How to make insurance claims
Everyone has insurance policies (home, health, vehicles/car, accidents, etc.) and usually, sooner or later, a situation will arise which should be covered by the insurance company, for instance; damages occur which affect a neighbour; or in a car accident someone is injured; or a situation in which we suffer damages or injuries that should be covered by another insurance company (for instance; we suffer a car accident caused by another driver; or are hit by a ball when playing golf).
At some stage in all our lives it is likely that we will have to deal with an insurance company to make a claim, and it is important to know how to do it.
These are a few tips to be followed:
- When an insurance policy is contracted, always keep an original set of the general conditions and the particular conditions of the policy, for future reference.
- Always report to your insurance company on any incident a.s.a.p. by phone, and ask for a reference number for the incident.
- If possible, you should always try to take photos of the situation on the same day that the incident/accident occurs or at the latest by the following day
- Write your own statement of accident/situation (date, hour, etc) for future reference.
- Always keep all original documents of the situation (medical reports, police reports, etc.) and never give the insurance companies the originals, just provide photocopies of the required documents.
- Do not allow time to pass by with no progress. Within 3-6 months from the time of accident/incident send a letter to the insurance company by registered post with an acknowledgement of receipt request. Mention in this letter the reference number of your insurance policy, reference of the incident/accident and date of it.
- Never use the legal representation offered by the insurance company. Many insurance policies include legal assistance and representation, but it is normally not independent representation, so always use your own solicitor, as it will not cost you anything. Your insurance company is obliged to pay the legal fees of your own independent lawyer. By choosing your own solicitor you will be 100% sure that your interests and rights are fully protected and that you are told all of the facts.
- If you do not receive a satisfactory result for your case within 6 months, contact an independent solicitor and instruct him to represent you and to claim on your behalf.
- Legal action must be taken within 1 year from the moment of accident/incident as there is a time limit of 1 year to file a civil claim against insurance companies. Often insurance companies use delaying tactics to hold things up, playing for time, until it is too late for a client to have the legal right to make a claim.
- Unfortunately, insurance companies are very diligent in collecting insurance premiums from customers, but are later, very reluctant to compensate customers when something happens that is covered by the insurance policy. There is always an excuse or argument to try to avoid their responsibility to compensate their customers. Be careful when dealing with insurance companies. Always seek independent legal advice should you suffer an accident, or if you are not happy with the way they are dealing with the situation, or if they are not paying attention to you, or if you are not justly compensated, etc.
If you are involved with an insurance problem or claim and wish to discuss your problem with us, free of charge, please contact us.
Senior Partner Nerja Office