Home insurance: what to expect at claim time

Street view of two family homes

What happens when you make a home insurance claim? We’ve outlined each step so you know what to expect if you need to make a claim.

Why get home insurance?

Insurance is all about making sure your stuff is covered in case something goes wrong. Home insurance is designed to cover your property, giving you peace of mind should the unexpected happen.

When should I claim?

You can lodge a claim with your insurance company when your home is damaged or destroyed as a result of accidental damage or a significant event such as fire, storm, flood or other natural disasters.

First things first

  1. Assess the situation: confirm what parts of the building have been damaged and that their value exceeds your excess. If you are unsure of your voluntary excess amount or the value of your item(s), we’re here to help.

  2. In case of emergency: stay calm and make sure you and everyone else at the scene are out of danger. If you think your home has been intentionally damaged by someone, call the Police. They’ll give you an incident reference number that will aid the process when it comes time to make a claim.

The claims journey

  1. Home claims can be more complex than car and contents, due to the nature and scale of the damage. The claims journey detailed below is a good indication of how your home claim will be handled but please bear in mind, each claim is unique. When you’re ready, give us a call on 0800 500 216 or start your claim online. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner we can help. We may need your policy number or personal details to locate your relevant policy.

  2. You’ll be given a claim number and Customer Manager who will review your claim, answer any questions you may have and keep you informed about the progress of your claim.

  3. If your home becomes uninhabitable as a result of an event covered by your policy, we’ll help arrange and cover the reasonable costs of temporary accommodation for you, your family and even your domestic pets while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.

  4. If you have a contents policy with us and your items were also stolen, damaged or destroyed in the same event, our team will manage your home and contents claims together to make the process as seamless as possible. Even better, you’ll only need to pay one excess per event. An excess is your contribution towards the cost of the claim(s) and your insurer pays the rest.

  5. Your Customer Manager may appoint an independent insurance assessor or other experts such as a plumber, builder or loss adjuster, to assist with the claim. They may visit you to assess the loss or damage, confirm cause, or assist us with validating the claim. The insurance assessor can help both home and contents claim progress by compiling a list of damaged items.

  6. Once we have all relevant information, we’ll discuss your settlement options with you. Depending on the extent of the damage and whether it was caused by a natural disaster, your house could be repaired, rebuilt, or you could be paid the equivalent cost of the repairs or the full amount of your sum insured. At AA Insurance, unless the damage to your home is caused by a natural disaster, we will settle your claim using our replacement cover if you have taken steps to set an accurate sum insured and estimate the size of your home. This means that you’ll be covered for the full cost of the repairs or rebuild of your home.

  7. It is very important that your sum insured is accurate and up-to-date so when it comes to claim time, we can help put you in the same position you were in prior to the event. Sum insured is the maximum amount that we will pay to rebuild your home after a natural disaster. There are several ways you can calculate your sum insured, including using the online Cordell Sum Sure Calculator which estimates typical building costs for standard residential homes.

  8. After the repairs are complete or you have received final payment, we’ll close your claim and may ask for feedback on your experience.

  9. If your house was a total loss and rebuilt or cash settled, you’ll also need to start a new insurance policy to ensure your new home is covered. We can get this sorted over the phone or via our website.

Want to learn more?

If you’re looking for further information about our claims process or would like to find out more on simplifying insurance, check out our other blogs.

Any questions?

Now’s a great time to review your insurance. We recommend checking your details are up to date and ensuring the policy and cover you’ve chosen is right for you and your insurance needs.

If you have any questions about your insurance, need to update your AA Insurance policies or would like a quote, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re open from 8am to 8pm weekdays and from 8am to 6pm weekends and public holidays.

This blog provides general information only and is not intended to be a recommendation or personalised financial advice. Excesses, terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply to AA Insurance Limited’s policies. Please check the policy wording for details of cover. The provision of cover is subject to the underwriting criteria that apply at the time.

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