01/04/2021

5 things to know before you make a home insurance claim

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The last thing any of us wants to do is to claim on our home insurance – after all, it usually means something has gone badly wrong, and then there’s the excess to pay. When sometimes unfortunate circumstances make a claim necessary, you want it to be as smooth a process as possible – and that’s where preparation comes in.

We’ve put together a list of five things to know before you make a claim, including what your insurer will need from you and the appropriate actions to take. This will help make sure that the process is as easy as possible, and you’ll be more likely to get the payout you’re entitled to.

Preparation is key

You can prepare yourself for a claim by keeping receipts for any significant purchases you make, and taking photos of the items in question. It’s a simple step, but one that could make a big difference in the event of a claim. This is particularly important if you have any collectibles, which may have a higher value and be less easy to replace.

Contact your insurer as soon as possible

When it comes to making a claim, timing really is everything. You should aim to contact your insurer as soon as you know you need to make a claim – especially for flood or fire damage. It’s always a good idea to have your insurer’s contact details close to hand. Even though many insurers give you up to 180 days to make a claim, try not to put it off, as this may only make things more difficult for you in the long run.

Don’t clear up straight away

It’s often your first instinct to clean up whatever damage has occurred, especially in the case of a fire or flood in your home. But, if you’re going to need to claim on your home insurance, hold off on clearing up straight away – you’ll need pictures to help your claim. In some cases, your insurer will need to assess the damage for themselves and see how far the damage has spread, before they can give the green light for repairs.

Take plenty of photographs

One of the most important factors in your claim is having proof of the damage you’re claiming against. Before giving you any money, your insurer has to be sure the damage has occurred, and they’ll also need to know what items have been affected in your home.

If you ever need to make a claim, take plenty of photographs of the damage and send them to your insurer. Or, if it’s a theft claim, dig out pictures of the items that are missing. This will back your claim up with solid evidence and make the overall process far more straightforward for you.

Think about getting advice from a loss assessor

In the event of a large claim, your insurer may well choose to send a ‘loss adjuster’ to your property. Loss adjusters are specialists who are hired by the insurance company to assess the damage which you are making a claim for. This is a normal part of the claims procedure, but it could also be useful for you to do the same.

If you’re making a large claim, think about hiring a loss assessor. These are specialists who do a similar job to loss adjustors, but work for the policyholder instead. If you choose to hire a loss assessor, they can look at the damage and make a professional assessment of the claim on your behalf.

Managing a claim, whether large or small, can be daunting for anybody. But with the right guidance and preparation, you can be ready to face the claims process with as little hassle as possible. And remember, your broker is there to help you throughout.

For support and advice on your home insurance, please contact a member of the Norton team on 0121 248 9440.

Want more? Read about the different kinds of cover you need for second homes.