Thankfully, many home insurance customers never have to make claims on their policies. However, it’s important to know how the process works just in case you find yourself in the unlucky minority who do. After all, dealing with burst water pipes, burglaries or other home emergencies can be stressful, so the last thing you’ll want is to experience difficulties claiming the money you need to help you replace your possessions or repair your property.
Fortunately, help is at hand. The websites of specialist brokers such as Chill.ie offer useful guidance that can help to ensure your claim progresses smoothly and speedily. Meanwhile, to give you an idea of what to expect, this brief guide talks you through the basics.
Report theft or vandalism straight away
First and foremost, if you need to make a claim because your property has been targeted by thieves or vandals, be sure to report the incident to the police as soon as possible. Most policies have strict time limits for reporting crimes, and if you miss the deadline, you may not be able to progress with your claim.
Read the small print
Next, whether your case concerns theft or damage, you’ll need to read through your policy documents carefully to make sure you have the cover needed to make a claim, and to see how much money you can expect to receive.
Meanwhile, if your property requires repair work, check to see if your policy requires you to get quotes from several tradespeople, or if your cover provider requires you to use its preferred repairers. Note that while you can make emergency repairs to stop any damage from worsening, you should wait until you get the go-ahead from your insurer before you conduct full repairs.
Decide whether it’s worth making a claim
Before you launch into the process of making a claim, you’ll need to make sure it’s actually worth your while doing so. Bear in mind you’ll need to cover any excess specified in your policy, and unless it’s protected, you’ll lose your no claims bonus, meaning your premiums could rise at your next renewal. Given these facts, if the claim is small, it may not be worth making.
Contact your insurer
If you do decide to progress with your claim, make sure you contact your insurer or broker within 48 hours to report the incident, and take photos of any damage to show to your cover provider. When filling in your claims form, make sure you are accurate and provide all the relevant information. Making an effort to be as comprehensive as possible at this stage could speed your claim up significantly. Depending on the size and nature of your claim, your insurer may send a loss adjuster to visit your home and investigate the damage.
Experiencing loss or damage to your property will always be stressful, but at least if you know how to claim on your home insurance, you’ll have one less thing to worry about.