Guide to Making Insurance Claims
Making Insurance Claims. It is only at the time you wish to make a claim that you see the true value of your home insurance policy. The way that you are treated at this time and your insurance companies reaction to your situation can be a deciding factor in choosing to continue with your relationship with them at renewal time.
Customers that are treated with indifference, tend to feel let down and more often than not will leave the particular insurance company at the next renewal date. Those that receive favourable treatment, tend to renew ( year after year ) and also will be happy to report their experiences to friends and families. Customer frustration relating to claims, is not restricted to failure to obtain a settlement, in the main in is caused by delays in the handling of the matter. Most people are busy and having to chase claims and being kept on hold’ can lead to a feeling of helplessness at a time when you really need support. It is sometimes difficult to quantify what good claims service is, both most people recognise when they receive it.
When you take out your insurance policy you will be provided with certain documentation, this relates to your policy cover and even if your documents cannot be produced immediately, you should be informed of the claims procedure. This will normally be basic details and include a telephone number. Your insurance policy documents will include full details of the claims procedure and like all parts of your policy document, should be studied carefully. The claims procedure will lay out how your claim will be handled by the insurance company and will usually mention in what period of time you should notify the insurance company of the loss. In general terms, you should notify your insurers of a loss as quickly as possible and certainly within the time scale mentioned. Any incident relating to a loss or theft should also be notified to the police and a reference number obtained. Many claims are turned down because the policyholder did not report the claim with in the time frame stated.
To have a claim considered as being valid under a policy, you must have complied with all the policy terms. conditions & warranties, if the policy says cover is subject to you have carried out some certain task and you have failed to complete this task then the insurers will probably not pay your claim. Some examples of conditions are, having an alarm fitted and maintained and having to drain down a water system in an empty house. Your policy will have some terms and conditions that are unique to your self, these should be studied as soon as you receive your documents
You should expect to be treated fairly and equitably by your insurance company and within a certain time scale. The Financial Services Authority expects customers to be treated fairly and if you wish to make a complaint, your policy document will tell you how to do so. Actual procedure does differ between insurance companies, some will have a 24 hours claims notification line, others will expect you to call during office hours. You may be assisted with completing a form online or in some cases be posted or emailed a claim form. You should be prepared for your insurance company to request supporting documentation as to ownership and value of property, particularly in the event of a loss. You may be asked to provided a purchase receipt some it is a good idea to keep these at home in a safe place. Following a claim, you may find that you insurance company will choose to repair or replace damaged items at their discretion. They have this option of reinstatement. They may send you a cheque or they may just replace the items via one of their suppliers.
Immediately after an event it may be difficult to remember everything so keeping notes can help you have a claim settled quickly and efficiently. Tell your broker or insurer of a loss as soon as possible, in the event of a serious claim they well want to appoint a loss adjuster. Some insurance companies will want to give their authority before your repair or replace anything although most will allow you to effect temporary emergency repairs to help prevent further damage or a further loss ( such as having a broken window boarded up following a break-in. When contacting your insurance company they will want a list of what has been damaged and stolen. Make a list so as you can go through this on the telephone. They will also want to know your policy number, which can be found on your schedule of insurance, always keep this document in a safe place.
When deciding to deal with a claim your insurers will always make reference to the policy document for what ever eventuality is covered or not. Your policy document will also list the policy excess. This is the first portion of the loss that you will have to pay your self £50 or £100.00 are typical excesses. Before making a claim, you may like to enquire of the insurer if your policy has a no claims bonus. You may find that after you have paid the excess and lost your no claims bonus, some minor incidents are not worth bothering with.