Insurance claims

How to claim the benefits of your insurance policy

Source: You and Your Rights

Contact your insurer (preferably through your broker or agent) as soon as it is necessary to claim against an insurance policy.

Your insurer will arrange for the damage that you have incurred to be inspected as soon as possible.

Try not to disturb anything on your premises until your insurer has been notified. If you have to make urgent necessary repairs, get permission from your insurer before you hire any contractors to carry out repairs. After your insurer has been notified, you will be required to complete a claim form. It is advisable to do this in consultation with your broker or agent.

If the extent of the damage or of the loss through theft is not immediately apparent and the insurer presses you for details, sign the claim form, but make it clear to the insurer that the claim only reflects what is being claimed at the time. If the insurer accepts this, you can present an additional claim when the true amount is known. If you do not, the insurer is still bound to give you a reasonable time to prepare your claim. Ensure that you get all agreements of this sort in writing.

Your insurer may send an insurance assessor to assess the damage after you’ve put in your claim.

Leave negotiations with the insurer and the appointed assessor to your broker or agent and do not make any factual admissions to the assessor unless you are completely sure of those facts.

When claims are settled 

When an insurer pays a claim, you will be asked to sign and return a form stating that the cheque you are being offered is paid to and accepted by you in full and final settlement of the claim. Before you sign, ensure that all the amounts that you have claimed have been paid. If not, do not present the cheque for payment at the bank (and remember not to sign the form), but discuss the discrepancy with the insurer’s claims department.

If you deposit the cheque, you will lose any further claim against the insurer.

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