Tips for policyholders in a tough claims climate
by Gill Montia
Story link: Tips for policyholders in a tough claims climate
At a time when insurers are getting tougher on paying out household insurance claims, Claim Experts is calling on policyholders to take some simple steps to improve the chances of a full payout, should disaster strike.
The loss adjusting firm’s chairman, Richard Hanson-James, explains: “Because some insurers are choosing to go through the policy line by line before agreeing a payout, it will pay for policyholders to make sure they have taken steps to find out exactly what they are entitled to, and make life easier should they need to claim on their policy.”
Key actions recommended include:
Read the policy document and look out for conditions that aren’t immediately obvious, for example, terms that apply when the house is unoccupied, or specific security measures that need to be put in place.
Keep receipts of as many valuable items as you can, ideally take photographs of furniture and jewellery (preferably with you wearing it).
Add the direct telephone number of your insurance company’s claims department to your mobile phone contacts, along with the policy number.
Keep copies or electronic versions of your insurance documents somewhere other than at the insured property and take note of the form number used on your policy booklet, so that if needs be you can go back to the original policy wording.
For many claims, the insurer may bring in its own loss adjuster so consider hiring your own professional help to spot possible recoveries you haven’t recognised and to argue for your full entitlement.
Mr Hanson-James concludes: “Insurance policy wording is not known for its clarity and it does create grey areas.”
Recent research from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association indicates that 67% of brokers have to fight harder to get claims paid, with 93% regularly negotiating uplifts of up to 20% in claim settlements.