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I need some help with an insurance claim

You may be able make an insurance claim to replace any property that has been stolen or damaged in a crime.

Making a claim

If any of your belongings have been stolen or damaged, report it to the police straight away. If you don’t, it may prevent you making an insurance claim.

The police will give you a unique reference number, which you will need for any claim. Before contacting your insurance company, read the policy’s terms and conditions to make sure you are covered for everything you think you are.

Your insurer will send you a claim form, which you will need to complete and return. Some operate online claims.

The company may ask for any receipts or photos you have. If you are claiming for repair work, they may also want to see quotes from several tradespeople.

Your insurer may ask a loss adjuster to visit you, to assess whether your claim is valid, particularly if it is for a large amount. Loss adjusters are hired to investigate and advise on behalf of insurance companies.

Do I have to claim on my insurance?

You don’t have to make a claim, even if you’re entitled to. For example, if the amount is quite small you may not want to affect your no claims history or the cost of future insurance policies.

However, even if not claiming on your insurance policy, you must always tell your insurer about an incident. If you don’t report it, it may cause problems should you change your mind later or want to make a claim for a repeat offence.

If you have been injured in a violent crime, you may be entitled to compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

Court-awarded compensation

When a criminal matter goes to court, you should tell the police officer you make a witness statement to the cost of any damage or the value of stolen property as soon as possible. Make sure that he or she includes this information on any court file, so the prosecutor can apply for compensation on your behalf.

You must tell your insurance company about any compensation you are awarded in court, as this may affect the amount it pays you.

Things you can do

Check regularly that you have enough insurance to cover the full value of your property. You might need to let your insurer know about any expensive purchases, such as gadgets or jewellery.

Keep all documentation in a safe place – for example, property deeds or details of jewellery valuations.

Keeping receipts for belongings and taking photographs of your valuables is also likely to get your claim processed more quickly.