A claim letter, otherwise known as a “letter before action,” is a letter that an aggrieved person writes to let the second party know that the service they received was unsatisfactory and highlights ways to resolve the problem. As such, a claim letter can come from various circumstances where you’ve either been served poorly, have received a bad product or did not receive something you were supposed to.
Sending a claim letter is usually the first stage of proceedings before any legal proceedings. Most claim letters do not always make it to court, but if it does, a claim letter becomes a great piece of evidence supporting your case. Submitting these letters in case of litigation proves that you, the claimant, took the necessary steps to notify the defendant about your dissatisfaction.
What Is a Claim Letter?
A claim letter is a letter written to demand compensation. Compensation can be in various forms as the reasons to report a claim letter can vary depending on the context. Two of the most common cases are:
- Claim letters sent to a business because of unfavorable services or products.
- Claim letters sent to insurance companies.
Like all letters, for a claim letter to be effective, it must follow the rules that govern writing claim letters. It must be firm and not antagonistic, it must state your demands and be free from mistakes and errors.
In this article, we’re going to discuss everything that’s associated with writing claim letters for various instances and give some samples to help you write the perfect claim letter.
Everything You Need to Know Before Writing a Claim Letter
- Get your message across in a clear and concise manner.
A claim letter is a legal document, which means regardless of the type of claim letter you’re writing, you must make sure you use clear and concise language. All through the letter, you must stick to the point and state all the relevant facts leaving nothing out. You must include all the supporting evidence as this goes a long way to support your case and make your claim.
- Do not be too specific.
Everything written in your claim letter must be accurate to the best of your knowledge. And if you’re unsure about a supporting fact, you should not write it definitively. While they should all be accurate, they do not all need to be specific. This point is especially important when you’re sending a claim letter to an insurance company as they will look for every inaccuracy to render your claim void.
An example of this is, Instead of writing, “The accident happened at exactly 9:19pm,” you could write, “the accident happened at or around 9:17 pm,” or leave out a specific time altogether.
This may seem like an unnecessary detail, but if the insurance company can prove your claim didn’t happen at the time you “specifically” said it did, they can dispute your claim to the provision of inaccurate facts.
- Be firm and concise, but not antagonistic, angry, threatening or sarcastic.
When writing your claim letter, you have to remember that you’re in the right. You’re the aggrieved party. So, do not be apologetic or meek when stating your claim. You have been wronged and you deserve your compensation. Concisely state what happened and state what you believe you deserve.
One last tip, when writing a claim letter, it is important to be calm. Do not write it immediately after the offense happens, take some time to simmer down before writing your claim. Also, after writing it, do not send it in immediately, go through it a couple of times and weed out any unnecessary elements.
- State what you want.
After concisely describing what happened, explain the amends you want to be taken. If you were delivered a bad product and would like a replacement, state this in your email. If you’d like a complete refund, also state this in your email. Do not be vague in what you want or give them options to counter, do not state something like, “I expect you to come up with a solution that I will be pleased with.” Instead, write, “I would like the scooter to be replaced at no extra charge within the next 30 days. After said time, I will explore other options.”
How to Write a Claim Letter
In this section of this article, we’re going to state everything you need to know to write a claim letter.
- Provide your contact information and the recipient’s.
When writing a claim letter to a company, reach out to the company and ask for a point person. Addressing your letter to a particular person in the company will ensure your claim gets the attention it deserves. If you’re unable to locate a contact person, you can address the letter to the company.
- Offer a greeting and state your ID if applicable
After the address, offer a salutation, “Dear…” If you’re unable to find a point of contact in the company, you can address it as, “To whomever it concerns,” After this, include your identification information if you have an account with the company. This way, they can look up your account immediately and find out what’s wrong. If you don’t have an account ID, then you can proceed straight to the next stage of the letter.
- State your experience
This is the body of your letter and as we said earlier, make sure it is concise. State the three W’s of your experience, the “what”, “where” and “when”. An example of this is
“On the 17th of June I ordered a XEM 1000 cassette player (serial number 1234567) on your website and it was delivered on the 25th of June.”
- State the problem in the second paragraph
This is the point where you present your case. Explain what happened with as much relevant detail as you can.
“I unboxed the product on the 26th of June and proceeded to use it. Upon plugging it in, it didn’t come on. I have read the instruction manual and reached out to your customer support for help, all have proved abortive.”
- State your demand
You’ve stated what’s wrong, this is the point to state what you want to be done. When stating a resolution that is favorable to you, also remember to ensure that it is reasonable. “To resolve this problem, I request that you send me a new model of the XEM 1000 player at no extra charge. If you’d like me to send back this current player, kindly send me a prepaid return label. I have included a copy of my original receipt in this letter.”
- State the time limit you expect a resolution.
After stating your demand, state the time limit you expect a resolution. When doing this it is standard to give at least three weeks. Also, do not immediately threaten to hire an attorney If they don’t respond, but state that you will “look into other options” if a resolution isn’t achieved.
- This paragraph should close the body of the letter and it should contain a handwritten signature.
While a claim letter isn’t an official document, including a handwritten signature goes to make your email more serious.
Claim Letter Template One – Unsatisfied Product
(Your Address and Contact Information) (Supplier's address) (Date) Dear (Name of contact person), On (date product was ordered), I placed an order for a (item name and model) and this was delivered on (delivery date). Upon unboxing, I discovered that the item was (state problem with the item). I would like this item (state your demand) within the next 30 days. I would also like to know how you plan on retrieving the defective item with me. I hope to receive a response from you before the end of the stipulated time or I would be forced to take further actions. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards, (Your name)
Claim Letter Sample One
123 Woculus Rd. Most town, PA 12345 October 19, 2022 John Doe, Head of Customer Relations On the 17th of September 2022, I placed an order for a Samsung S17 on your website and this was delivered on the 20th of September. Upon unboxing, I discovered that the item had a cracked screen. I would like this item replaced within the next 30 days at no extra charge. I would also like to know how you plan on retrieving the defective item with me. I hope to receive a response from you before the end of the stipulated time or I would be forced to take further actions. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards, Jim Blessed
In this article, we’ve discussed everything associated with writing claim letters. A final reminder, when writing claim letters do not be uncouth or uncivil.