Making a claim is a pivotal experience in the insurance process and is when the value of your insurance cover is put to the test. In the situation where you are facing a claims event, being prepared and aware of what will assist your claims process to go smoothly is key.

General insurance is a financial product, and by taking out a policy you enter into a legal contract with sometimes complex terms and conditions that you may not be fully understand or be aware of. It is important you thoroughly read the policy terms, and it's a good idea to go through the policy wording with your broker to clarify any potential gaps, questions or misunderstandings.

10 key steps to prepare for and make an insurance claim

  1. Photographic evidence of the incident or event — take clear photos and video (if possible) of the damage when it occurs (from several angles), as this is often the key to getting the claim accepted, particularly if something unusual happened, such as a very localised weather event — but don't put your own safety at risk.
  2. Save any damaged items and leave them in place. Where this is not possible, ensure you have date-marked photo/video evidence of their condition.
  3. Some clients and policies include a service of claims preparation cover and the claim qualifies you for access to extra claims support — Gallagher has a team that does this and acts for you during the process.
  4. Don't admit liability until the incident is reported and reviewed. Insurers may decide that by doing so you may have prejudiced their policy cover.
  5. If you are being sued/held liable tell us as soon as possible. While you may assume you are not liable, the law is uncertain so it's best to report the situation to us (your broker) and we can see how your insurance cover responds. Often the longer you leave this, the greater the cost of a claim against you can be.
  6. Make sure you have reviewed your sums insured at least annually, against your values at risk. Document this. If the values are not close to matching you may have your claim significantly reduced. Don't risk it.
  7. Save evidence of cost of assets and valuables purchased — assessors will look for records such as invoices to show what you paid for items — they want proof, and having this available can make it quicker and less subjective.
  8. Be clear and precise about what has happened for assessors to have reliable and trusted input. If you keep changing the story it raises suspicions.
  9. Notify the police if it's a case of theft, vandalism or any other crime, and get a reference number — insurers will expect it and if you haven't reported the crime, they may find that to be of concern.
  10. Access Gallagher for claims support — access the Gallagher website and access our digital claim forms, which guide you through the information you need to provide. Also access the Gallagher out of hours emergency Claims service option for claims 24x7.

3 client examples of how taking these claims steps can improve outcomes

We pride ourselves on our claims service

Part of our commitment to building business confidence is advocating for a fair outcome, and supporting clients through claims is one of the key pillars of our business.


Gallagher provides insurance, risk management and benefits consulting services for clients in response to both known and unknown risk exposures. When providing analysis and recommendations regarding potential insurance coverage, potential claims and/or operational strategy in response to national emergencies (including health crises), we do so from an insurance and/or risk management perspective, and offer broad information about risk mitigation, loss control strategy and potential claim exposures. We have prepared this commentary and other news alerts for general information purposes only and the material is not intended to be, nor should it be interpreted as, legal or client-specific risk management advice. General insurance descriptions contained herein do not include complete insurance policy definitions, terms and/or conditions, and should not be relied on for coverage interpretation. The information may not include current governmental or insurance developments, is provided without knowledge of the individual recipient's industry or specific business or coverage circumstances, and in no way reflects or promises to provide insurance coverage outcomes that only insurance carriers' control.

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