How to Write a Formal Claim Letter?

If you’re wondering how to write a formal claim letter, you’re in luck. This article explores the detail.

What is a Formal Claim Letter?

man with a blue cotton shirt writing on paper
Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

A claim letter — commonly called a ‘letter before action’ — informs a second party they are disappointed. Sending one of these letters is an important step toward compensation. Whether you have suffered an avoidable injury in a poorly maintained business or received inferior work from a contractor, claim letters can be useful.

Companies that have contracted another party to complete work use these claims to make claims based on unsatisfactory work or products. For example, if a company offers to outsource production and is unhappy with the contractor’s work, it can write a claim letter. 

In this case, a claim letter expresses the intention to seek compensation for damages incurred, unsatisfactory service, incomplete work, or personal injuries. Typically, it is written and drafted by a customer or buyer to communicate their displeasure with the services or products purchased. As a result, claim letters are structured to be polite but serious.

Claim letters are usually the first step in legal proceedings against a company or individual who is in breach of contract. In many cases, claims don’t always lead to litigation; however, a court case can be used to recover lost expenses. As these letters come before legal actions, they prove the claimant has taken the necessary steps to notify the defendant of the dispute.

Claim letters can be used as legal evidence, so they should always be composed in an appropriate tone. While the dispute between you and the offending party may seem rather antagonistic, it is advised that you take a diplomatic position. It demonstrates good character if the dispute makes it to court, and it increases the chances of you settling your claim quickly.

How to Write a Formal Claim Letter?

Keep these tips in mind when writing your claim letter:

  • A statement outlining your intent to claim to the organization or an individual
  • Inform your readers about the claim by citing facts specific to it
  • List what action you would like your readers to consider, accompanied by the time deadlines.
  • Include the documents or references you have included with your letter, which can be anything supporting the claim.
  • The recipient should know how to contact you for follow-up.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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