The Basics of Making a Claim: Things You Need to Consider

April 19, 2015

Many people know little about the process of making an insurance claim. In fact, many just hope they will never have to face this situation. More than anything else, people associate making an insurance claim with stress and complexity, but when you know the basics of making a claim, it does not have to be so difficult.

There Is Support Available

It is reassuring to know that many insurance companies will guide you through the claims process. Similarly, experienced law firms, such as Patinos Personal Lawyers, exist to provide invaluable support and advice to clients making insurance claims. This support and assistance is useful and much needed, particularly after the stress that typically accompanies vehicle accidents, loss of property through fire or theft, or falling ill while travelling.

Understand Your Insurance Policy

You can make a claim with your insurance company following involvement in an accident, disaster or other type of loss that is unexpected and covered by your insurance policy. Most people take out insurance cover because it provides some level of assurance that assistance will be available in the event that things go wrong. However, for your insurance policy to be honoured, you need to fulfil and comply with the terms and conditions of the policy.

Lodge Your Claim

So that they can take action and sort out your situation, lodge a claim with your insurance company. In many cases, the claim is accepted and the insurance company delivers on the promise it communicated in the policy. Typically, insurance companies fulfil claims by replacing or repairing damaged items and property, meeting the costs of legal and other expenses or through various types of payments.

Be Prepared and Organised

With good preparation and organisation, and providing the insurance company with all the information that it needs, your claim can usually be made in a straightforward and quick manner.

Follow These Steps

    1. Contact your insurance company as soon as it is possible to do so after an event occurs. This is critical, particularly if loss has resulted from a serious accident or theft, and is essential for initiating the claims process. Understand what you need to do next and how to access any forms that you may need to complete and return.
    2. Because you need to provide your insurance company with evidence to prove that your claim is valid, gather and provide evidence and a written record. Write down your own version of what happened, in as much detail as possible. Commit to doing this as soon as possible after the incident as the details will be most fresh in your mind.
    3. Your insurer may ask you for important documents to prove loss or damage, ownership or the value of items that have been lost. Relevant documents may include original receipts, police reports, certificates of valuation, medical certificates, photographs or videos, and product details such as make, model and serial numbers. It’s a good idea to keep all paperwork and materials safe and accessible so that they can be quickly provided to your insurer.

While very few people actually hope to make an insurance claim, knowing what is involved and what is needed is helpful, just in case you ever have cause to make such a claim. It’s important to make contact with your insurer as soon as possible after an event and to provide them with the information needed to process the claim in a timely and efficient way.