Insurance Claim Management

An Insight Into Home Insurance Claim Strategies

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Home damage can potentially cost a lot to repair. Therefore, whether your claim is straightforward or complex you want to understand the right home Insurance Claim strategies to use. Some claims can be more complicated than others. For instance, in the case of flooding the type of damage can be hard to assess and repair and the claim may take longer than usual.

 According to the Association of British Insurers “water damage is claimed most often and accounted for over 30% of home insurance payouts in 2018.”

Any incident that causes damage to your home can be potentially stressful and having a home insurance policy is only half the battle. Knowing the best Home Insurance Claim Strategies and how to properly proceed with a claim is the other half. One of the general Home Insurance Claim Strategies is that the more documents such as receipts for items claimed and photographs of damage you gather the smoother the entire process will go. Another is always contacting the authorities and obtaining a report if the claim is the result of a crime like a theft. Also, make sure you have a copy of your policy and that you know what is covered and what isn't.

What are the most common home insurance claims?

The weather has become more unpredictable lately with stronger storms due to climate change and storm damage claims have increased but flooding, including burst pipes, is still the most common home insurance claim.  Others include fires, most often kitchen fires, accidental damage and burglary.

Water damage claims are common especially in colder months as pipes can freeze and burst releasing water. Keeping up good maintenance of the home is important so that the insurance company doesn’t deny your claim based on improper upkeep. Accidental damage, such as party guests ruining your carpet, usually requires the right type of coverage so if you claim for it make sure it is included in your policy. Accidental coverage is not usually a part of standard home policies.

Theft is included in any standard policy, but the correct Home Insurance Claim Strategy would be reporting it to the police promptly. Your insurer will need their report or reference number so make sure you have those details when you file. Fire claims are also common home insurance claims but can get complicated because of smoke damage which is not immediately noticeable and therefore can be difficult to assess. Engaging a Loss Assessor in those cases to help you properly assess all damage before you file is always a good idea.


How long do home insurance claims take?

Home claims can take anywhere between a few days to a over a year to settle and for this reason it is pivotal to adopt the correct Home Insurance Claim Strategies in order to ensure the claim is settled correctly and quickly. For larger claims an adjuster will need to inspect and investigate the damage, which can take more time. It can also be potentially uncomfortable for the claimant as they can be made to feel more like a suspect than a victim. The time a claim takes to settle depends on several factors but mostly it is the type of damage that determines it.

Certain types of damage such as water damage or smoke damage are more difficult to repair and there may be differences of opinion as to the value of such claims. Properly assessing the value of your loss is not always straightforward and it is this assessment before you file that’s the key strategy to a successful home insurance claim.

There is no way to know for certain how long your claim will take. However, engaging a Loss Assessor like Oakleafe Claims can shorten this time considerably since they are familiar with all types of claims and can make this process much smoother. Upset over a loss may prevent you from being accurate in your claim but a professional loss assessor will pay attention to these details and adopt the correct Home Insurance Claim Strategies, making it much less stressful for you.

What do home insurance adjusters look for?

What insurance company adjusters look for is whether the damage is covered by the policy in the first place and if there are any signs of fraud. Being honest in filing your claim and not exaggerating its value is important but you also do not want to under value your claim. A professional loss assessor can be of great help here as well since it is their job to know how to accurately assess your loss.

Filing the claim within the time specified and following procedures are good Home Insurance Claim Strategies for decreasing the risk of the claim being denied. Home insurance claims are still the most likely to be rejected among all types of insurance. This is mostly due to lack of appropriate coverage which is why it’s so important to know what your policy includes.

Another thing to keep in mind is not to organise home repairs before the loss adjuster has a chance to see the damage. The only immediate repairs you need to make are ones that prevent further damage to the home such as temporarily covering any damage to the roof. When the insurance company’s loss adjuster visits your property, they will need to be made aware of any immediate repairs done.

Does making a claim affect home insurance premiums?

Making any home insurance claim will typically raise your insurance premiums by 10-15% the following year. It’s also important to remember that you have to pay your set excess towards any claim at the time you file it. How much excess you pay depends on the terms specified in your policy.

Sometimes if the claim is small, such as a broken window, it may not be worth filing at all since the premiums will increase for any size claim filed and you may pay much more because of the increase than the claim is worth. Home insurance works best for larger claims, where the cost of repairs is much more than you could afford at the time.

Conclusion

Filing any home insurance claim can sometimes be a difficult process but knowing Home Insurance Claim Strategies can simplify it. Following procedures, filing on time and having the right kind of professionals on your side can make any claim hassle free. Having proper documentation is a proven home insurance claim strategy and the more there is of it the better.

Of course, you want your claim handled as quickly as possible and hiring a loss assessor can help to that end. If you follow these simple Home Insurance Claim Strategies your next home insurance claim will not cause any unneeded stress.

How To get The Best Insurance Claim Settlement

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How To get The Best Insurance Claim Settlement

Obtaining The Best Insurance Claim settlement can be a difficult process and can potentially become a power struggle between your best interests and the insurer’s, often involving negotiations and private arbitration. Insurance companies are experts in their field when it comes to settlements and know exactly what to use to reduce pay-outs or even repudiate your insurance claim.

In order to obtain the best insurance claim settlement offer you need to know how to respond to a low offer and also to recognise that it is a low offer. So, how can you tell if you have received a low insurance claim settlement offer? Well, if it appears unreasonable, it probably is.

To get the best insurance claim settlement, one thing to keep in mind is that the insurance company always wants the settlement pay out to be the lowest amount legally required. They will never offer the most they are willing to pay straight away because they expect negotiations. Never accept their initial offer and make sure that your counter-offer is well documented.

How to Respond to a Low Settlement Offer to get Best Insurance Claim Settlement

An Insurance Claim Settlement offer may often fall short of the claimant's expectations. This is common but you should not be discouraged by it. Insurance companies negotiate settlement agreements every day, so it is usually hard to negotiate for your own best insurance claim settlement if you do not think their offer is reasonable.

For example, the Insurance Loss Adjuster could state that you did not act fast enough to secure your property in a weather related incident. The issue there is what actually caused the damage and wording in your policy may allow for one thing but not another to be covered. Remember that you should not have to reiterate any wording that is already present in your insurance policy.

First of all, you don’t have to accept their offer. You can respond by asking the Loss Adjuster to justify the offer. What you want them to explain is why exactly this amount? The adjuster should then tell you in detail how they arrived at the proposed settlement amount. This way to get the best Insurance Claim Settlement, you can properly address all the issues they bring up that make your claim weaker.

You can also then come back with a counter-offer which is well documented. Hiring a Loss Assessor can make a huge difference here because they will recognise a low offer and know exactly how to proceed. Loss Assessor will know the itemised extent of your damage and what the insurance company always counts on is that you do not know the value of your claim.

How to Maximize The Best Insurance Claim Settlement

 Whether your claim is for a fire, flood , theft or a burst pipe, the steps involved in making sure that what you finally receive is fair are similar. The key to the Best Insurance Claim Settlement is documentation. You need evidence such as photographs or surveillance videos that actually show the extent of the damage. It is very helpful to have a loss assessor detail the actual costs of your loss.

When it comes to property damage the insurer has two options: to repair damage and replace property or to settle the claim as a cash payment. If your insurance offers a cash settlement as an option, you should make sure you receive a settlement which accounts for the true cost of your losses. To receive the Best Insurance Claim Settlement offer you should have a very clear determination of all those costs.

According to Financial Mail hiring a Loss Assessor such as an Oakleafe Claims’s team of professionals can increase your settlement by as much as 40%. This is because you will have claim technicians and chartered surveyors on your side who know exactly how this process works and aren’t in any way bound by the insurance company’s bottom line.

The insurer will always look for common mistakes, such as failing to immediately protect the property from further damage to reduce your settlement. To receive the Best Insurance Claim Settlement offer you need someone who is on the look out to maximize it. Then you will be on your way to Obtain The Best Settlement from your Insurance Company.

How to Obtain Best Business Interruption Settlement

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When it comes to commercial claims receiving a fair settlement is even more difficult if business interruption occurs. This is when a business has to shut down or stop operations as a result of damage resulting in loss of sales. Since business interruption claims are subject to estimates of sales if the loss had not occurred, they cannot be exact, and any settlement is almost always the result of negotiation.

A Loss Assessor like Oakleafe Claims can accurately calculate the Loss of Profit and Increased Cost of Working in any business interruption claim and properly guide you through the entire process of receiving the Best Insurance Claim Settlement.

The best way to get a business interruption settlement is through private arbitration and insurance companies are expert negotiators. It helps to have someone in your corner who is equally skilled at negotiating. Sometimes just the fact that you hired a loss assessor can increase the settlement offer because the insurer knows that you are not at the negotiating table alone.

Don’t Let the Insurance Company Tell You What’s Best

Insurance companies are known to use less than fair tactics to pressure people into accepting their initial offer – because it’s the lowest one. This is what they always want because it works out best for them and they will often lead you to believe it is the best offer for you as a claimant. Don’t believe them and do not fall for their lines.

The only way to actually know the real cost of your loss is by hiring a loss assessor because the loss adjuster is employed by the insurer. Someone like an Oakleafe Claims professional will not be swayed by any insurer because they know the industry and also because they are not emotionally affected by the loss.

For instance, when it comes to insuring property most people have what’s called a policy of indemnity. Policies of indemnity refers to insuring buildings and their contents. This type of insurance is designed to restore the property to the condition it was before the loss or damage happened.

The insurer considers “the condition it was before the loss” in very broad terminology and what it means to them is the minimum required towards a similar condition. What it means to you as a claimant is very different – that is your home or business, your time and effort. You should receive everything you are entitled to and not just the bare minimum in case of loss.

Conclusion

Responding appropriately to a low offer and documenting your damage well to present a counter-offer is only half the battle. You also need your insurance company to agree that you deserve more. Most of the time it will be a compromise between their number and yours. The more evidence you have to support the amount you are asking for, the stronger the probability that your insurer will have to agree. Once they do always confirm in writing and keep records of all communication.

In summary, Obtaining The Best Insurance Claim Settlement from your Insurance Company can be a bit tricky but the steps outlined above can be of great help. If you keep in mind that what your insurer wants to pay is the minimum, if you properly document your loss and if you have a qualified Loss Assessor fighting for you, chances are much higher that you will receive the best settlement offer possible.

 

What is the true cost After a Fire in My home?

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A fire at home is not something anyone wants to think about and much less stop to consider the true cost After a Fire in My home. We all hope that it never happens but if it does knowing what to do after a fire and properly assessing any damage are crucial. The truth is that an accidental fire in the home is a common occurrence and one every house owner should be prepared for.

Kitchen fires account for a large percentage of accidental fires in the home. An average stove fire restoration work can start at around three thousand pounds but depending on the damage caused by the blaze and water, proper restoration can sometimes run up to tens of thousands of pounds. With that much to lose it may be worth to know what the most common causes are and how to prevent them and what to do after a fire.

What are the most common causes of fire at home?

The most common causes of fires in the home are accidents while cooking, smoking and improper use of portable heaters and candles. It may seem common sense not to leave anything on the stove unattended, but this is still the number one cause of all fires in the home and more common than either smoking or using portable heaters. We all have busy lives and as you are happily preparing dinner and the phone rings it only takes a moment to become distracted.


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Overloaded Cables & Electricity

Overloaded extension cables also account for a significant percentage of fires in the home .There is an overwhelming number of electrical devices in each household today and being mindful with how to charge them all is important.




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Heating Systems & Chimney Maintenance

As does failure due to lack of maintenance on heating systems and chimneys which is probably not on top of anyone’s task list but should be scheduled on a regular basis.


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Gas Leaks

Gas leaks account for a portion of fires at home and are particularly dangerous because they spread very quickly. Careful use and maintenance of any gas appliance is essential to prevent fire in the home.  Faulty electrical wiring can also sometimes be the culprit because as wires get old and frayed, they may cause sparks.


What is the cost after a fire in my home?

The cost after a fire varies greatly depending on the size of the burned area and materials which burned. Synthetic materials cause a lot more damage than organic when burned and produce more harmful soot and smoke. The actual cost can be anywhere between a few hundred pounds and as much as £ 30,000 if remodeling the kitchen or a bedroom is necessary.

There are two types of damage after a fire: damage from the fire itself and damage from putting the fire out. The second type is from smoke and water and any other substances which were used to contain the blaze. Most structural damage to a home is caused by this secondary type as soot and smoke get into the structure and become corrosive when cooled.

If you are insured, an insurance adjuster works for the company, not for you. What they assess as damage might not include all long-term damage to your home and may not include damage to your furniture or personal items. Oakleafe is 100% on your side and works to both maximize your claim and make it easy for you to deal with the entire process, which is already hard enough.


What are the types of fire damage?

Some fire damage is obvious such as anything that burned like a stove, cabinets or furniture and any structural damage to the home itself such as burned walls and ceilings. Other types of damage after a fire in your home may not be so easily noticeable but harmful to health if not properly removed. Soot and smoke can settle on anything and sometimes you may not be able to see it.

 Smoke damage is harmful to health as smoke can easily become toxic, settles on all contents of a home and stains walls. The odor of smoke after a fire can linger and usually requires professional restoration to remove. If water was used to put out fire, there may be water damage which in turn may cause mold to form.

Careful assessment of all damage and gathering detailed evidence for your claim is very important.  This is where Oakleafe can make a difference as they look out for you and not the insurance company’s best interests. What you need after a fire are qualified professionals who know the different types of damage and how to assess it.

How can I prevent fire in my home?

The most obvious way to prevent a fire in the home is to never leave anything on the stove unattended even for a moment and make sure you have a working fire alarm. It is also important to maintain your alarm by testing it and checking the battery on a regular basis.

There are other things you can do: purchase fire extinguishers for your home and make sure you know how to work one. Keep all flammable products such as household cleaning products away from heat. Make sure children do not handle kitchen appliances and do not have access to anything flammable. Inspection of heating systems and checking conditions of electrical cords regularly can also prevent many accidental fires.

Finally, keep your insurance documents in a safe place and have a clear plan to evacuate quickly in case of fire. Make sure everyone who lives in the household knows and follows it.

Conclusion

Accidents sometimes happen even if you are careful, so the next best thing is knowing how to deal with a fire in your home if it does happen. Always call the fire department first and evacuate quickly. After a fire contact an insurance assessor such as Oakleafe to properly assess all damage and guide you through the insurance claim.

A fire in your home can be a devastating experience but knowing what to do and knowing you have qualified people on your side throughout the ordeal can help a lot. A dedicated claims technician who will advise you on your insurance policy and whose priority is to get you the best settlement possible will make taking care of all the details much easier on you.

After a fire minimizing and assessing the damage becomes priority and knowing how to properly address this can make a big difference in restoring your home. Oakleafe will properly assess your damage and expedite your claim so you can go back to what’s most important in your life quickly.

Oakleafe Claims attending BIBA 2019 Conference

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We are exhibiting at BIBA 2019 conference to share our exciting Insurance Claims Management Service as Insurance Assessors that will represent the policyholders of Insurance Brokers.

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BIBA - British Insurance Brokers' Association

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) is the UK’s leading general insurance intermediary organisation representing the interests of insurance brokers, intermediaries and their customers. BIBA is the voice of the sector advising members, the regulators, consumer bodies and other stakeholders on key insurance issues


Our Stand

Please find on stand C80 and would be happy to explain about our Insurance Claims Management Service.

Brokers Handling Insurance Claims

Historically Insurance Brokers handle Insurance claims internally which may risk the relationship a broker mas with their clients. Client retention is key but additionally Insurance Claims can often be tremendously complex and the number of repudiated claims is increasing. This can expose the broker to costly litigation and consume more resources which could have been spent elsewhere in the business.

Oakleafe Claims - Insurance Claims Handling Services

Oakleafe Claims is here to support the policyholder from first notification and will push for liability and protect both the Broker and their Policyholder’s interest. Backed by 8 generations of Insurance Claims handling experience, Oakleafe Claims can provide a dedicated service on their side in the event of a claim. Freeing up the Broker on running and growing their business.

Fire Hazard! Failing Appliances On The Rise

Fire Hazard! Failing Appliances On The Rise

White goods appliances - mainly washing machines and tumble dryers - account for as many as 60 house fires a week in the UK alone according to Which? The number of fires has increased each year for five years. Which? wants the authorities to tackle the issue of fire damaged properties due to appliance failure

What Is Business interruption?

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Business Interruption is largely missed by most policyholders if you don’t ask for it to be on your insurance policy. That’s usually due to business owners believing that other insurances such as buildings and contents policies will take care of everything if their operations are interrupted by events such as Burglary Damage, Impact Damage, fire insurance claims, building insurance claims.

So what is Business Interruption?

Business Interruption Insurance covers additional costs of working and financial losses that are as a result of an Insured incident. E.g. Fire or flood. The policy will reimburse for the additional cost over and above your normal day to day expenditure such as staff costs and loss of revenue E.g. loss of profit, or loss of revenue depending on the level of cover you have bought.

Why is Business interruption Important?

Business interruption looks forwards not backwards so quite often a BI claim runs for several years as the financial loss to a business continues long after it reopens. You may also have other costs such as marketing and advertising that are needed to get customers back on board. These are all taken into account with Business Interruption.

A good Loss Assessor will be able to help calculate this. Remember Loss assessors work for you and Loss adjusters represent the insurance company. Any claim where there is BI will usually need the assistance of an insurance claim management company or specialist.

Those policies will usually put the damage right, but they make no allowance for the resulting financial loss to your business. For all businesses, the lack of business interruption cover can often lead to a business termination! There are many causes of business interruption. No one ever expects these disasters to occur to their business so when they do they usually expect other policies to cover all of their losses.

When is Business Interruption Useful?

Let’s talk about an example where a pipe burst in a business. Yes, the stock and plant or machinery can be replaced, as can computers or other materials. However, a soaking wet building could need a few months to dry out.

We have seen some badly flooded buildings take more than six months to be usable again. Imagine if the equipment has a long order lead time – some bespoke machinery can sometimes take just as long to replace.

If you cannot trade in the interim, you will lose income, use all your reserves up and possibly run out of money. You may lose experienced staff as well as valuable customers. Customers are fickle they will go down the road if you are unable to meet their needs.

Loss Assessors experts in Business Interruption

Insurance claims management is an art. A Loss Assessor is an Independent entity hired and paid by the insured (policy holder) to negotiate, prepare & present an insurance claim with the insurance company and loss adjuster (insurance company).

The Loss Assessor receives a fee that is usually a percentage of the claim amount received by the insured but on average gets a policy holder far more than they would do themselves.

According to the Times, engaging a Loss Assessor gets you about 30 – 40% more than you could on your own merits. At the end of the day you are entitled to what the policy caters for, even though this is often not what insurers offer you.

Conclusion

An Insured Incident can have a big effect on the day to day operation of your company which can cause severe financial problems. A loss assessor can arrange interim payments from your Insurers which will enable your company to continue trading during such a difficult time.

 

Dealing With Water Damage Insurance Claim

Dealing With Water Damage Insurance Claim

An EOW or escape of water - a leak, to you and I - has been deemed the most common cause of home insurance claims. And the number one cause of water damage in the home is burst and frozen pipes. Even a small leak can do serious damage.