Claim Letter (Examples and Templates)

The claim letter – sometimes known as a ‘letter before action’ – is a simple written communication designed to let a second party know their service is unsatisfactory. As such, claim letters can be sent in many circumstances. Whether you’ve suffered an avoidable accident in a poorly maintained business or received inferior work from a contractor, sending one of these letters is a step towards recompense.

Often, claim letters are the first stage of formal legal proceedings against a company or individual that’s in breach of contract. They don’t always lead to litigation; however, if a court case is used to recover lost expenses, a claim letter may be shown as evidence. As these letters come before legal actions, they prove the claimant has taken the necessary steps to notify the defendant of the dispute.

There is more than one type of claim letter. These formal communications are useful for scenarios in which one party is unsatisfied with another and wishes to have their expenses returned. Imagine, for example, you buy an expensive piece of furniture or technology, and it breaks down three weeks into a year-long warranty. You may wish to write a claim letter for a refund or replacement.

Perhaps you slipped on an unclean floor in a restaurant and suffered injuries that led to expensive medical bills. Maybe you paid a courier to deliver a valuable item, but it never showed up, and now you need a claim letter for lost goods by transport. The insurance claim letter an individual writes to claim against their own or somebody else’s insurance policy is another good example.

Claim letters may be used as legal evidence, so they should always be composed in an appropriate tone. Even if the dispute between yourself and the offending party is fairly antagonistic, you’re advised to take a formal (and well mannered) stance. It increases the chances of you settling your claim without legal proceedings, and it demonstrates good character if the dispute does make it to court.

What Should I Include in My Claim Letter?

  • A clearly written statement outlining your intent to make a claim to the organization or individual referenced;
  • Any relevant policy codes, product numbers or other transaction-related identifiers;
  • Concise (but clear) description of the circumstances that led to the claim (vehicular accident, a trip resulting in injury, insufficient goods or services, etc.);
  • The action you want the organization or individual to take in response to your claim (usually a full or partial refund);
  • A clearly stated deadline for the action outlined above;
  • Your next step if the appropriate actions aren’t taken to settle your claim (legal proceedings).
  • Your contact details and an invitation to speak with you directly via phone or email;
  • Copies of any relevant documentation (receipts, policy documents, service contracts, etc).

Claim Letter Format

{Your Name/Company’s Name}

{Your Address/Company’s Address}

{Recipient’s Name}

{Recipient’s Address}

Dear {Recipient’s Name},

It has come to my attention that you have not completed the {Service} agreed in the contract you signed on {Contract Date}. In this contract, you committed to delivering the {Terms of Service} and the {Terms of Service} by {Terms of Service}.

This is three days away, so there is no longer any possibility of the work being finished on schedule. I am particularly disturbed to discover the {Issue in Dispute} and the {Issue of Dispute}, because it means I cannot {Consequence of Breach} as planned. This is likely to result in unnecessary expenses for my company.

It is deeply disappointing that you couldn’t adhere to the terms of the contract. As you have made no attempts to reach out and explain the situation, I have no option but to insist you complete the work by {Deadline Date} or face legal action for breach of contract.

I enclose a copy of the contract you signed. Please contact me on {Your Number} at your earliest convenience to discuss this matter.


{Your Name}

Sample Claim Letter

Leyton Gretta

Paper Chain Ltd.

19038 Frenchtown Frontage Rd

Frenchtown, MT, 59834

Wade Green

Tiles for Miles

842 Hornet St,

Butte, MT, 59701

Dear Wade,

On September 8th 2029, I visited the new office and discovered that your team is yet to complete the interior design work promised. When I hired your company to refit the space on August 11th 2029, you signed a contract agreeing to have the shelving system fully installed and the new carpets at least part way finished by September 2nd.

As far as I can tell, neither of these tasks have been started and only a small amount of plumbing work has been done on the bathrooms. I was hoping to move my staff into the refurbished office by the end of September, but I cannot see how this is possible.

As you haven’t informed me of any delays and, in fact, described the interior work as ‘proceeding nicely’ on August 26th, I find this completely unacceptable. No attempt has been made to inform me of the situation and, as a result, I will now lose money on removal arrangements I cannot use.

Please return and complete the job to the agreed specifications by September 15th or pay damages for non-completion as stipulated in section 5A of our contract. I enclose a copy of the document for your perusal.

I’d appreciate you calling me on 406 599 4461 to discuss this matter directly.


Leyton Gretta

Claim Letter Samples and Templates

If you need more inspiration, here are some sample letters and templates you can use as guidelines for your letter. Don’t forget, if you’re writing a claim letter for damaged goods, include the receipt (where possible) and any unique customer references.

Insurance Claim Letter

This is a letter written to your insurance company, notifying them of your intention to claim against a policy. It may be used after a car accident to claim for repairs or after a burglary to recover the value of lost items.
File Format
  • MS Word

Claim Letter for Damaged Goods

This is a letter written to a provider to notify them of unsatisfactory goods and/or services. Letters like this are normally settled when a provider replaces the damaged goods or issues a refund for items that are purchased but unusable.
File Format
  • MS Word

Claim Letter for Refund

This is a letter written to a provider, supplier, or contractor who has not delivered the goods or services promised according to the terms agreed. It makes clear your intent to seek a full or partial refund rather than giving the provider another opportunity to fulfill their responsibilities.
File Format
  • MS Word

Claim Letter for Lost Goods by Transport

This is a claim letter written to an individual or organization responsible for the safe transportation of goods to notify them that you have not received the goods as promised. It outlines your intentions to recover any fees paid for goods you purchased but cannot access.
File Format
  • MS Word

The Final Word on Claim Letters

Claim letters come in a wide variety of styles because individuals may claim for expenses incurred or lost as part of any legally binding agreement. Key things to include are a formal tone with minimal hostility, clearly stated details relating to your case (date of the contract, agreed deadlines, lost expenses, next steps), and any documents that prove or reinforce the claim.