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Making An Insurance Claim

Making An Insurance Claim

How long does it take for a claim to be settled? 

As soon as we have checked that your claim is covered by your policy, we will get the process moving. Straightforward claims are normally settled very quickly, and in all cases the Claims team will keep you informed of progress.

Some larger value claims e.g. in the event of an extensive house fire, can take months for the damage to be fully repaired or the property rebuilt and your family moved back into the property.

How many claims can I make in a year? 

You can make unlimited claims on your policy. However this may affect your policy premium and/or the terms, such as the excesses, when you renew.

Will my policy include excesses? 

Yes, your policy will include excesses. Your policy will have compulsory excesses applied, you will also be able to choose the level of voluntary excess that you would like to pay as well.

How do I find out what excess I will need to pay towards a claim? 

There is a minimum standard excess of £100.To help reduce your premium by up to 30%, you can opt at the time of purchase to pay a voluntary excess in the event of a claim. You can choose to set the voluntary excess somewhere between £50 and £900.There are also separate excesses for flooding, subsidence/landslip/heave, escape of oil and escape of water claims.

Please check your Policy schedule to find out what excesses you chose at the time of purchasing your policy.

What is an excess? 

An excess is the amount payable by you in the event of a claim as stated in your policy schedule. This will be the total of the compulsory policy excess and any additional excesses shown in your schedule.

What do I have to pay if I make a claim? 

The amount you have to pay if you make a claim is called the policy excess.

There is a minimum standard excess of £100.To help reduce your premium by up to 30%, you can opt at the time of purchase to pay a voluntary excess in the event of a claim. You can choose to set the voluntary excess somewhere between £50 and £900. There are also separate excesses for flooding, subsidence/landslip/heave, escape of oil and escape of water claims. 

Will my claim be settled on a new for old basis? 

Yes, the HomeProtect contents insurance will cover the loss or damage of your belongings on a new for old basis, meaning that you will receive the value of the item to replace it at today’s prices.

I don’t have receipts for some of my valuables, does this affect my claim? 

In the event of a claim you may be asked to provide evidence of value and ownership, such as purchase receipts or valuation certificates. It is essential to provide such documentation for any high-risk items that you have specified on the policy, such as jewellery or watches.

Can I choose what excess to pay in the event of a claim? 

You can choose what voluntary excess you would like to pay, however, you will not be able to choose the compulsory excess.

How do I make a claim? 

If you are making a buildings insurance or contents insurance claim please use our online claims form or call us on 0330 660 0660.

If you are making a claim on an additional cover option such as Legal expenses or Home Emergency cover please check your Policy Schedule to find the correct phone number.

The Claims team will request your policy number and details of the loss or damage including: date and time, your description of what happened, what the extent of the loss or damage is, what exactly is lost or damaged, the estimated value of the items lost or damaged (if applicable) and whether the police have been informed (in the case of theft or vandalism).

What is a policy excess? 

A policy excess is the amount you have to pay towards rectifying the loss if you make a claim.For example, if you make a valid claim for £300 that was settled on a cash basis and your policy excess is £50, the amount you would receive would be £250.

How soon after taking out a policy can I claim? 

You can make a claim under a HomeProtect home insurance policy for anything that it covers which occurs after the policy started. Note that the start date for cover is not always the day you pay, that pre-existing damage is excluded, and that this does not necessarily apply to policy upgrades such as full legal expenses cover.

How will my claim be settled? 

Depending on the type of loss or damage the claim will either result in you receiving the money to cover replacing or repairing the lost or damaged items, or the money to cover the cost of repairing the damage. Or in some cases, the insurer may pay the suppliers directly.

In some cases, especially if the claim is of a large value, the Claims team may send an assessor to your property to assess the best approach to settle the claim. If this is likely, the Claims handler will let you know when you log the claim with them.

Will it affect my policy if I claim? 

In most cases, it shouldn't make an immediate difference to your policy.

However, at the time of renewing the policy the terms of cover may alter (for example: the standard excesses may increase) and/or increase the premium. This premium increase may be due to the value or number of claims that have been made in the previous policy year. You should also be aware that having a high claims history can make getting insurance in the future difficult.

It's also worth knowing that if you make a claim then you will lose the No Claims Discount that you may have been benefitting from in previous years.

If you have a break-in, we'll offer suggestions on home security and may ask you to carry out security improvements, such as burglar alarms and window locks, before your next renewal.

Why was my insurance claim refused? 

There are several reasons why a claim could be refused: Inaccurate or withheld information (also known as misrepresentation and non-disclosure) Your policy is based on your answers to questions the insurer asks about you and your property.

An incorrect or incomplete answer could invalidate your cover, reduce the amount paid if you need to claim, or stop your claim being paid. Property not maintained if it is found that damage or a loss was due to the building being neglected then your insurer can refuse to pay your claim.

Contents not specified: some policies insist that you specify certain items worth more than particular amounts. If you have not done so, your insurer can refuse to pay your claim.

Partial pay out: your insurer might refuse to pay the full amount of your claim if you have under-estimated the total value of your cover (known as 'being under-insured'). What to do when an insurer denies your claim

There are a number of rules governing what insurance companies can and can't do when it comes to rejecting claims. According to the Financial Conduct Authority's Insurance Conduct of Business Rules, an insurer must not 'unreasonably reject a claim made by a customer'; and (except in cases where there is evidence of fraud) must not refuse to meet a claim on the grounds of non-disclosure of information that the customer could not reasonably have been expected to disclose, or (except where a misrepresentation was negligent) on the grounds of misrepresentation of information.

Your insurance provider must give a fair reason for rejecting your claim. You should then check your policy documents if you disagree with your insurer’s decision.

Check that the details you have shared are accurate and note any policy wording that is either ambiguous or which states that you should be covered. If relevant, get an independent opinion. You might find it necessary to do this if you are claiming for accidental damage for instance and do not agree with the insurer’s loss adjuster. 

If your claim has been refused and you don’t believe you have been treated fairly then you can take steps to address the issue. You should first contact the complaints department and give them eight weeks to respond. You can then get in touch with the Financial Ombudsman if a fair and reasonable outcome cannot be agreed.