An insurance claim usually goes hand in hand with a loss, which most likely means that you have suffered a loss or trauma. This is where having a broker comes in very handy as we not only assist as the “middle man”, but we can put your mind at ease and guide you through what might be uncertain times.

Submitting a claim is actually not a daunting process when you are correctly insured and understand what you are covered for. When you know the stipulations to your policy and your broker guides you, it will be at your advantage when completing a claim form.

My advice is always to act sooner rather than later. Even though insurers allow for a claim period to submit a claim, I have learnt that people tend to forget certain details as time pass. Some claims also take longer to settle, thus the longer you wait to submit the claim the longer you will wait for your settlement/replacement.

This then leads to my next bit of advice…know your facts! It is crucial to provide us with the correct information.  The date of loss/incident is the most important as we need this to register the claim and this can be a basis for an insurer to reject or accept the claim. Provide as much detail as possible. Provide photographs where applicable and very important: in the case of a motor accident, report the incident to the police – even if no one was injured. A police case number will be required when submitting the claim.

Further to vehicle accidents it is very important to take third party details.  The human instinct is for us to want to leave the scene as it was probably traumatic, but get the other party’s details (vehicle make, registration number, driver’s license, contact details etc.). It can easily be done by taking photographs with your phone – no need to search for pen and paper!  Do not discuss the details of the accident with the other party in terms of who was at fault, even if you believe that you were. Provide them with your details and insurance information.

In an event of claim where an item is no longer working, whether it is your washing machine or cellphone, a very detailed damage report is needed. It is also very important that the make, model and serial number of the item is on this report, which should be from a reputable/ qualified repairer. The insurer has the right to contact the repairer to make sure that the item that they are insuring is the one that is damaged.  If that is not the case they may reject the claim.

And lastly…always be truthful, give the exact occurrence and details.  One of the hardest things in my job is to phone a client to tell them these dreaded words: I AM SORRY, YOUR CLAIM HAS BEEN REJECTED.  We are here to guide you and file your claim in the correct way to ensure that you get the maximum benefit from your insurance policy.

Author: Mandy Kriel (Claims Manager: Vision Insurance)