Contrary to popular belief, more insurance claims are actually paid out than knocked back.
According to the Insurance Council of Australia, general insurers pay out an average of $135.9 million in claims to policyholders every working day. In FY18, insurers approved 3,361,016 claims and only a fraction – less than seven per cent – were declined.
Generally, if you have a policy designed to cover a particular situation, and that is what you claim for, then it is likely that your insurer will pay-out.
The key is making sure the loss you claim actually matches the risks covered by the policy (and you should check there is not an exclusion related to the loss or damage). It might sound obvious but this is the main reason why some claims don’t get paid. After all, it is not surprising that an insurer can’t pay-out for coverage you don’t have, such as covering the cost of building damage when you only have contents cover.
The documents you get when you sign up for landlord insurance – the policy wording/schedule and the product disclosure statement (PDS) – set out precisely what each policy will and will not cover.
So if it’s stipulated in the policy/PDS, then you are covered for it – so long as you hold up your end of the agreement too. By that, we mean you:
- have the right policy to cover what you need covered;
- have an adequate amount of cover to avoid under-insurance;
- pay the premiums on time;
- make full disclosures, e.g. tell the insurer what they need to know;
- remember to renew and don’t let the cover lapse;
- meet the claim requirements; and
- fulfil any other conditions the policy may require of you, such as acting to prevent further losses, adequately maintaining the premises, notifying the insurer of changes at the property including extended vacancy or renovations and not admitting liability etc.
If you don’t meet your responsibilities, you could void your policy. But if you do the right thing, insurers will do the right thing too.
It’s simply good business. Insurers succeed or fail based on the service they provide to their customers and their approach to claims not only impacts their reputation in the market but also their bottom line.
Insurance is a highly competitive market and it costs companies a lot more to secure a new client than it does to keep an existing one. Insurers who are known for being fair, transparent, easy to deal with – and who pay claims – are sought out by clients.
Insurance is a highly regulated financial service and under close scrutiny from laws, regulations, statutory authorities (APRA, ASIC, AFCA), industry bodies and its own codes of conduct, including the principle of utmost good faith that underpins all general insurance.
Going above and beyond
The team at EBM RentCover is well known for their commitment to customer service. We go out of our way to help you make a successful claim – just ask the thousands of property owners we assist each year.
We know every client is unique and every claim is different. Rather than automated systems, members of our Expert Care Team are on hand to personally take your call. We act on a very simple premise – that the intention of the policy is what matters. This means we don’t assess claims on the strict letter of the policy wording, which can result in claims being rejected on technicality. Instead, we consider what customers are expecting to protect when taking out their cover and consider their intention when assessing their claim.
At EBM RentCover we say “if you need us, we are here” and we really do mean it!
*While we have taken care to ensure the information above is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances and legislation after the displayed date may impact the accuracy of this article. If you need us we are there, contact 1800 961 017 if you have any questions.