How to Make an Insurance Claim
- Where the claim involves a theft of an item, or a burglary at your home, report it to the Police immediately. Ensure you obtain a police report or incident number as evidence.
- If you bought your insurance policy via an insurance broker, depending on your policy, the broker should assist you in making the claim.
- Find out whether you are covered for the event by your insurance policy by reading your policy document.
- Obtain a claims form from your insurer or insurance broker.
- Find out the time limit for submitting your claim, and submit it without delay.
- Find out the ‘excess’ amount on your insurance policy, i.e. the amount that you are responsible for before any claim payment is made to you, as you may decide not to make a claim if the ‘excess’ is similar or greater than the claim amount.
- Where your policy allows you to benefit from a ‘no-claims bonus’ decide if it is worth losing that when making a claim for a small amount – any insurance claim you make, will mean that your next premium will be more expensive.
- Where you are claiming to replace an old item, the insurer may apply ‘wear and tear’, meaning that you may not receive as much as you anticipate to buy a replacement. Most policies nowadays are 'new' for 'old'.
- Be honest and do not exaggerate the amount you are claiming. Insurance companies have experience dealing with claims, and if they detect any exaggeration or false information, you could lose out on your claim altogether.
- Be clear and thorough in reporting your claim – providing accurate information of the incident and any evidence of the “before and after” will help to support your claim, such as photos, videos, witness statements or documents that explain what took place.
On receipt of your insurance claim, the insurer may decide to appoint a loss adjuster to inspect the extent of the loss or damage. The loss adjuster will ask you a number of questions before submitting their report to the insurer. Based on that report, the insurer may offer you an amount to settle your claim or none at all. Where you are not satisfied with the settlement offered by the insurer, you should write back to the insurer with your reasons why. You may choose to appoint your own loss adjuster for a fee paid by you, to help support your argument against the settlement offered by the insurer.
You do not have to make an insurance claim, but it is a good practice to report the event to your insurer in any case, so that they are informed.
For more information on making a claim, the UK Citizens Advice Bureau and Money Advice Service websites are useful resources. Links to both can be found below:
Citizens Advice - Advice guide - Insurance
However, please note that this information is aimed at consumers based in the UK, and is not Guernsey-specific.