Whether you’ve suffered from a burst pipe, stolen contents, or property damage, claiming on house insurance can seem a daunting, timely process. You may not know what you can claim on, or whether it is worth claiming on your house insurance at all.
If you’ve had an emergency that needs urgent attention and emergency services, make sure you focus on the immediate situation and contact the relevant people to help you with your problem (remember to keep the receipts of any emergency work to claim back later). This means contacting the Gardaí if there is a crime, and organising emergency repairs if necessary. Be careful about getting non-emergency repairs before contacting your provider, as this may invalidate any claims.
Check your insurance policy
If you’re thinking about claiming on your homeowners insurance, it’s worth checking your documents to remind yourself what you are eligible for. If you don’t have the right cover for your needs you could end up wasting time on the phone trying to claim, and you’ll likely experience some confused, exasperated conversations. For example, it is worth thinking about whether any possession affected will be automatically refused for a repair or replacement, such as when they are worth more than your policy’s ‘single item’ limit. Remember that if you have had a valuation for an expensive item, this will help you work out if it is too expensive to be covered, and will act as proof of ownership and value if it is included.
If in doubt, ask your insurance provider
If you believe you can claim on your damage or are still unsure, phone up your insurance provider and speak to customer services about your problem. If you were previously hesitant about whether you could claim, they’ll be able to look into this and tell you whether you can. Just make sure you have your policy details next to you when you make the call, and key information such as your policy number and any crime reference number (if applicable). If property damage has occurred that you can take photos of, this might be useful to have on hand to send to your provider (even better if you have photos of the area before the incident).
Be careful of ruining your no claims bonus
If you will be eligible for a no claims bonus or a no claims discount in the future (these usually build up over a few years when you don’t make any claims), exercise caution with your claims. See what your no claims bonus will be worth (double-check with your provider), and assess whether your house insurance claim will be less than this. If it is less than your no claims bonus, it will not be ‘worth’ claiming in the long run (although you may still want to claim in the short term if you need the money immediately).
Watch out for your excess
There is no point claiming for small sums that are less than your excess (the first part of your claim that you’ll have to pay in order to receive it). You have house insurance to protect your finances, so make you’re making claim-savvy decisions, and not ones that are to your detriment.
Exercising caution is best, homeowners insurance can be tricky after all. There’s lots of advice out there, but it’s still always best to check with the professionals. If you’ve taken out house insurance through Campion, would like to make a claim and are unsure where to start, contact us – we’d be happy to help.
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