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The Cotswold Group/John Lewis Home Insurance investigation over non disclosed claim

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Hi, I am hoping someone here can give me some advice as I am really worried about this

 

I changed my home insurers to John Lewis (from NatWest) in January this year.

No specific reason as I was always happy with NatWest but my premium had increased so I shopped around.

 

To my knowledge I gave JL details of all previous claims

(i.e. I am not aware that I failed to mention any)

and I did not take out no claims protection

or did I benefit from a no claims reduction in my new policy.

 

 

In June last year I claimed with Natwest for a damaged speaker under the accidental section of my policy.

 

Last Thursday my daughter dropped one of my wireless speakers and it was not repairable so, given the cost of it (£499), I contacted JL to make a claim.

 

 

They offered me a cash settlement which I was happy with but then called to say that "due to the number of undisclosed claims" they would be referring not only my claim for the speaker but also my entire policy to their underwriters.

 

Today I get a call from the Cotswold Group wanting to interview me over the telephone about my claim. I didn't answer because I was in a meeting.

I googled them and they are private investigators and insurance fraud specialists

 

 

I then received an email asking me to make an appointment to discuss my claim and policy

naturally I am very confused and scared as to why JL have instructed them to contact me?

 

I decided that given the simplicity of the claim I would call JL to advise them I no longer wanted to proceed as it all seemed rather odd.

 

 

The chap I spoke to said "I will pass this on to our specialist team" which again caused some alarm.

He was very abrupt and then literally minutes later I get another email from The Cotswold Group saying this:

 

"I have received a call from John Lewis to advise of your call mentioned below.

 

They have confirmed they are unable to accept the withdrawal of the claim as we have been appointed to carry out further enquiries in relation to your claim and policy before any decision can be agreed."

 

They are INSISTING I speak to them and I am thinking Why am I being investigated for what JL obviously think is insurance fraud by a team of private investigators specialising in "deep web mining"?

 

Even if i did omit to mention the NatWest Claim last year it was definitely not on purpose!

 

I am quite literally terrified now.

Can someone please help or explain why they are doing this

and how I should respond to the email from The Cotswold Group.

 

 

Why are JL refusing to allow me to drop my claim??

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Why not talk to the Cotswold group? See what they have to say.

I claimed on my MPI twice in rapid succession - that raised eyebrows and i was put over to an underwriting firm due to this. I explained everything that happened and they were happy about this.

 

It wont harm for now...


 

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Well I have no choice other than to talk to them given JL are refusing to allow me to drop my insurance claim and they are insisting they need to, I quote "interview me with regard to my policy with John Lewis, my recent claim and previous claims with Natwest".

 

What scares me is if you google The Cotswold Company they are not underwriters but private investigators specialising in insurance fraud so this makes me think I am being investigated for insurance fraud. If I had made multiple high end claims over the last few years then I would understand it but I am just an ordinary person making a claim for something I damaged accidentally that is too expensive to go out and replace.

 

Is it because they think I am trying to claim for the same thing twice (i.e. a damaged wireless speaker?) and think I am lying about it to extract money from them? I offered to send JL pictures of the speaker but they were happy to proceed without them or send someone out to take a look.

 

What also scares me is the woman from JL last week said she had tried to put my claim through but "the system would let her because of my multiple undisclosed claims"???!!! Multiple? I've had three low value accidental damage claims in as many years - all under £400. Isn't this what we pay our premiums for?

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Just phone Natwest to get hold of the claims details on your old policy and deal with Cotswold Group properly.

 

You have nothing to worry about. The worst thing you can do is behave as you are at the moment. You are making yourself look dishonest, which i am sure is not the case. People make mistakes in not declaring an odd claim and they may end up paying a higher premium. If you try to not deal with this properly you will end up with a cancelled policty and red flags on Insurance databases warning Insurers to avoid you. This could mean that over the years you have to pay thousands extra for Insurance, possibly making it unaffordable.


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Sensible advice now I've calmed down. I should have asked the question on here first before reacting. Now I've called NatWest to cancel the claim I've only made myself look guilty haven't I :( Will NatWest give me the details of previous claims? The thing is, I can't remember them in detail as I was with them for years.

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Sensible advice now I've calmed down. I should have asked the question on here first before reacting. Now I've called NatWest to cancel the claim I've only made myself look guilty haven't I :( Will NatWest give me the details of previous claims? The thing is, I can't remember them in detail as I was with them for years.

 

Yes they will give you the details and might be able to email them to you.

 

Perhaps your one claim has somehow been duplicated on Insurance databases in error.


We could do with some help from you.

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 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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OK thanks. It's just that The Cotswold Group sound so scary when you google them :) :)

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The Cotswold Group (GF) will have been appointed because of a combination of the current claim which is also similar to your previous claim and also the non disclosed claim.

 

Not disclosing an Accidental Damage claim and then making another fraudulent AD claim is generally not what a fraudster would do, which they will be aware of and will be wanting to ensure the current claim is a valid claim.

 

They are also likely to be tasked with looking into whether the non disclosure of the claim was intentional or was innocent.

 

They will have been asked to validate your claim due to your non disclosure and the two claim ticking a number of boxes which results in CG being involved.

 

You asking to withdraw the claim would set off alarm bells at the Insurer as generally a customer with a valid claim wants to their claim paid and would not withdraw the claim

 

They are likely to perform a "Cognitive Interview" (Google it) on you which is similar to how police interview witnesses and suspects and is designed to indicate whether the truth is being told or not. It will basically be them asking you to tell them what happened with the dropped speaker and also when you applied for the Insurance. They will then ask you to repeat certain parts of the story (Possibly in a random order) in addition they will ask seemingly random / unconnected questions for instance what sort of music was your daughter listening to when she dropped the speaker.

 

The purpose of the interview is that someone who has made up a story will have thought of a basic story and invented a story to answer what questions they are expecting, the random questions they ask are the type of question someone who is telling the truth would know the answer to but someone who is not telling the truth would not know. In addition someone telling the truth may not know the answer and will tell the interviewer they do not remember or know the answer but someone lying may not answer or may invent an answer.

 

The interviewers are very highly trained and can detect the tell tell signs of someone lying and they are also trained to spot the signs of a truthful story.

 

You may find the interview process stressful in that they seem to ask the same question a number of times but worded differently, this is not because they do not believe you, but because it is one of their techniques to see if you change your story.

 

Do not be afraid of the interview, if you are telling the truth you have nothing to worry about, if you make a mistake in your answer do not worry as they expect this as it is natural, they will pick up the lies.

 

Be aware that they are very likely to ask you why you forgot to disclose a claim that only occurred last June, just be truthful about the reason.

 

I strongly recommend you stick to the truth throughout the conversation and then you have nothing to worry about.

 

I notice they use RSA as one of their Insurers, RSA are well known in the industry for wanting to apply terms to the renewals or to new customers who have had an Accidental Damage claim, so it may be that if they are happy with your claim & non disclosure that they increase the policy excess to what they would have done had you declared the claim.

 

It is also a possibility that they do not accept new customers who have made a previous Accidental Damage claim in the last two years. If this is the case they are within their rights to void your policy and not pay your claim.

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Wow! Thank you so much for your response and to everyone else too. I really wish I'd have not contacted JL to cancel the claim now as it does make me look guilty.

 

The truth is, I was really shocked looking at The CG website and thought "oh my god, all this for one little AD claim???!!!" I didn't even think about how it would make me look :( All I was thinking about was how busy I am and that I could do without the hassle and stress.

 

The non disclosure was totally innocent. I don't even remember them asking the question (it was all done online and in a rush before my old policy expired) and yes the two claims look similar but I (like many others) have wireless speakers and (like many others), have children who are prone to drop things.

 

I will of course tell the truth as there is no reason not to. I am still in a state of shock that I am being considered to be a fraudster!

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It is not a problem that you asked to cancel the claim if you speak to CG, their interview technique should highlight that your reason for wanting to cancel was genuinely to avoid the hassle and not because you had been found out.

 

Just tell the truth and you will be fine.

 

Be aware they may have googled you and also checked your social media, so they may mention these if they feel they are relevant.

 

They will send their report to your Insurers for their decision, they in effect gather evidence and submit it to the Insurers

 

P.S The interview may take 30 minutes to 45 minutes

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