Buildings insurance explained Buildings insurance claims
If something happens to your house, you may need to make a claim. Here are our tips for making claiming run more smoothly.
When to claim on buildings insurance
Before you make any claim, it's important to do the maths first. The vast majority of insurers will put your premiums up at renewal if you make a claim, so try to include a premium hike in your calculations along with things like repair cost and your excess.
If you're unsure, you can always ask your insurer how much your premium is likely to increase if you make a claim, but you're not guaranteed an answer. If you do speak to your insurer, be clear about whether you are making a claim or not.
Things are even less clear cut if you have a no claims discount, as a claim will mean you lose your discount and your premiums may go up on top of that.
How to claim
If you're dealing with more than one insurance company (for example, because you're claiming on both and contents insurance policies), make sure you sort out who's doing what – get the companies to talk to each other and to you.
Always read the policy terms and conditions thoroughly to make sure you're covered for everything you think you are. Read them again if you have to make a claim.
Check regularly that you have enough insurance, and make sure you keep your documentation in a safe place - make a note of where this is if you tend to be forgetful. Know which company you're insured with – or think about how you would contact your insurer if you had to leave your home in an emergency.
If you're not happy with how your company is dealing with your claim, contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
If you have a dispute with your insurance company or broker (whether it's about a claim or some other aspect of its service), complain to the company first.
In most cases, the company should resolve the problem. However, if it doesn't, you can complain to the FOS. The FOS will look at a case only if you've already been through the company's own complaints procedure and reached deadlock.
In reaching a decision, it considers the terms of the policy, and also what's 'fair and reasonable'. Decisions against the company are binding, but if you're dissatisfied, you're still free to go to court.