Make sure your claim goes smoothly
COMPLAINTS about insurance policies have spiralled, with independent investigators handling thousands of complaints a year..
And there are more problems than ever for home and travel insurance policies. While some of these are serious, many are the result of confusion over the wording of policies and the way the claim was made.
Here is how to ensure your insurance claim goes smoothly:
If anyone has been injured or the accident has caused a road traffic danger, then call 10111. Also do this if a driver leaves without stopping or if they are drunk;
Do not admit blame or liability for the incident or offer to pay for any damage. If the other driver does, tell your insurer;
Get the names, addresses and telephone numbers of anyone involved, including witnesses. Make a note of the time and date;
Ask the other driver for their insurance policy details. They have to give you this by law;
If you have a camera, take a picture of the vehicles involved. This can be really helpful if the other driver tries to shift the blame;
Make a drawing of the road layout and where everyone was;
Record as much detail as possible, such as weather and speed limits;
If the police come, get their names. Give this to your insurer; and
Inform your insurer as soon as possible.
If something goes wrong, such as a leaky pipe, call your insurer before a repairman. Your insurance may have recommended emergency assistance firms. Many insurers have 24-hour hotlines;
Follow your insurer's instructions and submit all claims before any deadline;
Provide them with as much detail as possible to speed up the process;
If you are making a claim about possessions, you will be asked to produce proof of purchase. So when you buy expensive items, ensure they are covered on your policy and you have receipts; and
Don't exaggerate. False information can lead to the claim being rejected.
You could invalidate your claim if you fall ill on holiday when you were on medication for something you hadn't told your insurer about;
The premiums may be cheaper if you are in perfect health, but it is not worth taking the risk;
Most insurers offer a 24-hour emergency line, but unlike with home insurance, you can contact them after the event;
Keep a record of everything you need as well as extra costs incurred. Always let the insurer know what's happening and run the costs by them;
For theft, you need a written police report within 24 hours of the incident;
You may also need a letter from a local tour guide or hotel if the loss occurred when your items were in their care; and
Keep a record of what happened, where and when - and what precautions you took to avoid loss.