Claiming From Your Short-term Insurer

 By: Stuart Broad
So the unthinkable has happened and you need to claim from your insurance company. This is often a nerve-wracking time for everyone. If you have not read your insurance policy for a while, you may be unsure of what excess you will need to pay. You may also have neglected to update your insurance policy and fear that you might be underinsured. These are all valid concerns when you it comes time to claim. In addition being concerned that your claim may be turned down is particularly relevant due to insurance companies being more wary of fraudulent claims as a result of the current economic meltdown. Regardless of that, you have a right to be treated fairly when you claim and as long as your claim is truthful and you are adequately covered, you should not run into any problems.

Inventories are one of the most important and troublesome aspects when claiming from your home contents insurance policy. You should try and retain all receipts for items of value in your home. Claims often need to be accompanied by proof of purchase like sales receipts, especially for valuable items. This is not always possible though. For instance, jewelry is often given as a gift and as such, you would not be in possession of the receipt. In cases like these, a sworn affidavit or photographic evidence of the existence and value of the item or items in question would suffice.

Above all, it is of the utmost importance that you remain honest and concise about what happened. Do not try and anticipate what the claims assessor might think. Remember that insurance companies will check the statement you make on your claim form against police statements and records as well as ambulance records and phone logs. These are all very real evidence that may be investigated when you submit a claim.

Ensure that you only claim for what was stolen, lost or damaged at the correct replacement value. Due to people often claiming that items they never owned in the first place were stolen during a robbery or from their vehicles, insurers investigate claims thoroughly and often catch people for submitting fraudulent claims. Insurance companies are taking a very tough stance on these matters and being caught comes with heavy penalties and even time in jail. Furthermore it will be in your own best interest to never inflate the value of a particular item.

Finally, if you were honest and truthful in your claim and your insurance company chooses not to pay out on your claim, there are avenues open to you. Most often these refusals to pay out may be because of a minor discrepancy in the claim or some other error. Normally, these matters can be resolved in amicable terms with the insurance company in question, but if that is not the case, there are legal avenues available to you as well. Contacting the insurance ombudsman is the best recourse as they will deal with the insurance company on your behalf. If the ombudsman decides that the insurance company is in the wrong, they will force them to accept your claim.
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