Question of Finance: Is it now tougher to claim on your insurance?
Q: OVER the past 12 months, a couple of my friends have had reason to claim on their home insurance but have run into major difficulty in doing so.
I claimed on my own policy many moons ago and I remember it being relatively easy. Have insurers gotten tougher or is it just certain companies?
A: THERE’S no doubting that recent economic events have placed pressure on insurers to adopt stricter and more stringent claims procedure than before.
However, customers have just the same rights under their policies as they did before. There are a number of precautions you can take to fully protect you and your home.
The first of which is to ensure the level of cover you have is appropriate to your needs. If you are not sure how much to insure your building for, check out the website of the Society of Chartered Surveyors, www.scs.ie.
To properly value your contents, go from room to room and estimate the replacement value of each item. Total the figure and add at least 10pc to allow for error.
Secondly, it is prudent to keep a file containing receipts and valuations and – where possible – photographs of your valuable items.
Simple things such as checking your smoke detectors regularly can make a big difference to both your insurance and your safety. If you use your fire place for real fires, make sure you have your chimney cleaned regularly and have your gutters checked annually for build-ups.
If any part of your property has a felt roof, you should have the roof inspected regularly for damage or cracks etc.
Doing the simple things to avoid claims will keep your premiums as low as possible.
-- Louise Ledwidge, Household Insurance Manager, GetCover.ie
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