There can be moments when life seems against you; a pipe might burst, you might lose a piece of jewellery, or maybe your neighbour’s kid thinks he’s the next Cristiano Ronaldo and expertly curls a shot into the top corner of your newly installed kitchen window. Whatever befalls you, there are times when you may need to make a claim on your home insurance. So here are a few “dos and don’ts” for making what can be a necessity, slightly less painless.
DO: Act fast. You may not know if it’s going to be worth making a claim at first, but it’s still worth putting your insurers on notice as soon as the possibility of a claim arises. In the case of water seeping through your walls after a burst pipe or leak, it can be hard to tell how long the problem has gone on for before becoming visible. Don’t leave anything to chance, let your insurers know.
DON’T: Overdo it. Every claim you make, whether it’s accepted or not, has to remain on your policy for the next five years. Numerous small claims will have a serious effect on your premium come renewal. It’s vital to work out whether the benefit of claiming will be outweighed by the renewal terms you are faced with down the line. Even if you decide to change insurer, you will still be required to disclose all your previous claims of the last five years and multiple claims may make it harder for you to change insurer at all.
DO: Be organised. Take pictures, find receipts, get quotes for any repair works or replacements needed. There’s no limit to the amount of information you can provide your insurers. Even better, the more comprehensive information you can provide makes it likely the claim will be dealt with and hopefully settled as quickly as possible. Problem? What problem?
DON’T: Exaggerate. Ok, it may seem obvious, but there can always be the temptation to get more than you deserve. Maybe your sofa has been damaged beyond repair, and you fell a little tempted to claim for a nicer, and potentially more expensive one. The potential consequences are never going to be worth it. Your insurer won’t necessarily expect you to replace it with an identical model, but you should always follow the principal of like for like replacement.
DO: Trust your broker. Your broker or intermediary will help be able you help you every step of the way when dealing with those pesky claims. So trust us, and listen to our advice. It’s what we’re here for after all.
Fingers crossed you will never have to refer to this, but hopefully, these will help guide you through a stressful time if the unthinkable was to happen.
Written by: Patrick Eden, Client Servicing & Claims Associate, firstname.lastname@example.org