Most people hope to never need to make an insurance claim. They typically mark the event of something going wrong; from your car needing to be repaired following an accident or your case going missing whilst on holiday. It is rarely good news.
However, with the wide range of things we need to insure these days, probability suggests that at one point in your life you, or someone in your family, will need to make an insurance claim..
It is at this point that it helps to know how best to make a claim that will be successful. After all, whilst most decent insurance providers will pay out for genuine claims, there is an element on your part to provide all information to the insurer to support what you are claiming for.
Prepare for all eventualities in advance
However organised or unorganised you are, when it comes to insurance it helps to go the extra mile.
Keeping your insurance policy documents carefully filed somewhere within easy access means that if you need to find them quickly, you can.
In addition, keeping receipts for valuable items, as well as photographs to document their condition, can help significantly if you need to claim on your insurance.
Insurance claim process
When making a claim, whether it relates to your car insurance, travel insurance, home insurance, practice insurance or indemnity insurance, broadly the same process applies.
Here are steps to follow to improve the ease of the insurance claim process.
(1) Make a prompt report
Making a prompt report to the insurer is an essential part of the claim. Particularly if an item has been lost or stolen, most policies have time-limits in which you can report the incident.
If something of yours has been stolen, or vandalised, a police report will be necessary as part of the claim, so this should always be your first action, before starting the claim process with the insurance company.
(2) Check the details of your policy
Although you should always aim to understand in advance each of your insurance policies and what is covered, when it comes to making a claim, you need to revisit the finer detail.
For example, if you have a burst water pipe, it may not be covered for you to instruct your own plumber to fix it. Some policies stipulate that any repairs are carried out by insurance company representatives, so they make the necessary arrangements.
With the policy documents in hand, it is now a good time to note your insurance policy reference too as this will be needed early on in the claim process.
(3) Write down all the facts
Especially in cases where stress is involved, such as car accidents or overseas travel mis-haps, it is easy to quickly forget the series of events as it actually happened.
Write down important information such as:
- the day and time an event happened
- what was damaged, lost or stolen
- who you spoke with, such as airport staff or third parties in a car accident
- flight numbers if it was a travel issue
- estimated financial loss
Insurance companies are experienced in looking for things that don’t stack up as part of a claim. It’s therefore important to get the facts right.
(4) Call your insurance broker first
It is always worth contacting your insurance broker before calling your insurer. Often they will help by giving you advice to ensure your claim is successful and assist with the paperwork too.
(5) Call the insurance company to start your claim
Once you are satisfied you have everything organised and your facts straight, then is the time to call the insurance company.
The number for the claims department is usually on the policy, or visit the website of the insurer to find out their method.
Be prepared to provide full details during the initial call.
Remember, even though your claim is genuine, many other people attempt to exaggerate information to reap additional money from a claim. The insurer will ask plenty of questions to ensure that your claim is valid.
Quick tips for a successful claim
- File your claim as soon as possible, even if you don’t perceive it to be urgent.
- Provide clear details with as many facts and references as possible
- Don’t exaggerate!
- Document any damage, where possible, with photo evidence
- Document the claim process too, including the people you speak with, what they say and any reference numbers