Home Insurance – Choosing a Company and Making a Claim

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Home insurance combines various personal insurance protections covering a private residence. The policy will normally cover losses occurring to an individual’s home and its contents, loss of personnel possessions, additional living expenses through loss of use of the home and normally includes liability insurance for any accidents at the home, or at the hands of the homeowner on the premises.

When you are confronted with all of the different policies and options that exist, choosing the right company to cover your property can be a confusing and time consuming affair, especially if you do not have extensive industry knowledge or are a first time buyer.

It pays to shop around and consider the reputation of the company you are considering taking out a home insurance policy with and the trust that it invokes in its customers. The methods you could use to do this are by finding testimonials from previous customers, detailing the experiences with their insurance claims, reading references in industry periodicals, and even using rating agencies for insurance companies.

It is also worth considering geography and how wide a base of operations the company has in your area. Your communication experience with their customer service department when assessing your coverage needs and the levels that they will cover will also play a part in your decision – ultimately make sure that you are comfortable with the brand of the insurance company you take out your home insurance policy with, that they treat their customers with respect and that all of the items in your home will be covered.

After a loss, the insurance companies will expect the insured to start the insurance claims process by notifying them within a reasonable time period. Before submitting a claim, it is sensible advice to re-read your insurance policy. Therefore it is important to make sure you keep your documents in a handy place so you know exactly where to find them in such an event.

By going over your policy first, you should have a good understanding of what is covered and how. Your documents will normally give the helpline number of the insurance company so you can speak to an adviser at the company, or this number is usually available online. Another early step in the insurance claims process is to collect the necessary documentation; this could include value lists of possessions (a list that could be worthwhile making when taking out the policy), photographs of damage and potentially crime reference numbers supplied by the police; in the events of crime such as burglary.

All appropriate forms; sent out by the company or downloadable from their website; need to be filled in entirely and accurately, and sent back for evaluation, with a visit from a loss adjuster likely on larger claims, as the insurance company investigates further. You are advised to have a loss assessor working on your behalf as well. The first part of the claim will be a requirement on your part to pay the compulsory excess and from then on it is important to make sure you are in regular contact with the company for frequent updates about the progress of your home insurance claim.

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