Tips on how to play the claim game
So, you ran into a bit of trouble and need to claim from your insurance. But oh, the process…it seems like such a schlepp!
Here are some handy hints on how you could do it as quickly, efficiently and painlessly as possible:
Phone a friend… Your broker!
Notify your broker about your loss or damage immediately. They are equipped to help you streamline the process and will often take unnecessary admin off your hands. They will also know if you are eligible to claim in the first place. Read more on why you should have a broker.
Right away is the right way!
You need to claim as soon as possible as there are time limits on the period between the time from which the damage occurred to the time you lodge your claim. So, do not postpone!
If your claim has to do with crime or possible crime (vandalism, theft, car accidents, etc.) make sure you report it to the police first, and again – without delay!
Evidence is everything!
It is important that you document the incident very well – this might be your only chance ever to feel like a detective! Times, dates and locations, the names and contact numbers of all involved parties, reference numbers for police reports and any relevant documentation or artefacts are valuable. Make sure you have a detailed, but factual, coherent and non-exaggerated story to offer.
In the case of car accidents: take photos of the accident, also showing the location. Write down the contact numbers of eyewitnesses or drivers. Make sure you jot down licence plate numbers, car descriptions, registration numbers, etc.
If goods have been damaged, do not discard them if at all possible. If not, take clear photos.
If you are insuring valuable goods, it is actually a great idea to have clear photos of and receipts for them before any claims are necessary in order to have evidence of the value of the original item in case of theft or damage.
Do not DIY!
If damage occurred to your property, do not get it fixed before speaking to your broker and knowing exactly what your insurance policy states in this regard. For example, if you are experiencing water damage, the insurers may not cover any further damage if you used just any old plumber to fix the problem and not one that is approved by them. An insurer often has emergency services available, so call their helpline first before ordering in your own help – or try your own hand at it to impress your wife.
Paper trail the process
Record the claim history very accurately. Keep letters (or copies thereof) and e-mails from or to your insurer. Write down the date and time of calls between you and the insurer or broker as well as the name and title of the person you spoke to and the issues you discussed. These notes will help to make the process more smoothly.
Insurance is there to make your life better – not to overwhelm you when you are already experiencing problems. Hopefully these tips will make it easier for you in the future.
Need a broker to “hold your hand” in the claims process? Our dedicated team at Status Insurance Brokers is at your service!
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Status Insursance Brokers is an Authorised Financial Services Provider. Licence no. 2278