The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has often been perceived as a double edged sword for consumers and small businesses in the context of insurance disputes.
On the one hand it provides a free and impartial service for disputes involving insurance claims under a variety of policy types, thus avoiding the need for expensive legal proceedings. On the other hand the awards are capped at £150,000 with little prospect of recovering losses in excess of that figure.
The recent case of Clark v In Focus Asset Management & Tax Solutions Limited has changed all that. In this case the High Court ruled that a party may accept an FOS determination and then claim additional damages from the same party through the Courts.
The consequences of the judgment are significant. Essentially it is now open to parties to obtain determinations from the FOS for the maximum amount of £150,000 and then issue Court proceedings to recover the remainder of their losses.
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