Having to claim on your home insurance is not an ideal situation to find yourself in. But don’t feel embarrassed, it’s what your insurance is there for in the first place.
A good insurer will be able to provide immediate advice and guidance, and handle your claim swiftly and efficiently. If they don’t, you’ll at least learn that it could be time to change insurers.
With help from your home cover provider, and a little effort on your part, the claim process shouldn’t be more than a minor inconvenience.
Key steps you should take when claiming:
1. Check your policy – Find your policy details and check whether you’re covered for the claim you want to make and the circumstances surrounding what happened. If you’re in any doubt, contact your insurer to discuss it
2. Emergency action – If there is any emergency action that needs to be taken, such as replacing of locks or repair of burst pipes, take pictures if you can prior to the work, make notes and keep all receipts.
3. If it’s criminal – If a crime such as burglary or malicious damage to your property is the reason for your claim, report the offense to the police immediately and obtain a crime reference number. Your insurer will require this as part of the claim.
4. Contact your insurer – Explain what’s happened to your insurer and ask for the relevant claim form as soon as the loss or damage has occurred. Most have a telephone claims helpline which will be detailed in your policy documents.
5. Provide supporting evidence – Put together as much evidence regarding the claim and the circumstances surrounding it as possible. Photos, estimates for building work, even witness statements are all very useful.
6. Value of items – If you can, supply receipts for items you’re claiming on. If you haven’t got any receipts, then try and get proof of value, such as quotes for the same or similar items online or from a retailer.
7. Claim form first, estimates later – If you can’t get estimates and quotes straight away, complete the claim form first, return it and send the other information later. You have a fixed length of time in which you can return the claim form, and you don’t want to miss this deadline.
8. Damaged items – Keep any damaged items that you’re claiming on, even if it means piling up wet carpets in a shed or spare room.
9. Small claims and larger claims – Small claims are usually settled quickly, but for larger claims, your insurer will probably send a loss adjustor (also known as a claims investigator) to your home to talk about the claim and decide on the claim’s value. If you disagree, you can appoint your own loss adjustor for a second opinion, or take your grievance to the insurance ombudsman. Loss adjustors are independent of insurers, but paid by them. In most cases, they will make fair and reasonable decisions.
10. Is it worth claiming? – For smaller claims, you may want to consider whether it’s worth claiming at all. You may have built up a decent no-claims bonus and losing it could mean that over the next few years the increased cost of your home cover outweighs the value of your claim.
We carefully select the insurers on our panel for their cover levels, price and claims service; to make sure you get the best possible quality for less. What you see is what you get – no hidden excesses or excessive fees. To speak to one of our experts, call 0203 014 9300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org