5 Simple Tips To Ensure Your Home Insurance Pays Out
- AuthorPaul Hajek
This is another in our series of Conveyancing guest posts to help you with all things connected with moving home. In this post the emphasis is on home insurance.
I am grateful to Paul Edmonds of Insurance Claims Solutions (ICS) for providing this post.
You pay for your home insurance policy every month so that should something go wrong, you can receive financial help in repairing or replacing what has been damaged or stolen. However, when it comes to it, it can be difficult to get your insurance company to pay out on a claim.
Here are 5 simple tips to ensure you get the pay-out you deserve when you need to make a claim.
Read your policy
The most important thing you can do is carefully read through the terms of your insurance policy before you start paying for it. If your property doesn't meet even one of the requirements outlined in the policy that could be used as grounds for invalidating a claim – and you've been paying for a useless policy.
In particular, be sure that your property meets the minimum security requirements. If you don't have the correct locks then you aren't covered for break-ins. Of course, having insurance approved security also reduces the risk of being burgled.
2. Pay Particular Attention
Other common stipulations that can trip you up are:
- If your building is listed
- Property age
- If the property is in a flood risk area – or is close to the sea
- Roof type
Standard home insurance policies usually have stipulations regarding all of these, and if your property doesn't meet the requirements you need it in writing that your insurer has taken that into account, or you may need to pay extra.
3.Be Prepared to Add Extras
If your property doesn't match the criteria set out in the standard policy, then you may need to add extras so that the policy does cover you. This is to reflect your status as a higher risk.
Also be sure to realistically assess the value of your property (if you own) to be sure your policy covers that value. Similarly with contents – there's no sense in having contents insurance if your policy won't help you replace your possessions. Standard contents insurance will also only pay out up to a specified amount for any single item. If you have any valuables above that value, be sure to list them individually and pay any extras you may need to for these.
4. Move Fast -when making a claim
When it comes to making a claim, act fast. The quicker you call, the less room for doubt there is and the faster the loss adjusters can come to assess the damage. Many insurers will only pay out on claims made within a certain timeframe between the loss/theft and the claim, and any delays will be questioned.
If the claim is based on criminal activity, be sure to call the police as soon as you can. You'll need your criminal reference number to prove the claim is genuine.
5. Record everything
Last but not least – record everything. Your insurer's loss adjusters will gather evidence at the property for their own report which will seek to minimise the pay out. Gather your own evidence: take photographs of the scene, commission surveyors, engineers and other third parties as necessary. Record every contact with the insurance company, contractors, police; so that should there be any dispute you can back yourself up.
Should you need help, an independent loss assessor can look after all of this for you and ensure the best chance of a successful claim.
You can find more information on the Insurance Claim Solutions - independent loss assessors website.