Building Insurance Claims 2017-07-31T22:12:42+00:00
building claims

Making an insurance claim is easy.

Getting the best possible result from your claim is harder.

Here is some advice to help you through the process.

If you have any other questions….

Give us a call on (02) 8824 2500 or visit our Contact Page to arrange a free, no-obligation quote.

Making a claim

Each insurer will have a slightly different process when it comes to making a claim. The most important things to remember are:

  • Take lots of photos of the damage.
  • Make a list of any personal items that may also have been damaged. Try and get serial numbers or model numbers from electronic devices.
  • Keep notes on when you contacted your insurer and when you were contacted in return.
  • Read your policy carefully to see exactly what you are covered for.

Ensure Constructions have over 25 years’ experience in insurance repairs. If you find your policy confusing or you think you are not getting what you are entitled to, a quick call to one of our team members may help to sort things out.

The Repair Timeline

Make Things Safe

The first step whenever there is damage to a property is to make sure that the premises are safe for owners and tradespeople.

Ensure Constructions offer an emergency Make Safe Assessment service. Our assessors will come out to the property and inspect the building for structural integrity and potential hazards. If emergency safety repairs are needed, we can organise those straight away without waiting for the insurance company’s approval.

This service can include glazing, building, cleaning and restoration and emergency accommodation.

The Full Inspection

Our assessors complete a full inspection of the damage and prepare a Scope of Works that details exactly what repairs we believe are needed. We will get you to read through this document and sign it to show that you agree with our assessment.

The Scope of Works is then forwarded to the insurer for their approval.

The insurer’s response will be one of three options:

Approved

  • Repairs can proceed immediately. You will need to pay your insurance excess and sign a contract with us, officially appointing us to the project.
  • Your insurance company may appoint an Adjuster or an Assessor to attend and investigate the cause of loss and damage. They will examine the loss, its value and circumstances, and then report back to the insurance company.
  • Your Insurance Adjuster may also prepare and/or review accurate descriptions of building damage, helping you to prepare a schedule of contents loss and monitor the progress of your job.

Partial Coverage (Part of the claim is approved while other parts are not covered)

  • If there is existing damage to the home that was not caused by the incident, you are not covered for those repairs.
  • In some cases, the insurer may ask you to make repairs to existing damage before the covered repairs begin.
  • The cost of repairs may exceed the amount for which you are covered. In this case, we can negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company to see which repairs can be completed within the payment authorisation limit.

Denied

  • In this case, the insurer is disputing that they are liable for any of the damage.
  • This may be because the type of damage (e.g. landslip) is not covered by the policy, or because the insurer believes that your claim is not justified.
  • You may dispute this judgement if you disagree. Ensure Constructions can offer you an independent assessment of the case if required.

Repairs

Once we’re all sorted with the proper authorisation, we will get started on repairs. In most cases, we will be on-site within a few days to begin work, but if your damage is due to some mass damage event – flood, hail storm, etc – then there may be more of a delay until tradespeople become available.

Ensure Constructions has a solid base of trusted and experienced tradespeople. This gives us much greater flexibility to scale up our operations when there is high demand.

The same Ensure Constructions team member who carried out your assessment will also supervise the repairs. All our Assessor/Supervisors are experienced tradespeople themselves, so they will ensure work is carried out to their satisfaction. This includes ensuring that attending tradespeople are clean and courteous at all times.

We understand that this can be a trying and inconvenient time for you so your Supervisor will also, wherever possible, manage their work around your schedule to minimise disruptions.

When repairs are complete, your Supervisor will go through everything with you to make sure you are satisfied.

Updates and Additional Repairs

Your insurance only covers you for the cost of bringing your home back to pre-loss condition, however, many of our clients take advantage of our presence to organise additional repairs or renovations beyond the scope of the insurance claim. This is definitely something that can be raised at the beginning of the process and which we are happy to undertake.

Let’s say your kitchen bench was damaged and the cost of the approved replacement was $1000 but you preferred a replacement that was $1500, you could pay just the extra $500 yourself for a fresh look.

First things first

If your home has suffered major damage, then you will be making an insurance claim. But before that happens, there are some things you should take care of right away.

With all types of damage, do not enter the property unless you are sure that it is structurally safe. Call Ensure Constructions for an emergency “Make Safe” assessment and repair.

You

If you are reading this, you are likely the person in the family who copes with crisis the best. In the immediate aftermath of an incident, you will have to cope with a multitude of stressful situations and hard decisions. Try to remain calm. Focus on the positives. Solve immediate problems before tackling long-term ones. Accept help from others. Get plenty of rest and drink lots of water.

Possessions

If the home is structurally safe, but not habitable, you should enter and secure important items such as:

  • Wallets, passports, driver’s licences, birth certificates and other important documents (e.g. insurance policies)
  • Eyeglasses, hearing aids and vital medicine (e.g. insulin)
  • Jewellery, cash and other valuables
  • Computers and data backup devices
  • Wedding photos
  • Spare clothing

Photographs

Take as many photographs as possible of the damage. These initial photographs may assist you when making your claim.

Accommodation

Your most pressing need will be somewhere for your family to stay. Do not be afraid or ashamed to reach out and accept help from family or friends at this time.

If you are not able to find emergency accommodation with family or friends, your insurance policy may cover you for temporary accommodation at a motel. If you are not covered, ask emergency service workers what emergency accommodation options are available.

Make notes and keep receipts for all your expenses. You may be able to recover some of these from your insurer.

Informing family and friends

When you get a chance, begin notifying your family and friends about the incident. If they hear about it through the grapevine they will worry. If possible, delegate one family member to contact other family and friends.

Children

Damage to the family home can be extremely traumatic for children. They have previously seen their home as safe and impenetrable. Now they may fear that the the event will happen again. Speak to them in a calming voice. Let them know they are safe.

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Questions? Call us on (02) 8824 2500