How we process your claim

A recent lifestyle survey about stress showed that making an insurance claim was one of the 10 most stressful experiences that you could ever go through in your life.

Sometimes you can understand why this is and often this process is not made easy.
 
At Key Insurance Group Ltd we believe that Claims are really our shop window – after all isn’t it the promise of fair claims settlement that we are buying when we pay our premiums?
 
We also understand that everyone wants to pay less in premiums but when a claim arises we all want it to be dealt with fairly and efficiently don’t we?
 
Of course we can’t change the legal position - in that it is the responsibility of the policyholder to demonstrate at the time the loss occurs that they have suffered financially, the monetary amount involved and that the loss is covered by the policy wording – but we can help with all these stages.
 
For our part we take all claims seriously and provide advice and support on the phone, via email and face to face, ensuring that no valid claim is declined.
 
 

Claiming on your insurance policy

 
If you want to make a claim on your insurance policy, do this without delay, and follow the procedure set out in your policy document. The information on how to claim is also contained in the KeyFacts / Policy Summary document that we sent you with your quotation.
 
By keeping your policy details in a safe place, all the information will be to hand if you need to claim and in any event we will keep a copy of all of your documents for at least 4 years.
 
You do not have to make a claim on your insurance policy, even if you are entitled to do so. However, you should think very carefully about this decision as any costs which you have to pay yourself may turn out to be more expensive than you think. It is always advisable to make an insurance claim if someone has been injured. Personal injuries can be expensive, and they can have an unexpected and long-term affects on your health.
 
Even if you do not wish to make a claim on your insurance policy, you must always tell your insurer about an event. If you do not report it, you may find that this leads to problems later on when you do wish to make a claim.
 
 

When to claim

 
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 increase in your calculations along with things like repair cost and your excess. 
 
If you're unsure, you can always ask us to advise how much your premium is likely to increase if you make a claim, but as rates and underwriting terms can change from time to time we can’t guarantee our 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 some or all of 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 buildings insurance and contents insurance policies), make sure you sort out who's doing what – get the companies to talk to each other and to you and make sure you involve us too.
 
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 please contact us for advice.
 
 

Problems in claiming on your insurance policy

 
Sometimes insurers will not process some or all of your claim for reasons which may fall into the following categories:-
 
 

Your insurer will not pay out the full amount

 
Your insurer may agree to pay your claim, but not the full amount. This may be because:-
 
  • you have under-estimated the total value of your possessions or your exposure when you took out your insurance policy and do not have enough insurance to cover your losses
  • your insurer thinks that you have put an unrealistic value on the claim and will only pay you part of the claim
  • unless you have a 'new for old' or a reinstatement policy, the item for which you are claiming was old, and your insurer will pay you less than the cost of replacing it with a new item. This is because you have already had some use from it. The claim settlements for some items, like pedal cycles or stock, are always dealt with on this ‘indemnity’ basis.
 
If you think your insurer is being unreasonable, please contact us immediately, as we will try to negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement. If you are still not satisfied with the way your claim has been dealt with we will help you make a complaint.
 
 

Your insurer refuses to pay your claim

 
Your insurer may refuse to pay your claim because:-
 
  • the incident you are claiming for is not covered by your policy (see under Uninsured losses)
  • you have failed to pay some of the installments of your premium
  • you failed to notify your insurer of a change in your circumstances
  • you have not followed the claims procedure of your policy correctly
  • you have not kept to a condition of your policy.
 
Your insurer must give you a reason for refusing to pay your claim, and you should check the details of your policy carefully to make sure that their decision is a reasonable one. If you think your insurer is being unreasonable, please contact us immediately, as we will try to negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement. If you are still not satisfied with the way your claim has been dealt with we will help you make a complaint.
 
 

Uninsured losses

 
Sometimes an incident can result in expenses that your insurance policy does not cover. These are called uninsured losses.
 
If your insurance policy includes an 'excess', this is also a type of uninsured loss. An excess is the fixed amount of any claim, for example the first £50, that you must pay yourself.
 
If you suffer a financial loss for which you are not insured, in a situation which is someone else's fault, you may be able to take them to court to recover your expenses. Before you take this step please contact us. Not only can we help you formulate your claim for any uninsured losses we an also give you access to relevant legal experts that will help protect your rights.
 
 

Complaints

 
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. Since the Financial Services Authority took over the regulation of general insurance on 14 January 2005, all unresolved disputes and complaints are now handled by 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.

 

 

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