How to Make a Home Insurance Claim

How to Make a Home Insurance Claim

by David Redmond on 10 Jan, 2011

If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to make a home insurance claim, it can be difficult to know how to go about doing so.

Documents for your home insurance cover should explain the procedure that you have to follow in order to make a claim. Step one with most insurance providers will be to call the insurance providers claims telephone number and this should always be done as soon as you realise that a claim needs to be made for home insurance cover.

Discussing your claim with a customer service advisor allows you to ask any questions you may have regarding your cover and for the insurance company to answer them. You will be required to give some information over the phone in order to confirm your claim such as your policy number and if appropriate, a crime reference number. With this information a customer service advisor will be able to tell you whether or not your claim is valid.

When claiming for small amounts it is possible that your insurer will settle your claim immediately. If you are claiming for larger amounts, covering a greater loss or bigger damage, your insurance company is likely to arrange a representative to inspect your property and decide whether your home insurance covers your claim.

Assuming you filled out your forms honestly and correctly, most claims will be settled quickly. However as you might expect, if any discrepancies are found within your insurance application or claim your insurer may void or invalidate your home insurance cover. Before any claim is settled, you will be required to pay the excess agreed in your policy.

Settlement of your claim can take various forms. If you are claiming for anything covered by the buildings insurance component of your home insurance cover then an insurer will settle the claim by paying the cost of rebuilding, replacing or repairing the damaged area of the property.

If you are claiming for items covered by contents insurance your insurance company will settle your claim by paying the cost of either replacing the item as new, repairing the item. It is possible that the insurance company will be unable to replace or repair your item, in which case they may offer a cash payment that is equal to the cost of replacing or repairing the item.

In some cases, your insurance company may provide you with the opportunity to replace an item with an upgraded model. If you agreed to this type of replacement you would be expected to pay the difference in cost between the old and the new model.

It is possible that the results of making a successful claim could impact your home insurance cover in some way. Usually the cover provided by your insurance policy will not be reduced as part of a claim but the insurance company may insist that you install security features that could prevent further incidents such as a burglary. In this case an insurer would ask for alarm systems and window locks to be installed where there previously wasn’t one.

About the Author

David Redmond

David Redmond is a Partner of Don Gilliard Finance Group. He is a fee-only, independent financial advisor and financial planner. For over 15 years, he has been helping individual investors and their families realize their investment goals.