Home insurance - Problems after possessions stolen

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Based on resolver’s experience to date, burglary is one of the most common types of crime. Home insurance can give you some peace of mind during this stressful event. If you are broken into and have possessions stolen you should phone the police who will issue you with a crime reference number. You should contact your insurer as soon as possible – some companies have a 24-hour claims hotline – check your policy for details.

When taking out insurance it’s a good idea to go through each room of your home and record all your contents with the current value. Having an inventory of your home contents will help you enormously in the event of any claim. You should make sure that your sum insured is sufficient to replace all the contents as new at current prices, with no allowance for depreciation and wear and tear. You might want to take photographs and log serial numbers of your ‘valuables’. ‘Valuables’ are items composed of precious metal or precious stones, jewellery, watches, furs, curios and works of art, computer equipment, money or portable electrical equipment other than televisions or radios, and these need to be specified on your insurance certificate in order to be covered up to a certain amount.

If you have made such an inventory then it will be easier to assess what has been stolen. You should inform the police and your insurer about these items. You will need to give this inventory to your appointed loss adjustor, who will mediate between you and your insurer throughout the duration of your claim. If the insurance claim is successful bear in mind that you will have to pay the excess you agreed when taking out the policy.

If there has been any damage to your windows/doors etc due to forced entry and you wish to claim for it on your household insurance, remember you will have to pay the excess and use a repair company approved by your insurer. It might work out cheaper to pay out of pocket to get the repairs done, rather than paying the excess. Be aware that by making a claim on your insurance, your renewal premium will most likely increase and you may lose any no claims bonus you have accrued.

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You should know
  • If you’re making a complaint about making an insurance claim rather than a mis-sold policy, check your documents to see who the “underwriter” is. You’ll need to make a complaint to that organisation.

If you cannot resolve your issue you cannot raise your case to the Ombudsman until 8 weeks after you have first raised your complaint with your supplier, or you have received a ‘letter of deadlock’ from the company stating that they cannot resolve the issue as you have asked. Your complaint must also not be older than 9 months. For an accurate decision by the Ombudsman you should provide a detailed file of your communications and supporting documentation. In addition make sure you explain what you want as an outcome as this will help assess your case.

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