Top tips to successfully claim on your home insurance
Here’s how to avoid having your home insurance claim rejected.
Whilst no one wants to have to claim on their home insurance, you should be prepared for if you ever need to. Many Brits have their claims rejected every year, but by following our top tips you can make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
- Prepare for the claim in advance
It’s impossible to predict whether you’ll have to make a home insurance claim. But there are still measures you can take to prepare.
If any of your belongings are stolen, you’ll probably be asked for proof that you owned the items, such as a receipt. Many people have claims turned down due to lack of this sort of evidence.
So, whenever you make a large purchase, take a photo of the receipt, scan it, or keep the original in a safe place. You can also take photo of the item you’ve bought.
Another piece of preparation you can do is to keep your property in good repair. Your insurer will be offering you the policy on the condition that you maintain your home.
Claims can be turned down due to failure to maintain the house, especially with cases involving storm damage to the roof. You can mitigate this by ensuring your roof is inspected very few years.
- Pick the right policy
It’s easy to go for the cheapest home insurance policy and hope that you’ll never have to use it to make a claim. But this can put you in an expensive situation later on.
Use a price comparison website such as A Spokesman Said to find the best deal in terms of cover and not just price. Look at the different things each policy offers and consider which option might be best for you.
People can often underestimate the value of their possessions, leading to losses in the case of damage or theft. Make sure to assess what you own and find a policy that fits.
- Read the small print
It’s vital that you read the terms and conditions of your policy and avoid invalidating it. Some home insurance policies won’t cover you if you don’t fulfil certain requirements.
Often, these are things like having certain locks on your exterior windows and doors, and telling the insurer about any building work you’re planning. Your policy might also require you not to leave your property unoccupied for long periods of time.
It’s also important to note that lots of insurers ask that you notify the police as soon as any theft occurs. There might be a specific time-frame in which you have to notify the police, and failure to do so can invalidate any claim you make.
The small print of your policy will also let you know any excesses. This is the amount you would have to contribute towards any claims you make on your policy. This is normally deducted from the amount that your firm pays out to you.
- Call the insurer as soon as you can
Although most insurers offer a period of 180 days for policyholders to claim, it’s best to call them straight away when an incident occurs.
Insurance firms prefer to begin handling big claims as soon as they can, especially if a flood or fire has happened. If you delay making a claim, the damage could get worse, and this will only exacerbate the situation.
If you’re unsure who to call, your policy document (given to you by the insurance provider) should let you know what to do. There will also be a phone number on the document.
In the case of burglary, you should always it to the police first. Then contact your insurer.
If your house needs repairs, your insurer needs to agree to the work, then get someone to fix the issue. Some insurance companies insist any repairs are done by their approved contractors. Unless there is an emergency, always speak to your firm before doing any work on your house.
- Take photographs
This one seems like common sense, but it’s easy to forget in the heat of the moment when something goes wrong with your home.
Always photograph the damage and make sure you have solid evidence of what you’re claiming for.
The insurer will ask for a full report of what has happened, but you can support this with photos and by showing them any damaged items.
This will help your claim move a lot faster and ensure the provider knows you’re being honest.
- Get help from a loss assessor
Usually, when you make a claim the insurer will send a loss adjuster to look around your house and assess how your claim should progress.
Taking on a home insurance provider can be intimidating though, especially if your claim is a large one. It may be a good idea to have someone working with you personally to talk about your claim.
If you bought your insurance policy through a broker, you can ask them for help. The other option is to find a loss assessor.
This is a claims specialist who can look after your interest and help you get the best from your claim. However, keep in mind you’ll have to pay extra for this service.
Having to make a home insurance claim is extremely stressful. But by finding the right policy to begin with, and following these tips, you can make sure you don’t lose any extra money and save yourself some time when dealing with your insurance provider.
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