Making a Claim on your Home Insurance

The exact procedure for making a claim on your home insurance may vary slightly between insurance companies, but should be explained in the insurance documents you received when you took out your home insurance policy, so you are advised to take time to read these.

It is usually a requirement that you inform the insurance company as soon as you are aware that you need to make a claim, so don't delay. Typically, you will have been given the telephone number of your insurance provider's claims line and in the first instance you should call this number and discuss your claim.

Make sure you have any relevant information to hand, eg your policy number, details of the property which has been lost, damaged or stolen and, if appropriate, a crime reference number.

In some instances you may be able to complete your claim over the phone, in others you will be sent out a claim form which you will need to complete and return.

The amount of time taken to settle your claim may vary. Typically, small claims may be settled quickly while larger claims may involve having a loss adjuster verify your claim.

Remember that most home insurance policies will specify an "excess" - this is a fixed amount that you must pay towards any claim made. The value of the excess can vary considerably between policies - usually a policy with a larger excess value will have smaller premiums than the same policy with a smaller excess.

Once your home insurance claim has been accepted, the insurer will settle the claim by either paying you (minus any excess) the cost of replacing the item as new (if a "new for old" policy) or paying some other sum of money towards replacement or repair.