Helpful tips for the claims process
This article was originally published in June 2019 and has been updated.
Most people will only make a handful of insurance claims in their lifetime so it’s no surprise many of us aren’t sure how exactly we make a claim.
That’s why we’ve spoken to the experts at QBE and identified a number of top tips to help our customers navigate the claims process.
“We understand you’re often only contacting an insurance company when something bad has happened and this can be stressful but remember we’re here to help and it’s our job to make the claims process as smooth as possible,” says Arron Mann, General Manager, Short Tail Claims QBE.
“But our customers – also commonly referred to as policyholders – need to go through a couple of steps in the claims process before a claim can be settled and cooperation is really needed to get claims settled quickly and simply,” Mann says.
Understand the insurance claim process
Understand your policy
Make sure you read the documents associated with your insurance policy.
This includes Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or policy wording and your Certificate of Insurance.
Your Certificate of Insurance has your sum insured, your excess, and your specified items.
“It’s really important to read both documents as they apply to each other,” Mann says.
Start at the table of contents as it provides an overview of the policy and can guide you to specific areas of the document you may not understand or need to clarify, Mann suggests.
“Insurance policy wordings can often use language with special meanings. Our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) has a section that acts as a glossary for these words. It’s helpful to have a read through these definitions early on,” he says.
Understand your policy exclusions
Your policy is very specific on what you are covered for what you aren’t covered for.
This section of your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) is crucial.
For example, if your home is under renovations, you may not be covered by a standard home insurance policy.
“Other exclusions to be mindful of are general maintenance and wear and tear. Insurance is designed specifically for certain unforeseen events that might happen."
Spend some time reading and understanding your policy exclusions and if in doubt contact QBE on 133 723 or your broker or agent to discuss your particular situation.
Take photos and keep other records
An easy way to keep a record of your belongings, or the state of your home is to take photos, Mann says.
“Having images that capture the condition of your home could be helpful in the claims process. Photos are ideal because they prove the existence of your items, but most importantly, the condition prior to the event.”
“Receipts can fade over time or get mislaid or could be ruined or completely lost after water damage or in a fire. Take photos of important receipts too” Mann suggests.
“It’s a good idea to take photos or scan receipts for big purchases, such as a new TV or laptops, and having copies of those receipts so you can be specific on the type of TV or laptop. This is very helpful when it comes to replacing them.”
“Take photos of receipts and you can keep these in a folder on your phone or on your laptop.”
Take photos after the event has happened too.
It will help us to understand more about the circumstances and what is damaged.
“Once water dries after a burst pipe or a weather incident at your home for example, it may be difficult to see how far it might have spread from a burst pipe, so it’s better for us to understand if we can see some photos as soon as the event happens. Similarly, with a car accident, take photos of your car and the other car involved,” Mann says.
Keep important details handy
“It’s a good idea to have all the details you need to begin the claims process on hand, starting with the correct phone number to lodge the claim or contact details of your insurance broker or agent, Mann says. “We’re open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for claim lodgement,” Mann adds.
“A good way to have these key contact details handy is to create a new contact in your mobile phone or bookmark the web address where you can lodge an online claim,” he says.