Proving ownership of an item you’re making a home insurance claim for is crucial to that claim being successful.
In a nightmare scenario, you might lose, have stolen, or damage beyond repair, your favourite gold necklace worth a couple of thousand pounds.
You’re upset, of course, but determined to replace it and cover the cost by making a claim. Only you can’t get hold of a receipt, or other proof of purchase, so you give up and simply decide to never buy an expensive item of jewellery again. But you’d be wrong to, as help is at hand.
Proving purchase and ownership
Insurers realise that most people don’t keep hold of every single receipt for every item they’ve ever bought, especially if many years have gone by.
For this reason, while a policy’s terms and conditions will often state that proof of purchase is one requirement of any claim, insurers will also accept other forms of proof of ownership. These essentially replace the proof of purchase, which is then taken as a given.
It’s not unreasonable for an insurer to ask for evidence that items were actually owned as fake or exaggerated insurance claims are fairly widespread. You should try to provide as much evidence for the claim as possible, in the event you haven’t got a receipt of some sort as proof of purchase.
Some of the key things you should provide to ensure a claim proceeds smoothly include:
Valuations, whether provided online or in-store, can be time-stamped and will help towards proving a claim.
These days, with just about every mobile phone having a camera, it’s easy to keep images of the items we own. As with valuations, it’s even better if the image can show the time and date (or a newspaper front page, with the date showing, pictured next to the item will do!). Keep these secure and have back ups.
As good, if not better, than photos is video footage of the items. As with photos, try and shoot footage of items which also shows surroundings that are recognisably your home.
Bank statements are a great way of showing proof of purchase and ownership. Even if the statement doesn’t name the item exactly (many show spending details in short form), it will show amounts, dates and the companies you purchased from, backing up your claim.
Contact your insurer as soon as possible
Delaying a claim for days or weeks after the event can make an insurer suspicious, especially if your proof of purchase and ownership is on the scant side. Contact your insurer immediately and set the claim process going.
Police crime incident number
If your claim is due to criminal activity, make sure your report it to the police and get a crime incident number. Again, if you have very little in the way of evidence showing ownership of items, the insurer will be more inclined to believe you as not many people are willing to lie to the police.
We carefully select the insurers on our panel for their cover levels, price and claims service; to make sure you get the best possible quality for less. What you see is what you get – no hidden excesses or excessive fees. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit www.policyexpert.co.uk/contact for more ways to reach us.
Published 3 December 2013