The unthinkable has happened and you have to make an insurance claim. What to do next?


All insurance policies spell out clearly the risks they cover, and which risks are not covered.


Read your policy and make sure the loss you have suffered is covered by your policy.


Decide which policy - buildings or contents, to claim under. A good general guide is that your buildings policy covers the structure of your home together with any fixtures, fittings, and internal decorations. Your contents policy covers possessions you would take with you if you moved.


If you accepted the £14.00 legal advice and claims handling service please contact MSL Westinsure Assist on 0800 040 7475, otherwise please contact your insurer as indicated below.


Ageas 0845 1223019
Allianz 0844 8939538
Aviva 0800 012345
AXA 08705 561161
Covea 0844 9020789
Groupama 0870 2403093
Legal & General 0870 9005565
Royal & Sun Alliance 08701 650501
or 08701 650522
Sterling 01303 856300
Zurich 0845 712 5220


(These helplines can also help you in an emergency, particularly by giving you the names of good tradesmen for emergency repairs, as well as general information and advice.)


Complete the claims form as soon as possible and return it with, if possible, estimates for the cost of repair or replacement. If you have a 'replacement as new' policy, you can claim for the full cost of repairing your property or replacing it with new items if they have been stolen or destroyed.


If you find it difficult to get estimates quickly (if damage is widespread builders and plumbers may be difficult to track down) then send the claim form to the insurance company straight away, and tell them you will send estimates as quickly as possible.


If you have suffered from theft, malicious damage or vandalism tell the police immediately.


If you have lost credit cards or cheque cards, tell the company that issued them immediately. A delay of even a few hours could prove expensive for you.


Victim Support

Victim Support can provide you with support when you need it most. The emotional effects of a theft or loss can be difficult to deal with - you may feel angry, frightened or unsafe. Most people suffer in silence, but you needn't - just sharing your thoughts can help. Victim Support can help you pick up the pieces practically and emotionally.


Victim Support is a national charity, offering victims of crime emotional support through trained volunteers.


Victim Support Helpline Number: 0845 30 30 900


If temporary repairs have to be done in order to prevent further damage, arrange for the work to be done and keep the bills. The cost may form part of your overall claim.


It is important to keep damaged items because the insurance company may want to see them. Burnt or soaked property can be kept in a shed or garage.


As soon as the insurance company receives your estimates, it will either:

  • Pay your claim.
  • Arrange for an inspector to call on you.
  • Send a loss adjuster to handle the whole claim.

The claims inspector is employed by the insurance company and will arrange, with you, the basis on which your claims will be settled.


Loss adjusters are independent experts with a good knowledge of the area in which they operate. They are skilled in assessing claims and in advising on the best repair and reinstatement methods. They will recommend to the insurance company the way in which your claim should be settled.


There is usually no need for you to appoint someone to act on your behalf. If you do, remember you will have to pay their fees yourself.


Insurance companies usually want to see evidence of ownership and value of property, which has been lost or damaged. It is important to keep, if possible, receipts and professional valuations. If you do not have these, ask the insurance company what other evidence they will accept.


Some insurers require the installation of approved alarm and/or minimum-security fittings. Check whether this applies to your policy. You may qualify for a discount from the premium if you already have good security.


Modern insurance policies are easy to read. There is no 'small print' and many of them have won 'plain English' awards. Read your policies now. Then clear any specific points with your insurance company or insurance adviser. Then you will have peace of mind.



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St Austell (Head Office)

Rowett Insurance Broking Ltd

1 Southview House

Enterprise Park


St Austell


PL25 4EJ


Freephone: 0500 401226

Tel: 01726 871144 / 69400

Fax: 01726 66911

Plymouth Office

Rowett Insurance Broking Ltd

3 Alexandra Road






Tel: 01752 774686

Fax: 01752 774694

Rowett Insurance Broking Ltd

Registered Office Address: 22 East Hill, St Austell, Cornwall, PL25 4TR

Registered in England and Wales No. 4998729