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Insurance Assessors fees

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We used a loss assessor to handle a household insurance claim for us. The fees agreed at the start were 10% of the eventual payout + expenses, which I believe to be fairly standard. However, having just sent us a statement, he's not only charged us the 10% & expenses, but 17.5% VAT on top.


Is this correct? That effectively makes it a 27.5% fee - not the 10% I was expecting them to take!

Settled Claims:

Abbey: £4025 Claimed 27/02/06 - Paid in full 19/06/06

NatWest: £4529 Claimed 10/05/06 - Paid in full 1/08/06

Halifax: £1150 lba 18/05/06 - Paid in full 07/06/06

Natwest CC: £420 Initial letter 25/07/06 - Paid in full 08/06

Woolwich: £1100 Paid in full 28/2/07 + Default removed

NatWest Pt 2: £1700 Claimed 10/05/06 - Paid in full 7/2/07 + Defaults removed


Current Claims:

Abbey Pt 2: £2300 + adverse credit removal claimed 23/03/07

Alliance & Leicester: £1421 + adverse credit removal claimed 23/03/07


Refunds pending:

Capital Bank: Swift Advances: Halifax


Son's Refunds pending:

Abbey: HSBC

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The assessor should have been regulated by the FSA and should have therefore been required to have specified that the fees were 10% plus VAT at the outset. Our terms of business state that our fees are plus VAT but we also generally send out a letter to our clients when we issue the terms of business making it quite clear that the fees are the agreed percentage (which varies with the size/complexity of the claim) plus VAT


If we omitted to advise a client that our fee was indeed 10% plus VAT I feel that we would be limited to recovering 10% of the claim and we would have to amend our invoice to total 10% including VAT.


If they did not specify the fact that the fee rate was plus VAT I suggest that you advise them of the above and pay them 10%, letting them do whatever they consider necessary re the VAT. Anyone reasonable would just deal with inhouse and get on with their other cases!! If they have got you to sign a mandate authorising your insurers to pay them so that they can deduct the fee before they send you your money and they keep the VAT just complain to the FSA about them.


Hope its not our company that have made this mistake!!

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