Our expert, Jan Chapple, Content Management Analyst has put together information and guidance on process when dealing with insurance claims.
Contact the relevant insurer
- The insurer will have a copy of the policy which they can give to the policyholder and will be able to advise whether the policy provides
- indemnity cover (which covers a policyholder up to a particular sum) or
- replacement cover (which covers a policyholder for the cost to replace or repair to the same condition prior to the fire)
- The policy and product disclosure statement will also detail exactly what is covered, including
- whether temporary accommodation is available
- whether additional services are included
- If the policyholder can’t remember which company issued the insurance, they can contact the
- Insurance Council of Australia on 1800 734 621 (a 24-hour hotline)
- Financial Services Council (FSC) for life insurance policy details. However, if life insurance is held through a person’s superannuation it will be necessary to contact the superannuation fund directly. For FSC to provide assistance, a claimant can copy the text below into an email, including the consent wording, fill in the blanks and email it to FSC at email@example.com:
Name of person enquiring about the policy (person’s full name)
Contact phone number:
Full name(s) of the person(s) insured under the policy:
Date(s) of birth of the person(s) insured:
Last known address(es):
Relationship to the insured person(s):
I consent to the Financial Services Council forwarding the above information to their life insurance members to help find any life insurance policies insuring the people named above.
I understand that the life insurer may have to confirm that I am entitled to the information sought, including whether I am the person insured, a beneficiary, executor, trustee or guardian of the insured person.
The insurer will explain the claims process and will arrange for an assessor to assess damage.
- take photos of damaged buildings, vehicles and belongings to assist the insurer in processing the claim
- make an inventory of the loss
- take steps to prevent further damage if something has been only partially affected
- speak to the insurer before carrying out any repairs to the property or major work
If a policyholder is unhappy with
- the insurer’s response
- the outcome of the claim
- the time taken to process the claim, or
- the proposed settlement or service received
they can make seek a review with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority.