Insurance: Proving your claim

Insurance: Proving your claim
By John Grant Insurers believe that it is a realistic step to ask an insured to prove that they actually owned at item that they now wish to claim for. Insurance is a contract of 'utmost good faith" so why is it that one has to prove the loss? Insurance fraud is a major issue for insurers  and they therefore want to be clear that an item that is the subject of a claim was owned by the person claiming. The best way this can be established is to show a photograph or a receipt for the original purchase. This sometimes is not possible. For example it may have been a gift or you may have purchased via a facility like trademe.co.nz. Its good planning however to make sure that you have something to show that you actually owned the item. This becomes even more important as the value of item increases. The higher the value then the more focus an insurer will place on establishing proof of ownership and value. Making it easy at claim time If you are able to show proof of purchase and can show what and when you paid for an item, the claim process will be much easier. Credit card payment receipts or even copies of statements will be of great help. Getting a written quote to replace the item will also help the process. Tips on proof of loss
  1. Keep a photo, especially of more expensive items
  2. Retain credit card statements as proof of ownership - keep invoices.
  3. Review your policy in regard to specific cover limitation on items. If in doubt refer it to your broker or insurer for clarification and any changes needed to policy limits
  4. Obtain a valuation confirming the replacement cost of the item and keep it in a safe place.
  5. Record serial numbers.
  6. If the item is owned by a different entity (your company or family trust) then talk to your broker/insurer about what cover applies under your policy and if any special arrangements are needed.

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