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Making a successful home insurance claim – FAQs

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When something happens to your home and it is damaged, the first thing you will want to do is to get your home back to how it was before the event occurred. This is where home insurance comes in. Sometimes, however, delays may arise when you make a claim, perhaps due to insufficient paperwork or something else. Here we share some tips on how to make a successful home insurance claim.

Why isn’t my home insurance claim successful?

There are a number of reasons why you might find your home insurance claim unsuccessful. The most common of those suggested by the Money Advice Service are:

  • failure to provide complete and accurate information in support of your claim – how the loss or damage occurred, for example, or the cost incurred in the repair or replacement of an item;
  • your own contributory negligence – failing to exercise reasonable care, for example, by leaving doors or windows unlocked before a break-in or burglary; or 
  • providing inaccurate or untruthful information in response to the questions you were asked when applying for your home insurance cover. 

How can I make sure the information about the claim is appropriate and sufficient?

Claims forms can be complicated, but it is important to complete them as fully, accurately and truthfully as possible.

An article from our Knowledge Base stresses the importance of gathering as much evidence as possible on the circumstances surrounding your claim, supported by photos and receipts of purchase, for example – and we are always here to help, of course, if you need answers to questions or queries. 

It is important that you follow your insurer’s claims procedure as closely as possible, including reporting the loss or damage as soon as you are aware of it. If the losses are the result of a break-in or burglary, your claim needs to be supported by evidence of your reporting it to the police – and the incident number you will have been given when you do so.

What reasonable care must I take?

Your insurer is entitled to expect you to take all due reasonable care to avoid or to mitigate any loss or damage.

The principal area of concern in this respect is the security of your home and the steps you take to prevent or discourage intruders. If a theft results from your having left doors unlocked or windows open, for example, this is likely to be regarded as contributory negligence. Any settlement of your claim is therefore likely to be reduced accordingly or even rejected altogether.

Once again, it is critical that you follow your insurer’s terms and conditions to the letter. If you fail to do so, warns Property Reporter, you may invalidate your insurance policy, have your claim rejected and find yourself having to foot the bill for repairing or replacing lost or damaged items.

Can I claim for wear and tear?

Your home buildings and contents insurance provides cover against unforeseen events – and not for damage that is the result of normal wear and tear.

Wear and tear is one of the reasons often given by insurers for dismissing claims, especially if that wear and tear has been exacerbated by your failure to maintain your home in a good state of repair.

The lesson, therefore, is to ensure that you pay attention to the upkeep of your home and that repairs and maintenance are carried out in a timely fashion. 

How can I make sure I have the correct level of cover?

It is important from the very outset, when setting up your home insurance, that you have the appropriate level of cover – and that means avoiding being either over- or under-insured.

If you are over-insured, of course, you are paying more than you need for superfluous cover – a tendency of many homeowners when estimating the cost of rebuilding their home in the event of a total loss.

On the other hand, if you are under-insured, the maximum value of any settlement of your claim may be insufficient for the repair or replacement of lost or damaged items. 

More questions? 

At UKinsuranceNET we are committed to offering our customers what we believe is the most cost-effective, appropriate insurance cover, backed by a personal, first class customer service. If you have any concerns or questions on any aspect of your insurance, please feel free to contact us. We’d be delighted to help.