Sooner or later the chances are that you’ll need to make a home insurance claims of some sort, and here’s a step by step guide to how it’s done:
Check your policy
The first point is really the most obvious, but often overlooked by homeowners stressed by having to deal with a claim – check your policy to make sure your loss is covered by your home insurance.
If you have buildings and contents policies with the same provider, then move on to the next step.
For buildings and contents policies with separate providers, do not claim off both, just the one that covers the loss.
Typically, buildings insurance covers more or less everything you leave behind when you move out, while the contents policy covers your personal belongings.
Is the claim worth making?
Work out if the loss is worth claiming – for instance if you have a £100 compulsory excess and a £100 voluntary excess and the claim is less than or not much more than £200, you might as well pay out of your own pocket and not report the incident.
This will keep the renewal cost of your policy down.
Price your loss
Keep any damaged items for the insurance company, together with receipts or photographs of lost or stolen items like jewellery or other valuables.
If you have a ‘new for old’ policy, claim for the full cost for items.
For a basic policy, a ‘wear and tear’ cost is taken from the replacement cost.
If you have to make temporary repairs – like patching the roof with a tarpaulin – keep the bills and talk the job through with the insurer before going ahead.
Your insurer will want to know:
- Your policy number
- List of items that have been damaged, including the original cost
Most home insurance firms have 24 hour claims lines to help or copies of claims forms that can be downloaded from their web sites.
Some claims are settled immediately, while others may mean sending goods to the insurer or a visit from a loss adjuster to assess the value of the claim.