How to make an insurance claim
How Do I Make an Insurance Claim?
If you have accurate details and provide everything your insurer needs, then making an insurance claim should be straightforward and hassle free. We should all take steps to keep our documents and paperwork in order so that we are equipped with all the relevant information if and when a claim arises.
Keep your insurance policy documents in a safe place and keep any receipts for items that are insured. If you have specified individual valuable items in your insurance policy, it’s a good idea to take photographs so you have a record of their condition at the time of taking out the policy.
Reporting Your Claim
If your claim is related to a crime – for example an item that has been intentionally damaged or stolen – the first thing you’ll need to do is report it to the police. They will give you a crime reference number, which will be one of the first things your insurer asks for. Do this as soon as possible after the incident, as some insurers impose a time limit on claims.
Check Your Policy
You need to be certain that you’re covered for the specific circumstances, and your policy document should be very clear about what is and isn’t covered.
There may also be procedures you need to follow – for example using an approved company to make any repairs – and again, your policy document should explain these.
Some insurers make arrangements for repairs or replacements on behalf of customers, so don’t just blindly start making arrangements or purchasing new items. Always check your policy first.
Before you contact your insurer, spend a little time making sure you have all the relevant documentation to hand – most importantly, you’ll need your insurance policy number. If you’ve kept all your paperwork in order as a matter of course then it’s much easier to pull this together when you need to make a claim.
The documents and information you are likely to need include the following:
- Your insurance policy document
- Receipts for any items that have been lost, stolen or damaged
- Other evidence to support your claim, for example photos of damaged property, flight numbers of delayed flights, a list of stolen items.
As above, if the incident relates to a crime you will also need a crime reference number, which can only be obtained by reporting the matter to the police.
Gather Your Thoughts
If the need to make a claim has arisen, it’s likely you may be feeling stressed, worried or panicked. This can make it difficult to answer questions your insurance company is going to ask calmly and accurately, so it’s really worth taking five minutes (and a deep breath) and making sure you have all the facts straight in your head.
If you have access to a piece of paper and a pen, take a moment to jot down the key facts of your claim, including the following:
- Date and time of the incident/s
- What happened
- What you’re claiming for
- How much money you expect
- Details of anyone else involved – for example any other party involved in a car accident
To make sure your claim is processed as quickly and smoothly as possible, make sure you answer all questions truthfully and stick to the facts.
Who Do I Call?
If you bought your insurance policy through a broker, they should be your first point of call. Often, they will offer advice and guide you through your claim.
If you purchased your policy directly with your insurance provider, you should call their dedicated claims helpline, which should be printed clearly within your policy documents or clearly visible on their website.
Life and Health Insurance
Claims under a life, critical illness, health insurance or income protection policies are usually governed by very specific rules and processes. Be sure you are familiar with your insurance provider’s procedures and contact them if anything is unclear.
Keep Tabs On Your Claim
Once your claim is filed, make sure you keep a close eye on its progress. Make a note of the date and time of any phone calls, safely store any letters or emails you’ve received and keep copies of emails or letters you have sent.
Following this advice should mean your insurance claim progresses as quickly and smoothly as possible.