If something bad happens that ends up in an insurance claim, it’s important to make sure that the paperwork sails through and the insurer pays out.
Home insurance policies have several terms and conditions that can trip up a claim, so this quick guide explains the important points to consider from the start:
Work out whether claiming is worthwhile
If the policy has a high excess that is more or less the value you expect the insurer to pay out, then it’s better to pay for the damage or replacement yourself.
Don’t waste time
Most policies have a 30-day limit for making a claim. Check that the claim is covered by the buildings or contents cover and ask for a claims forms which should list all the information the insurer wants about the incident.
If the claim involves a theft or other criminal act, tell the police and ask for the crime reference number.
For something lost, again report the loss to the police and ask for an incident reference number.
Clearly explain the claim
The value depends on the insurance cover – a basic policy will value the claim after wear and tear while ‘new for old’ will simply replace the item with a new one.
If the claim is for damage to your home, call out an emergency repairman and then contact the insurer before agreeing any further work.
Keep any invoices and receipts handy to pass to the insurer.
Get all the details together
Have your policy details handy when calling the claims line – they will want to check your policy number.
Pictures tell a story
Take plenty of photos and try and include a ruler or devise some other way to denote scale.
It’s called gilding the lily – making a larger claim than the true value of the item lost or damaged. Making a false claim is fraud – a criminal offence which could end up with a jail term or hefty fine.