Each year Australians spend millions of dollars on premiums for general insurance to protect their valuables and businesses.
General insurance such as home and contents and business insurance forms a part of sound risk management.
The terms, extent of cover, premiums and excess arrangements vary widely from policy to policy often making it difficult to compare ‘apples with apples’.
Our insurance team have encountered most types of issues when it comes to understanding and claiming on your insurances.
Home and contents insurance
Home and contents insurance protects buildings and personal contents such as furniture, appliances, jewellery and collectables against destruction, loss or damage sustained by an ‘insured event’ such as fire, flood, storm, earthquake and theft.
Most home and contents policies include cover for additional items if a home is completely destroyed such as removal of debris, excavation, architectural and engineering plans and temporary housing.
Business insurance policies cover loss for property, equipment and stock as well as loss of profits due to interruptions in the daily operations of the business caused by the insured event.
Making an insurance claim
The following will help if you need to make a claim on your insurance:
- Check your policy documents carefully to determine what you can claim, your excess contributions and eligibility requirements. You should also ensure that your premiums are paid up to date.
- As soon as possible after the insured event (such as fire, storm, theft) document your losses and damage. Take photographs, list stolen or damaged items and, if possible, gather receipts, invoices or warranties to help establish the existence or value of lost or perished items.
- Keep a record of all claims, telephone calls, emails and correspondence with the insurer and any details of assessors sent to investigate damage.
- Consider an insurer’s offer of settlement carefully before accepting it. Like most of us, you’ve probably been paying premiums for years and never or seldom made a claim. You need to be comfortable that offers to repair or replace damaged items or lump sum offers are fair compensation for your loss and in accordance with your entitlements under the policy.
If you are in doubt, or believe an offer is unreasonable, talk to one of our experienced lawyers today.
What if my insurance claim is denied?
The type of cover included for general insurance is defined in the insurance policy or product disclosure statement.
Your insurance claim may go seamlessly or you could encounter obstacles and resistance by the insurer in paying your claim. This may simply be due to a lack of information or a need to clarify something with the insurer.
Common reasons for denying claims concern exclusions in policies (circumstances under which your insurer will not pay), cancelled policies or unpaid premiums, non-disclosure (failure to inform the insurer about specific matters that affect your ability to claim) and failing to properly maintain property or mitigate risk of damage or loss.
An insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurer which sets out your respective rights and obligations. The terms of the contract are open to interpretation. If your claim is declined, you have a right to know why and may request an internal review by the insurer.
If your dispute remains unresolved our insurance lawyers can step in and help. We have significant experience in lodging, disputing and negotiating general insurance claims and will guide you in the most appropriate direction to settle your claim.
Disaster recovery claims
Our team can also advise you if you have been impacted by a disaster and your property or business has suffered due to severe fire, flood or storm or other significant event, particularly in cases where a Government authority or other entity has contributed to the disaster.
Contact us today for an obligation free consultation with one of our expert lawyers.
How much will it cost to make a general insurance claim?
Compensation Partners is committed to providing you with cost effective access to legal representation because we believe that anyone with a claim deserves justice, no matter their financial circumstances. Before we commence work on your claim we will provide you with an estimate of fees for our legal services, this is known as a Costs Agreement.