How to make an insurance claim

Checklist

  1. 1 Ensure that employees inform you as soon as possible of any breakages, accidents, thefts, legal action against you or other potential claims.
  2. 2 Check whether the loss is covered by your insurance policy and that you were complying with any conditions (eg appropriate security measures).
  3. 3 Consider whether it is worth claiming, or if the excess you have to pay and the potential increase in renewal premiums outweigh the benefits of claiming.
  4. 4 Notify your insurer immediately; ensure that any losses resulting from crime are reported to the police as well.
  5. 5 Ask what action you are required to take to minimise further loss; ensure that the insurer approves any action you plan (eg emergency repairs).
  6. 6 Keep records of the claim (eg photographs of the damage or loss), initial notification and subsequent communications.
  7. 7 Collect all the information required, typically for completion of a claim form; take advice from the insurer or your insurance broker if necessary.
  8. 8 Be ready to get estimates for any repairs, or to be visited by the insurer's loss adjuster who will assess the loss.
  9. 9 Claim for the full scale of your loss for example, emergency cleaning, repairs, replacements and loss of business (if covered).
  10. 10 Submit the claim and ask for an estimate of how long the claim process will take; agree a timetable.
  11. 11 Be prepared to negotiate your claim; consider appointing your own loss adjuster for large, complex claims whose value is disputed by the insurer.
  12. 12 Progress your claim as quickly as possible by providing information whenever required; consider negotiating interim payments if necessary.
  13. 13 Review your claims experience to identify any changes needed to your insurance cover and procedures (eg record-keeping).

Cardinal rules

Do:

  • notify your insurer immediately
  • provide accurate information as quickly as possible
  • actively progress your claim

Don't:

  • underinsure, or invalidate your insurance by failing to comply with any conditions
  • make uneconomic claims, or claims where you are not covered
  • make repairs or take other actions without the insurer's approval
  • underestimate the full costs of any loss you suffer