When you make a claim on your home and contents insurance policy, you must present as much evidence of the incident as possible. There are two common ways of submitting a claim: by phone or online.

If an incident occurs at your property, make sure you:

  • Stay safe
  • Collect necessary information
  • Take photos of the incident
  • Call your insurer or submit an online claim form.

How to submit a claim

Let’s assume you have home and contents insurance, but your home was broken into while you were away. Valuables such as your flat screen TV and laptop were stolen. What should you do next?

Once you’ve witnessed the incident, you should file a claim with your home and contents insurance provider. To start a claim process, you need to go through the following list.

Step 1. Report the incident to the police

The first step requires filing a police report as soon as possible. This will help your policy provider validate your claim. In some cases, you may not be able to make a claim if you don’t report the incident to authorities within 24 hours.

Step 2. Contact your insurer

The next step involves getting in touch with your home and contents insurer and letting them know about the incident. Explain what has happened in as much detail as possible. Along with your verbal explanation, you will need to provide full documentation of the incident. Also, make sure you bring all receipts related to your damaged or stolen property, and your insurance policy.

Step 3. File your claim

Filing a claim involves collecting all reports of the incident and following the instructions your insurer has given you. You can file a claim by post, fax, email, or online.

After you have lodged a claim, your insurer may get in touch to let you know how your claim is progressing. Alternatively, they can also provide you with access to an online claims centre so you can track the progress at any time.

Step 4.  Follow up on your claim’s progress

Don’t hesitate to call your insurer and request an update when you need to. Remember that insurer compliance is monitored by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

Do I need to know anything else?

  • Your insurance company will normally arrange for an adjuster to come to your property and assess the damage.
  • Check with your insurer to see if they can give you an estimate of when your claim will be paid. Any payment on your claim will be made in Australian dollars, and the bank transfer could take several days to process.
  • When you claim, you may have to pay an excess, but this is paid back when you receive your claim.

While insurance claims are generally a streamlined process, they may not always go according to plan. If that is the case and you feel that your claim was wrongfully denied or not paid out in full, you can lodge a dispute with the FOS.