No-one wants to have to claim on their home insurance – it means that something must have gone badly wrong.
But what do you need to know to make the process as simple as possible? And when it comes to claims handling, which home insurance companies stand out from the pack?
What should I do if I need to make a home insurance claim?
1. Prepare yourself in advance
Unless you can see into the future, it is impossible to predict when you need to claim; however, there are steps you can take to prepare yourself.
If any of your items are stolen or damaged, you’ll often be asked for proof. Many people have had claims turned down by their insurer due to lack of evidence. Whenever you make a big purchase, it’s wise to keep the receipt in a safe place or take a photograph of the item.
It is also important to keep your property in a good state of repair. Home insurers offer buildings insurance on the condition that your home is maintained regularly.
2. Act Fast
Many insurers will give you up to 180 days to make a claim on your home insurance, but it’s always best to respond to a a property damage incident urgently.
Insurers like to handle large claims as soon as possible, especially if there is a flood or fire. Delaying a claim could worsen the damage, and you’ll be keen to get yourself back on your feet as soon as possible anyway.
3. Don’t throw away damaged items
While it might be tempting to do a complete clean-up following a fire or a flood, do not throw away damaged items. Your home insurance company will probably want to assess what you have lost, so keep your contents unless you are told you can bin them.
You should also avoid redecorating, at least immediately, in the event of a flood. A property can take a long time to fully dry out, and lifting a wet carpet could see it shrink.
4. Take photographs
Home insurance provider will often ask for a full rundown of what has happened, as well as evidence. Taking photos of the damage done to your property and its contents, or making a short video, can be useful in the event of a dispute.
5. Get help
Taking on a home insure provider in the event of a large claim can be daunting. Usually an insurer will send a loss adjuster round to look at your property, and they will decide how your claim will progress.
However, you may wish to have someone working with you personally to also have a look at the claim. Our consultants welcome calls relating to home insurance claims, and can help point you in the right direction if you need a second opinion form a loss assessor.
Is it worth making a home insurance claim?
Is claiming always going to save you money? Faced with several thousand pounds worth of damage or theft, the case for making a claim on your home insurance is pretty clear cut.
When it comes to costs of lower value, however – where it wouldn’t break the bank to fund repairs or replacements yourself.
How do I complain about my claim?
If your claim doesn’t pan out as you expect, or you feel that your home insurance provider has treated you unfairly, don’t be afraid to make a complaint.
Speak to your insurer first but, if it isn’t proving helpful (and you have exhausted the complaints process outlined in your policy document), take the matter up with the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman.
You usually have six months from the time you reach deadlock with your insurer in which to make a complaint. The decision is binding on companies but not on the consumer, so you could, if you wish, refer the matter to court.
If you seek further advice on making a complaint, feel free to fill in an enquiry form, and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.
Want to talk our team?
At the Irish Claims Authority, we can ensure that your property is fully and independently assessed to ensure that all you and you families losses are included in any claim.
If you have suffered loss through one of the above scenarios, please contact us for a free assessment.
Please note that the Irish Claims Authority do not charge you at all for the assistance provided.