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Home insurance claims

Find out how to make a claim on your home insurance and the things you need to have to hand before you do.
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If you need to make a claim on your home insurance policy because of theft or damage, our guide explains the steps you need to take.

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How do I make a home insurance claim?

If you need to make a home insurance claim the first step is to find your policy documents and contact your home insurer. Often insurance documents are emailed to you when you take out a policy, although some insurers still send physical documents and policy schedules out in the post.

When you have located your policy documents you will be able to see what you are covered for, and what is excluded from your policy. There will also be a telephone number on your policy documents which is the number for the home insurance policy claims line.

This is the number to ring to get in touch with your insurer and explain that you would like to make a claim. You will need your policy number and some details about what you are claiming for.

What happens when I make a home insurance claim?

When you phone up, the insurer will ask you some questions about the incident which led to your making your home insurance claim.

If it was a theft or break in, you will need a police reference number to show you have reported the claim. If it's storm or flood damage, you will need to give details of when the incident occurred and the damage that has been done.

Your insurer will take you through a series of questions about your claim. You should contact your insurer as soon as the incident happens. 

What information will my insurer need?

Your insurer will need to know when and how the incident occurred, any policy reference numbers, and will ask to see photographs of the items which are missing or damaged.

It's really important to find and show receipts for items that you are claiming for, as the insurer will want to see their real value and how much you paid for them.

Make sure you explain clearly what has happened, and don’t try to exaggerate or embellish your claim, as that could be considered fraudulent.

What should I not do with a home insurance claim?

Do not go out and buy replacement items without getting the go-ahead from your insurer, as they may have a preferred supplier or specific replacement terms.

Don’t organise repairs without the authority of your insurer, and don’t throw away damaged items until the claim has been settled.

If there has been a lot of damage, then the insurer may send a loss adjuster to your home to look in detail at the claim. 

If there has only been a small amount of damage it may not be worth claiming on your insurance as most policies carry an excess of at least £100. The excess is the amount you have to be before the claim is settled.

  • Your home insurance schedule will list the sections under which your home is insured

  • Refer to the appropriate section in your home insurance policy booklet - in it, you will find details of the insurance cover which applies, including any exceptions

  • Check whether you specified Accidental Damage cover when you took out the policy - this is optional

  • Check if you took out optional HomeCALL Legal Protection or Home Emergency Cover with your home insurance

Read our guide below on the best step by step way to claim on your home insurance policy:

Step 1 - Check your policy

  • Your home insurance schedule will list the sections under which your home is insured

  • Refer to the appropriate section in your home insurance policy booklet - in it you will find details of the insurance cover which applies, including any exceptions

  • Check whether you specified Accidental Damage cover when you took out the policy - this is optional

  • Check if you took out optional HomeCALL Legal Protection or Home Emergency Cover with your home insurance

Step 2 - Contact your home insurance company

  • Contact your home insurance company using the appropriate telephone number.

  • Have the following information to hand when you call them:

    • Your home insurance policy number (this will be on your schedule)

    • Why you need to claim

    • The date the claim arose

  • Once your home insurance claim details are logged with your insurance company they will contact you directly to progress to settlement

Important note

Emergencies aside, you should refrain from purchasing replacements or authorising repairs without prior approval. In the event of an emergency, contact the relevant emergency helpline for advice.

Weather damage home insurance claims

If storm debris and flooding has damaged your home, including the garden, then your home insurance provider is more than likely to be prepared for your call.

Such events are a regularly handled by insurers and it's quite common for a 24-hour emergency helpline to be available to customers, especially when severe weather is expected.

This could come in handy if you have any immediate concerns or serious damage caused by the weather.

Step 3: Take photos and document evidence

In most cases, you should not start any repairs before you have the go-ahead from your insurer.

If there are any repairs that you need to make immediately, then be sure to take photos before work begins and keep all the receipts.

Most home insurance policies will cover you in the event of weather damage and possibly cover part of the cost of staying in alternative accommodation if your home has been badly damaged.

See our guide to flood insurance if you're looking for help on what to do after severe wet weather.

Home insurance claims contact details

  • The Domestic Emergency Helpline is a free service for policyholders that will put you in touch with a reliable local tradesman. It does not cover the cost of the work - please refer to our Home emergency Service for this type of cover.

  • See your home insurance policy documents for details of relevant underwriter details or see Step 2 above

Compare and save

The cost of home insurance varies between each provider, so to ensure you have the best value home insurance for your needs, shop around.

Compare home insurance quotes

See a range of home insurance quotes in just a few minutes when you compare with Uswitch