Details are key are when making an insurance claim. Most insurers have their own claim forms which you can request by phone or via the insurer’s website. However, it often pays to keep everything in writing from the start. This way you have a paper trail leading back to the point where you first claimed. It may also be necessary to write to your insurer claiming money if you’ve filed a claim, but are yet to receive a payout.
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Essential personal details
Your name, address and policy number are absolutely essential to your claim. Without this information, the insurance company will not be able to locate your details and this will inevitably cause a delay to your claim. Put your name and address at the top-right of your letter and put your policy number top left, above the salutation.
Essential claim details
The details required vary according to the type of claim and the type of policy, but there are some details that are typically required for any insurance claim. These include the date of the incident to which your claim relates, for example; a car accident, theft or flood in your home; the claim particulars, such as the make, model and description of the claimed-for item and the nature of the claim; for example loss, theft or personal injury. If your claim is related to a crime, you’ll need a crime reference number. Get this within 24 hours of the crime occurring.
Format and sending
Most word processing software programmes, such as Microsoft Word, have letter templates that you can use to help you set out your letter. Since you don’t know the recipient personally, start the letter with Dear Sir/Madam and end with “Yours faithfully.” This won’t necessarily help your claim, but it certainly can’t hurt to remain polite at all times. Bullet-point the claim details so it’s easy for your insurer to process. Send the letter recorded delivery, so you have proof that it was received by the insurance company and post it off as soon as possible, preferably within 30 days.
To help your request for money, include as much supporting documentation as possible. For example, receipts for items that you’re claiming for, receipts for items related to the claim, such as a lock for a bike or immobiliser for a car.
Requesting money on an existing claim
If you’ve completed a claim, you won’t necessarily receive your payout promptly as delays can occur. To expedite your payout, you may wish to write to your insurer requesting the money. To request money for a successful claim, include your policy number, name, address, claim reference number and state the amount that the insurer has offered you for the payout.
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