The storm currently making its way through the Western Cape has already caused massive damage with uprooted trees, flooding, house roofs blowing off and electricity cables and poles breaking. Marike Van Niekerk Manager – Legal and Compliance at MUA Insurance Acceptances, advises those who have suffered damage to their property or possessions, due to the storm, to contact their insurance provider and lodge a claim as soon as possible.
“There are basic steps that consumers should consider when they file a claim with their insurance provider to ensure they are aware of what is expected from them and how the claims process will be handled. Simple mistakes on the part of the policyholder when filing a claim can sometimes leave them facing a financial loss if they do not follow the correct procedures.”
Van Niekerk provides the below tips:
Know what you are covered for
Consumers should read their insurance policies to understand what exactly they are covered for, as the policy and type of claim may have a big impact on the outcome. It is also important to speak to your broker, who can advise on the cover in terms of the policy and the procedures to follow when filing a claim. The more you know ahead of a claim, the better.
File your claim as soon as you become aware of the incident. The claims process can sometimes become lengthy so consumers need to realise that the sooner they get started, the sooner the process of receiving financial settlement can commence. Most insurance policies also require that a claim is reported within a certain time period. If you miss this deadline your claim may not be covered.
Pay attention to detail
Take note of everything that happened before and during the incident. It is also advisable to take photos, as well as write down all of the details to ensure that you are able to provide a detailed report to your insurance provider (if required). If a third party is involved, make sure you also take down all of their personal information to ensure they can be reached for further discussions.
Involve the police in the event of a traffic accident
Whenever motorists are involved in an accident where a person or an animal is injured or property is damaged, it is important to contact the nearest police station within 24 hours to report the accident
When determining which party may have been liable for an accident, it is vital for consumers to be completely honest about how it occurred and who they believe is in the wrong. When not at fault, consumers must also remember not to say anything that can be interpreted as an admission of fault, but when you are at fault it is extremely important to be honest and provide all necessary information
“By following the above tips, filing a claim can be a far smoother process and ensures that the policyholder will get the maximum benefit from their insurance policy,” concludes Van Niekerk.