An Introduction To: Claims

Posted 23/05/2016

We all take out or purchase insurance for a number of reasons, whether it’s a requirement of law, such as motor insurance, or something that provides some financial protection for the unexpected.

Whilst insurance policies don’t cover every eventuality, they are designed around a broad range of risks or ‘Insured Perils’ as insurance companies prefer to them.

Before you purchase any insurance policy, it is important to take some time to carefully read the policy documents and make sure that all of your liabilities and assets are covered. If not, then you should discuss this with you insurance broker without delay.

It is also important to make sure that the policy is going to provide an adequate level of cover. If you have buildings insurance, are you sure it includes subsidence cover? If you are a cleaner with a public liability policy, is it definitely covering you for damage to any items that you clean? Things like this may sound obvious, but customers often only realise the scope of their cover once it’s time to make a claim.

When you need to make a claim, we recommend that you call us in the first instance. We will be able to help you check your policy wording and ensure that you are fully covered, before moving to the next stage.

It is important to note that all insurance companies put a condition on their policies stating that they must be given notification of any claim or potential for a claim as soon as you become aware of it. Failing to do this can prejudice the insurer’s position which can affect whether a claim is likely to be met or not. The safest way to act is to call us for advice if you are unsure.

When considering whether to make a claim or not, you should look at whether it is economically rational to do so. Most policies will have an excess that will be deducted from your final settlement and some will have No Claims Discount applied, which can be affected. If you have damaged a small laptop computer, for example, you may have paid £500 for it. But due to use and depreciation it is now only worth £350. If you have a £300 excess you may choose to settle this claim yourself to avoid having any impact on your insurance.We can offer you advice on these decisions, but the choice is always yours as to whether to proceed or not.

In some instances we would recommend that you contact your insurers directly, such as windscreen claims, as these are generally quick to resolve and do not require our input. We will always advise you of the best way to proceed with your claim when you contact us.

After our initial discussion, if we have found that the best way forward is for us to handle your claim on your behalf, the next step is usually the completion of a claim form. A claim form is usually a few pages long and will take full details of your loss and the circumstances surrounding it.

Completing your claim form

Please ensure that your claim form is completed as fully as possible. If details are omitted, then this could delay the processing of your claim.

It is important to provide details to substantiate your claim, and the more information you can provide from the outset, the quicker your insurer will be able to process and settle your claim.

Keep original purchase receipts, wherever possible, as proof of ownership and to substantiate values should a claim be made. Photographs of items or damage can be especially useful, as are valuations. Your insurer will invariably ask for two repair or replacement estimates, so if this can be provided at the very outset of making your claim, then it can lead to a much quicker settlement.

Reporting incidents to the police

For claims concerning accidental loss or a crime (theft, burglary, or criminal damage) it is a condition of all policies that the Police are informed as soon as possible. Make sure that you keep a note of the crime reference number of computer aided dispatch (CAD) number along with the name of the officer dealing with the report, and the station to which the incident was reported. Your insurer is likely to request this information.

Loss Adjusters

Depending on the size and/or type of loss, your insurer may appoint a loss adjuster to assist with your claim. A loss adjuster will generally arrange a time to visit with you to view the damage and discuss the circumstances more fully. They will then write a report to your insurer with their recommendation of how best to move forward with your claim.

Emergency Situations

If your claim concerns an emergency situation (e.g. a broken front door or window or leaking pipe), then temporary repairs should be undertaken to minimise further loss. You should take these steps even before your insurer confirms indemnity as it is your Common Law Duty to keep your losses to a minimum.

Should you need to make emergency repairs to keep your property secure or prevent further losses, then please ensure that you keep any receipts for such work and send these to us with your claim form and other supporting information in due course.

Contact details

Should you need to make a claim then you can contact Drayton Insurance’s Claim Manager, Grahame Green, via: or by phone on 01603 264352. If our office is closed and your claim is of an urgent nature, you should contact your insurer directly. You will find their details in your policy documents.

Should you have any questions about your claims process or policy in general, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01603 954054.

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An Introduction To: Claims