Find out what you need to do to make a home insurance claim for theft or damage to your property.
Making a home insurance claim often comes at an already stressful time - the last thing you need is a difficult claims process.
But reassuringly, Association of British Insurers (ABI) data show that more than four out of five domestic property claims are accepted by insurers – and that's out of £8 million pounds-worth of claims every single day.
If you’ve been burgled, the first thing you need to do is call the police, who’ll issue you with a crime reference number that you can give to your insurer.
Give your insurer a call to explain what’s happened, providing as much detail as possible. Your insurer’s phone number will be on your policy documents - make sure you have your policy number to hand when you do.
If you’ve been burgled, tell your insurer what damage has been caused and if anything has been taken.
Gather evidence of the damage by taking photographs and getting together any receipts - you’ll have to send these off to your insurer.
If your home needs repairs, you need your insurer to agree to the work before you get in contractors and start paying for materials.
But if it’s an emergency, insurers are usually understanding and should reimburse you if you need to make urgent repairs.
Be prepared to send as much evidence as you can.
That could be in the form of:
You’ll have to pay your excess when you make a claim - that’s the amount you agreed to pay towards a claim when you took out the policy.
For lower-value items, weigh up whether it’s worth making a claim at all - it’ll be cheaper to pay for them yourself if their value is lower than your excess.
Your premiums will also go up after you’ve made a claim so the future cost of your policy will be affected - remember to take that into account.
If you’re making a large claim, your insurer might send out a loss adjuster.
A loss adjuster is an investigator who confirms any damage or losses and assesses what repairs need to be carried out.
Loss adjusters are hired to investigate and advise on an insurer’s behalf.
The insurer will then either organise the necessary repairs or send you a cheque for the amount you’ve claimed.
If the insurer leaves it to you to organise the repairs, it might ask you to get quotes from several tradespeople.
A home insurance claim can take between 48 hours to over a year to be settled, depending on a number of factors, such as the type of damage being claimed for and how many people are involved in the process.
Filing a home insurance will almost certainly increase your premiums the next year. The amount it increases by will often depend on the type of claim you make.
For instance, public liability claims are more likely to make your insurer see you as a potential risk, than a burst pipe.
Even if you have protected no claims discount, you could still see a higher premium the next year.
If you’re not happy with the outcome of your claim or the way it’s handled, email your insurer explaining why.
An email will make sure you have a record of the conversation.
If your claim has been rejected and you think this is the wrong outcome, highlight why you think that is.
If the amount you’ve been offered is less than the claim, provide your insurer with evidence to prove that the value of the claim is higher than its figure.
If you’ve gone through the company’s complaint procedure and you’re still not satisfied, contact the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Last checked 16 August 2022