Making an insurance claim takes time, but if done right, it should be simple and hassle-free. Get all the details right and go about it in a step-by-step process.
1. Maintain records
Keep all receipts for the things that are insured, and keep your insurance documents in a safe place. For high-value objects, keep pictures from when they were newly purchased, and take new pictures of their damaged condition.
2. Check your policy
Go through your policy thoroughly to check whether you are covered for what has happened. Don’t just go through the summary; have a clear understanding of what the entire policy is all about. Sometimes, you may be covered under more than one policy for the same loss. Think about which policy you want to claim under, depending upon the excess of each policy. You cannot make a claim for a loss under more than one insurance policy.
For a larger claim, like a builder’s claim upon your property, consider hiring an assessor. As opposed to a loss adjuster, an assessor works on your behalf and negotiates with the insurance company in order to settle the claim. You will have to pay the assessor’s fees yourself as they are not covered under any insurance policy.
3. File a report with the police
This applies for things that have been vandalised or stolen. Reporting it to the police is the first thing you should do, before filing a claim. Policies have time limits for reporting to the police, so check your policy and go to the police immediately.
4. Get all the important documents out
Maintaining a proper record will come in handy in this step. Getting all your documents in order will help make the process stress-free. You will need your policy document and the receipts for the damaged / stolen things. You will also need the necessary reference numbers, like the police report number.
5. Write the facts down
It is important that you know all the details and relay them to the insurer truthfully. Get all the facts right, don’t miss or exaggerate anything. Writing down everything will help you remember the dates and times, all the parties involved (for example, the other car in the crash), the sequence of events and the amount of money you are claiming.
Do not embellish your claim with false information. Insurers have a way of finding out if you’re lying, mostly because they are used to it. If this happens, your claim will be invalidated.
6. Call the broker first
If you bought the insurance policy through a broker, give her a call first. She will help you negotiate with the insurance company and offer expert advice and support.
7. Call the insurance company
The insurance company will have a claims helpline, listed on the company website or your policy document. Call this number to make the claim.
Follow all the steps, don’t exaggerate and you should be able to file a claim that is accepted without any problems.
Have you ever filed an insurance claim? How did it go? Share your story in the comments.