Your home is your sanctuary so if it’s burgled or hit by floods, fire or other disasters, you’ll want to make sure any losses are covered.
This is when you may need to make a claim on your home insurance. But how do you do it? Here’s what you need to know.


If you need to make a home insurance claim, you should get in touch with your insurer as soon as possible. But if your home has been burgled, contact the police first, and then your insurer.


  1. Before you make a claim, check your documents to see if you’re covered
  2. Keep your voluntary excess in mind when deciding if it’s worth making a claim.
  3. If you do decide to make a claim, make sure you’ve got the evidence you need.

What can I claim for on home insurance?

There are two types of home insurance you can claim on: buildings insurance and contents insurance.

You may have separate policies for each or a combined policy.

Buildings insurance

Buildings insurance is designed to cover the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home after damage to structures such as the roof, walls or floors.

Structural damage caused by fires and explosions, storms and bad weather, fallen trees, aerials or satellite equipment, flooding, burglaries and burst pipes are covered.

Contents insurance

Contents insurance offers financial protection for the possessions in your property, including jewellery, technology, clothes, furniture and more. It can cover the cost of replacing your possessions if they’re stolen, destroyed or damaged.

You can also choose to add extra cover to your policy for an additional fee. This can include accidental damage, legal expenses cover or home emergency cover.

Your policy documents should clearly state what is and isn’t covered, so always refer to them as a first step.

How to claim home insurance

If you need to claim on home insurance, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Contact the police immediately if you’ve been burgled.
  2. Check your policy documents to see if you’re covered.
  3. Get in touch with your insurer – call or contact your insurer online. You’ll need details including your insurance policy number and crime reference number (if relevant).
  4. Gather evidence – collect all the evidence you need, including receipts and photographs. Don’t forget to keep any damaged items as your insurance company might want to assess these.
  5. Keep track of all conversations – between you, your insurers, the police and any other parties.
  6. Make sure repairs are approved by your insurer – if, for example, your property has been flooded, you’ll need to arrange temporary repairs to stop any damage getting worse. But make sure any repairs are approved with your insurer first. Keep receipts as these will form part of your claim.

What happens after you make a home insurance claim?

Insurer investigation

If you’re making a larger home insurance claim, your insurer may carry out their own investigation. This may include a loss adjuster visiting your property and taking a look at your claims form to help assess the cost of repair.

Estimates for repairs

Reach out to contractors and get estimates for any replacements or repairs needed.

Review settlement offer

Your insurer may offer to organise the necessary repairs (and cover the cost) or send you a cheque or make a bank transfer for the amount you've claimed.

Make sure you take the time to review the settlement offer.

Accept the offer or appeal it

If you think the settlement offer is too low, you can appeal it. You may want to hire a loss assessor to review your policy and your claim.

What evidence do you need for a home insurance claim?

The type of evidence you need depends on the type of claim you’re making.

  • Building insurance claim – you’re likely to need photos and videos of the damage.
  • Contents insurance claim – receipts for stolen or damaged goods will usually be needed. If you haven’t kept receipts, you can share bank statements instead.

If your house has been burgled or vandalised, you’ll also need to provide the crime reference number. CCTV evidence can also be used.

How long do you have to make a home insurance claim?

Most insurance providers give you around 180 days to make a claim (about six months), but the sooner you do it, the better.

Check your policy documents to see how long you have.

Is it worth claiming on home insurance?

It’s not always worth claiming on your home insurance.

In some cases, your excess (the amount you have to pay towards the cost of a claim) might be more than the amount you want to claim. And in other cases the amount you want to claim might be only slightly more than the excess.

This means it could cost you less just to sort out the issue yourself. If you do choose to make a claim, the cost of your policy will increase in the future and it’ll affect any no claims discount you’ve built up. So always ask yourself if it’s worth making a claim.

How to negotiate a home insurance claim settlement

If your claim has been turned down or if you are dissatisfied with the outcome or the service, you should contact your insurer and see what they can do to help.

If there’s been no resolution within eight weeks or if you’re still unhappy, you can go to the Financial Ombudsman Service .

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