To claim or not to claim?
This is the first question you need to answer – is it worth making a claim at all? If you have a high excess, you might find that you have to pay the majority of the claim out of your own pocket. You will also possibly lose your no-claims bonus. In the long run, it might be better to pay small amounts out of your own pocket to save money down the line, but don’t be put off making a claim if you need to.
Buildings and contents insurance
Be sure to make a claim on the right policy. Buildings insurance is the policy to claim on if the physical structure of your house has been damaged, such as the walls or roof. In contrast, if your possessions have been damaged, this falls under contents insurance. As a rule of thumb, think about turning your home upside down and shaking it – anything that would fall out should be covered by your contents package, and everything else by buildings cover.
Be sure to make your insurer aware of any changes in your requirements as and when they happen. If you buy an expensive item, or make any changes to the structure of your home such as renovating or extending, let your insurer know. This means they will have your up-to-date information and makes sure you are definitely covered, as per your expectations.
Making a claim
Submit your claim fully and as quickly as possible after the event. Garda reports are particularly important for burglaries, as failure to inform the police of a theft can invalidate your claim. If you require damages to be repaired, you might be asked to get quotes from several sources. Also, if you are claiming for contents and buildings from different insurers, make sure each is aware of the other’s involvement, and ask them to communicate with one another. This can protect you from any potential conflicts further down the line.
If things go wrong…
Sometimes, home insurance claims don’t go smoothly. It’s important to communicate with your insurer calmly, explaining what cover you believe you have and why they should pay out. Disputes can often be resolved without having to go to any other bodies. However, if you are still not satisfied, you can go to the Financial Services Ombudsman who handles complaints about insurance companies and brokers. They may be able to help you find a satisfactory resolution if you are unhappy with your insurers.
House insurance is a key part of feeling safe and secure, so let Chill help you out and take the stress out of finding insurance.