There are two fundamental points you ought to know before you need to make a claim. Appreciating these will make sure you don’t get off on the wrong foot, with the person on the other end of the phone. Of course, most importantly, these core principles will help you to use best practice before and during the claim process.
1. The onus always rests on YOU (the insured) to PROVE that there is a VALID claim.
2. YOU must be able to PROVE the amount of the loss
TOP TIP – Prepare for a loss before it happens.
If you haven’t already, make a list of the communal contents there are within the Block for example. Why not take a picture of what is there BEFORE disaster strikes
If something is stolen, you will need to prove it existed in the first place. You, or the management company, should keep receipts. It can be difficult in practice to keep receipts, but why not have it sent to you electronically next time you make a purchase. Most retail outlets will do this & it means you will always have access to a copy.
Lack of composure could cost you money.
The first thing many people do in the event of a claim is rush to phone the claims line. Taking time to read your Schedule and your Policy Wording will have you better equipped to ensure you are paid a fair sum. So take some time and revisit the Schedule and Policy Wording before phoning an insurance company claims line and accidentally say the wrong thing.
This may not hurt your claim prospects in the end, but it could drag things out if the claims handler decides extra investigation is required. So phone promptly, but it doesn’t have to be the very second you find out – you need time to prepare for your initial claim conversation and calm down from what can be a potentially stressful event!
The more calm and collected you are, the better chance there is that you will supply the right information and your claim will be handled correctly and more efficiently.
So always remember the two fundamental points of claiming. They are two LEGAL REQUIREMENTS for a Claim. However, it works both ways. If the insurer declines a claim, the onus will fall on the insuring entity to prove an exclusion applies.
4 simple steps in the event of a claim on your block of flats insurance policy
1. Take photos
Get your own images as soon as you are aware of any damage. This is a powerful way to prove that loss has occurred. The insurer may send out a Loss Adjuster to assess the damage which may take a week.
If the adjuster fails to see some of the damage, then your photos will mean you don’t have to argue the case that things missed were also damaged – your photos will help this & ensure a proper full estimate of damage is submitted to the insurer for their consideration.
2. Don’t throw away any damaged items
You don’t want any dispute and the insurer will need to see them as evidence.
3. Minimise the Loss (where possible)
If water is escaping, for example, then turn off the water or get an emergency plumber if you are unsure. It is actually a duty imposed by Common Law to take reasonable steps to minimise the loss. You should act as though you are ‘uninsured.’
4. Call your Broker
This is one of the main reasons why going through an independent agent is the preferred option of many.
Those who have had a claim in the past will know, a Broker is the Agent of the Insured, not the Insurer. They are there to act for YOU.
Property Insurance Centre has a team of Loss Assessors who will act on your behalf and make sure your settlement is a fair one!