How to Make an Insurance Claim
It’s something you hope to never have to do but, making a claim on your insurance policy is something you might have to face at some point. Whether you are claiming for damage to physical property, or are facing a lawsuit, navigating a complex claims process can add more stress to an already stressful time. Although every policy is different in terms of the claims process, there are some common practices which will apply to most insurance claims.
1. Contact your broker or insurer
The first step is to contact your insurance broker or insurer to notify them that you need to make a claim.
2. Gather evidence and paperwork
Try to gather as much detail as possible and be ready to provide details to the insurer.
For example, if you are claiming for damage to physical property, try to gather information such as dates, items which have been damaged/stolen, photos and evidence to support your claim.
If you are claiming under a financial risk line, gather information in relation to the allegations that are being made against you, such as electronic files, emails, notes and transcripts, letters of demand, or communications from a regulatory body or legal firms.
Each claim requires different information and proof, but the items listed above are a great start.
If of a professional nature, notify your broker as soon as you become aware of a ‘circumstance which may give rise to a claim’. This can be in the form of a demand, complaint or other expression of dissatisfaction. It is not enough to wait until another party commences legal proceedings against you, as this may result in the claim not being covered
This is where good record keeping can make a big difference, as it can determine how well your legal team will be able to defend your claim.
Helpful resource | Download Aon's Claim Preparation Checklist.
3. Aon will register your claim
A dedicated Claims Specialist will be assigned to manage the claims process with you.
4. Pay your excess
Most insurance policies will have an excess. The excess is your uninsured loss. This excess will need to be paid at different points in the claim cycle, dependent on the type of risk being claimed on, however it is payable. In certain circumstances, (where you are not at fault), the excess may well be recoverable.
5. Aon will manage your claim with the insurer.
Our Claims Specialists will liaise with your insurer, advise you on the next steps, appoint an assessor/loss adjuster if required, then help guide and advocate for you during the claim. Our responsibility is to ensure the claim gets handled correctly, quickly and within the bounds of the full policy benefits available.
6.The assessor/loss adjuster will then guide you on next steps.
Loss Adjusters and Assessors are generally appointed to adjudicate on the loss and provide the insurer with clear information regarding circumstances and potential cost. These appointments differ between insurers. From the information sourced, insurers can then make a more informed decision on how best to respond. This will align to either repairing, reinstating or cash settling the loss.
7. Policy renewal
The renewal of your insurance contract generally rolls around once every twelve months. At this time, the insurer will address the renewal premium based on several factors including the location, susceptibility to external risk, the nature of the operation, security, past loss history, as examples. These factors have an impact on the amount you will pay. If you have made claims under your policy, obviously that is expected, but the insurers will look at the cause and nature and generally draw these components in to their decision making on the terms to apply.
8. Having the right broker by your side
Making a claim can be a stressful time, and the last thing you need is a complicated process. That’s why when deciding on a broker to arrange your insurance, it’s important to consider the claims process. A broker with a deep understanding of your industry, as well as strong knowledge of insurance terms can advocate for your business in the event of a claim. At Aon, we have dedicated claims specialists to help and guide you.