Making an insurance claim - checklist

The word 'claims' spelled out by wooden bricks

Claiming on your insurance can be stressful - but if you follow these steps you can maximise your chances of success

  • Ensure that employees inform you as soon as possible of any breakages, accidents, thefts, legal action against you or other potential claims.
  • Check whether the loss is covered by your insurance policy and that you were complying with any conditions (eg appropriate security measures).
  • 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.
  • Notify your insurer immediately; ensure that any losses resulting from crime are reported to the police as well (insurers usually ask for a crime reference number in cases of theft).
  • Ask what action you are required to take to minimise further loss; ensure that the insurer approves any action you plan (eg emergency repairs).
  • Keep records of the claim (eg photographs of the damage), initial notification and subsequent communications.
  • Collect all the information required for the claim form; take advice from the insurer or your broker if necessary.
  • Be ready to get estimates for any repairs, or to be visited by the insurer’s loss adjuster who will assess your claim.
  • Claim for the full scale of your loss - for example, emergency cleaning, repairs, replacements and loss of business (if covered).
  • Submit the claim and ask for an estimate of how long the claim process will take; agree a timetable.
  • Be prepared to negotiate your claim; consider appointing your own loss adjuster for large, complex claims whose value is disputed by the insurer.
  • Progress your claim as quickly as possible by providing information whenever required; consider negotiating interim payments if necessary.
  • Review your experience to identify any changes needed to your insurance cover and procedures (eg record-keeping).

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