Making any kind of insurance claim can be a stressful process. Calling the insurer and getting any sense out of them in the first place can be difficult enough, let alone preparing your reports, keeping records and meeting the assessor face to face.
Here we have compiled a list of what to do when making an insurance claim to give yourself the best chance of being successful.
1. Don't be tempted to exaggerate a claim. You are likely to get the whole thing rejected. It is a common myth that insurers routinely reduce claims by 10pc to account for fraud. Don't simply up your claim by 10pc to counter this, you are effectively making a fraudulent claim.
2. Where possible include copies of receipts or photographs for any items claiming for.
3. Many insurers will offer replacement items, which they source from a limited range of retailers. While this will be fine for electrical goods if you are claiming for jewellery or antiques ask whether you can have cash paid instead.
4. Be prepared to explain fully the circumstances of any claim. Insurers use various "lie detector" techniques to weed out fraudulent claims, so may ask for what seems like unrelated information (what were you doing just before your home was burgled, car stolen, washing machine leaked for example). Answer truthfully and your claim should be processed as normal.
5. Don't appoint workmen, builders or mechanics without prior authorisation from your insurer. They may use approved networks of garages and repairers and you could find yourself paying the difference if fees are higher.
6. Contact your insurer as soon as you know you will have to make a claim. Most insurers run 24-hour helplines for major claims, such as car accidents, flood damage etc. They will be able to advise you on what to do next.
7. Take photographs of any damage, be it to a vehicle or your home.
8. If you feel you are not being offered a fair settlement, appeal. Send copies of all relevant documents to the insurer to back up your argument.
9. Keep a record of all conversations with your insurer. Include time, date and the name of the personal spoken to.
10. If you can't reach agreement with your insurer you retain the right to take the case to the Financial Ombudsman Service. This is free for consumers to use.
If you follow these steps carefully you should have no problems in making an accurate, truthful and successful claim to your insurance provider.
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