out £2.7bn in redress to more than 1.8 million consumers over endowment complaints.

The regulator also announced improvements in firms’ complaint-handling procedures, with 14 of 22 firms the FSA had concerns about taking remedial actions to improve processes.

ABI director of life and pensions Chris Kenny says: “It is absolutely clear policyholders get a better outcome when they complain direct. Policyholders should understand there is a fair and entirely free system in place. CMCs add no value to the process yet charge a hefty fee for doing so.”

BrunelFranklin.com corporate relations director Ian Allison says: “The ABI’s data is questionable, to say the least. We have always stated to clients that they have the option of doing the claim themselves, and/or using the Financial Ombudsman Service.”

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