We all know why we pay our insurance premiums each month: so that we’re financially covered should something unfortunate happen. This could be anything from your car breaking down, to needing to go to hospital while travelling abroad, to having your shiny new flatscreen TV stolen during a burglary.

But while you may have adequate insurance for these events, you may not realise how important the claims process is in ensuring that you’re paid out quickly and comprehensively for the loss you’ve suffered.

To make sure this process runs smoothly, we’ve compiled a list of the top eight mistakes our claims department sees on a regular basis. By knowing these insider tips, you’ll be able to avoid them should you ever need to claim – so that you can get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.

 

  1. Not submitting supporting documents. While most of our clients submit the necessary claim forms to us, they often don’t send the right supporting documents that need to go along with them. These documents vary according to the type of insurance policy you’re claiming on, but can include things like a copy of a valid driving license, a copy of your National Identity Card, a police abstract or a TIN.
  2. Not keeping your documentation updated. For example, if you have a car accident and are driving with an expired driving license, this can delay or add complications to your claim with us.
  3. Not completing your claim form. Many of the claim forms we receive contain incomplete information, for example a missing postal address or not giving your full name. Always make sure that you complete all sections of your claim form that are relevant to your case. If you don’t, we’ll need to send these back to you to get the information, which delays the entire process.
  4. Giving incorrect information. Many of our clients mistakenly give us information on their claim form that is incorrect, such as the wrong contact number or an invalid email address. Most importantly, make sure you give us your correct banking details so that your claims money gets paid to the correct place.
  5. Not providing enough information. We often reject or delay claims where we don’t have enough information about the incident. For example, you may have had your TV stolen from your home, and when you lodge the claim, you simply list “theft” on the form where you’re asked for details. Unfortunately this isn’t enough information: we’d need to understand the full context of the theft – such as the date and time, how the intruder gained access, and when you reported the crime to the police – if we’re to resolve your claim quickly.
  6. Not getting a proper police abstract. This is important in all cases of theft or accidents. Whether you’ve had something stolen from your home, your car or from you while you’re out and about, you’ll need a police abstract that lists ALL the stolen items from you and how the incident happened. This is very important, because you can’t claim for items that aren’t on the abstract. Specifically if you’ve had a motor vehicle accident, make sure you get a police abstract within 24 hours of the incident.
  7. Lack of understanding of the product cover. It’s important to know exactly what your policy covers you for so you can avoid being underinsured. For example, your travel insurance policy may not cover certain activities while you’re abroad, while your home insurance policy may not cover theft of all the items you think it does.
  8. Not keeping us informed. As soon as an incident happens, we need to know about it. This is mainly to ensure that if you use a certain service provider, we’ll cover the cost of it. For example, if you’re in a car accident and need to fix your car, notify us first so that we can give you a list of garages that we’ll pay for. Or, if you need medical help while you’re travelling and have a travel insurance policy with us, contact our Special Assistance department so we can get you the medical help you need that you know will be covered by us.

With ICEA LION as your insurer, our claims process is fairly straightforward – though there are differences with our various insurance policies. Overall, always make sure that you follow the instructions when it comes to claiming so that the process runs smoothly and efficiently. If you don’t understand a section of the claim form, ask your broker or agent for help, or contact us directly for assistance.