Living with your car in the garage or a hole in your ceiling is hardly fun – so it wasn’t surprising that when we quizzed customers who’d recently claimed about which areas of the experience they’d most like to see improved, speed came high in the pecking order.
When we surveyed 1,855 car insurance customers about how their most recent claim went, one in five (20%) reported that their insurer had taken more than a month to make their decision on what to pay out.
For the 1,348 home insurance claimants, the same was true in one in six (16%) cases. For 8% (car) and 5% (home) of claimants, the process had ground on for longer than three months.
Best and worst insurers for speed
A number of factors can impact the length of time an insurer needs to arrive at a claims decision. These can include the complexity of the claim and the length of time needed to clearly evaluate damage (for instance after a flood).
But the efficiency and ability of an insurance provider to co-ordinate the different parties involved in assessing a claim also plays an important role.
With car insurance, eight out of 10 NFU Mutual respondents in our survey rated the insurer as having been ‘quick’ in providing them with a settlement decision – with this arriving within one week in 60% of cases.
RSA came second, with 77% of respondents rating it for speed. Both NFU Mutual and RSA also performed excellently for overall satisfaction in our claims satisfaction tables.
See how your insurer did in our tables below.
Five tips for speeding up your claim
The circumstances of each claim are unique so there’s no surefire way of guaranteeing a swift outcome. However, following these five tips will increase the odds of your claim being resolved efficiently and fairly.
1. Contact your insurer as soon as possible
It’ll seem like common sense – but the sooner your insurer begins to process your claim, the sooner it will be resolved.
Additionally, the faster your insurer can assess your damage or losses, the fewer ambiguities are likely to crop up later on – in terms of the evidence you have or your recollections of the accident.
2. Collect all the evidence you can
Do what you can to collect as much evidence as possible to support your claim.
This includes taking photos of any damage, gathering receipts of missing or broken possessions if you have them, or obtaining contact details of witnesses present at an accident.
3. Don’t start repairs yourself
Don’t begin or commission repairs yourself without discussing it first with the insurer.
If they’ve not had a chance to assess the damage before it’s been repaired, they may turn down your claim.
4. Keep notes
Resolving a claim will likely involve claims handlers, underwriters, assessors, repairers and more.
Ideally, these parties are seemlessly managed – but in our survey, policyholders flagged co-ordination as being the area of service most in need of improvement.
If you can, keep records of all correspondence involving the claim, plus notes of what’s been discussed in phone calls. If you’re getting mixed messages, chase this up with your insurance provider.
5. Use our claims satisfaction tables
Prevention is better than cure. One way to increase the odds of your claims experience running smoothly is to pick an insurer that demonstrably handles claims well.
Next time you buy insurance, check how the providers you’re considering fare in our claims satisfaction tables.