Supporting Our NHS
There are more things to consider when insuring your assets than just picking the right product. If you are renting out your property, parking space or vehicle, consider the following steps to avoid exposing yourself to more risk than you need to if the worst happens.
1. Don’t assume you have adequate insurance cover.
Depending on the product, many insurance policies class renting out your property as commercial use and exclude this from cover. If your insurer isn’t prepared to cover you, consider taking out specialist insurance.
2. Take steps to minimize your loss.
If you are happy with the level of insurance you have, take steps to mitigate any potential loss. Most insurers have clauses in their policy wordings that exclude pay outs on claims for customers that haven’t taken the necessary steps to protect what they have. Make sure your property is secure and valuable items are locked away. If you are renting your home out to strangers, don’t leave personal information around and make it easy for people to steal your identity. Take steps to verify your guest is who they say they are before accepting a booking for your home.
3. Check your terms and conditions.
Don’t assume your insurer will cover every eventuality and read your policy booklet. Many policies have a list of exclusions that cover a wide range of scenarios. If you struggle to find the level of cover you need to insure your property, consider limiting the number of high value items in your home. Insurers set absolute limits on the maximum amount of damage they are willing to cover.
4. Make sure you have proof of purchase.
Keep receipts of items you have purchased in a safe place in case something happens. If you don’t have these, keep a record of online bank transactions. Whilst your insurer may still pay out on a claim if your items are stolen or damaged, keeping a meticulous record of everything will make the claims process smoother and give you piece of mind knowing you’re adequately covered. If you don’t have any proof of purchase, take a photograph of the item. In doing this, you’ll also have some proof of its condition before any claim.
5. Don’t leave cash in your property.
Proving how much cash you had before it is stolen is difficult and for this reason, many insurers don’t cover loss or theft of money at all. If cash is covered, it’s likely your insurer will set a limit on how much you can claim for. Leave it in a bank instead.
6. If the worst occurs, take a log of everything that happened.
Most of us have endured through stressful moments where things have become too much. But where money is involved, try to take a deep breath and take stock of the situation. If a big event such as an accident occurs, its vital that you take meticulous notes of what happened if you want your insurance company to pay out on your claim. Make a diary of events along with a timeline so you know what happened and when. If your story is inconsistent, insurance companies may delay paying out until they’re sure of the facts. If a theft occurs, be sure to call the police straight away and get a crime reference number. Insurance companies may invalidate your claim if you don’t.
7. Be straight with the facts, even if you think it’s unimportant.
Many insurers may not pay out if you have had a policy cancelled by your insurer before, depending on the reason for why it was terminated. If you have had a policy cancelled before and you are not sure if you are covered, be sure to contact your insurer before you take out any cover. If you don’t and you need to claim later on, you may have paid for nothing if your insurance decides to invalidate your claim instead.
Don’t exaggerate the extent of losses you have incurred. If your insurance company feels you are doing so, you may delay your claim or not get a much as you feel you deserve.
8. Keep your house well maintained.
Many insurers require you to maintain the upkeep of your property. If you don’t you could have a potential insurance claim waiting to happen. If you have been negligent, your claim may be invalidated. When you’re making money from your property, treat it like an investment and keep it that way.
9. Cooperate with your insurer as much as you can, especially if things go to court.
Insurers rely on their customers to be cooperative. Be prompt when asked to provide evidence for any claim. If your insurer suspects you aren’t being helpful enough, they might play hardball when it comes to paying out. If a guest damages your property and your insurer takes them to court on your behalf, being uncooperative could lose you your case altogether.
10. Act as if you don’t have insurance, even if you do.
Insurance providers have a wide range of terms within their policies that account for many different scenarios. Don’t assume you’ll always have cover for every situation. By doing this, you’ll be more cautious about protecting what you have.