How do I make a claim
Adam Weaver firstname.lastname@example.org
Disaster! How do I make a claim?
Things can go wrong on even the most meticulous of owner builder projects, and that's why you should have comprehensive owner builder insurance.
Damage from theft or vandalism is possibly the most heartbreaking, but (other than Public Liability claims) storm damage is one of the most costly things to go wrong.
Lodging a claim doesn't have to be hard. The best advice is just to ask yourself what you yourself would do if you weren't insured. If it's common sense and reasonable, you can be pretty sure that that's what your insurer would ask you to do anyway.
Step 1 - Don't Panic!
Don't panic, you have insurance covering damage to your project and public liability insurance protecting you if you're sued for accidental injury or damage to others.
Step 2 - Grab your camera and take some photographs
A picture is worth a thousand words - so early photographs of the damage or the injury site will help explain exactly what's gone wrong. Take some photographs of the damage and the surrounding area so it's plain exactly what has happened. If you've been keeping a development diary (an excellent idea to document your progress), make a note of the date and time the damage occurred and the date and time you discovered the loss.
Step 3 - Make it safe
If the project site could cause further damage or is a hazard to others, remove the dangerous parts and cordon it off. The last thing you'd want is for something else to go wrong and make a disaster even worse.
Step 4 - Let us know
Claims for damage to your own property: Grab a claim form here and send it to us by e-mail, give us a call, or send an e-mail letting us know what's happened. Most times your insurers will ask you to provide a quote for repair (since you're a builder, you should be well placed to have your tradesmen give you an urgent quote), and they'll assess the claim based on your claim form and the repair quote. If the claim is very large, the insurer may wish to appoint an assessor to help work through the claim process.
Claims for public liability or injury to others: Don't admit any responsibility (even if you think it really is your fault). The injured party will have to put their claim in writing - just say that you're referring the matter to your insurers, and any demands for compensation have to be in writing, so you can pass them on.
Step 5 - Tell us the dollar value of the loss
Make sure you tell us how much you need to make good the claim and put your project back on track. If you leave the dollar amount claimed off your claim form, the insurer can't possibly know how much they need to compensate you!
Step 6 - Keep records of the repair
Keep receipts and invoices related to the repair - we'll need to provide those receipts to show the insurer what costs you've incurred. If you don't have invoices or receipts, it'll be very difficult to prove your loss and how much the insurer needs to pay in order to reimburse you.
Step 7 - Repair your project
Unless the insurer says otherwise, for most damage to your own project claims you should proceed with the best price quote for repair. Insurers don't normally repair the project for you - since you're the builder with your own tradespeople on site, you are absolutely the best person to get the project back up and running.
If you'd rather wait for 100% confirmation from the insurer that your claim has been accepted, that's ok too. However insurers usually need a few days to assess the claim and work through their processes, so if anything's urgent you may need to get work done underway.
Step 8 - That's it!
Once the claim has been finalised, the insurer will reimburse you for the costs you incurred less the excess (deductible).