Last updated: 21/09/2023 | Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes
Making a home insurance claim can sometimes feel like climbing a mountain, especially if you’ve just experienced a stressful event. But how long will it be before you can get back to normal? Sometimes, your home insurance claim may not take quite as long as you imagine, especially if your situation is clear-cut and easily fixed. However, every situation is unique and while some home insurance claims may be resolved speedily, others may require a bit more patience.
In this guide, we’ll help you to understand how long home insurance claims typically take and the reasons why they may not be moving as quickly as you’d like.
In This Guide:
- How Long Should a House Insurance Claim Take?
- How Soon Can You Claim on Home Insurance?
- Do Home Insurance Claims Have Time Limits?
- How to Speed Up Your Home Insurance Claim
- My Home Insurance Claim is Taking a Long Time, What Can I Do?
- What is the Typical Process for a Home Insurance Claim?
- How Will My Home Insurance Claim Be Paid?
- Is it Worth Making a Home Insurance Claim?
- Finding the Right Home Insurance Policy is Key
How Long Should a House Insurance Claim Take?
Simple home insurance claims for small amounts can be resolved in just two days, but more complex claims for larger amounts may take months to complete. The average time for a home insurance claim is usually around two weeks, but your wait time will depend on the nature of your claim as well as your policy terms.
Some factors that could impact how quickly your home insurance claim is resolved include:
- How complicated your claim is: If you’re claiming for extensive damage that happened during a storm or for a burglary where many of your items were stolen, your claim may take some time to investigate and resolve. Simpler issues such as a chipped window or a minor leak will be much easier to finalise.
- How much you’re claiming for: Expensive home insurance claims typically require more investigation than smaller amounts. Not only will more expensive claims usually have more complexity, but home insurance companies will be reluctant to pay out large sums unless they’re absolutely necessary.
- Evidence: Home insurance claims usually resolve more quickly if you have all the evidence your provider needs to process it. This is why it’s so important to document an incident as soon as it occurs, taking photographs and pulling up all your relevant records. Try to file away receipts for work you’ve had done on your home, as this could be useful when proving you’ve kept your home in good order.
- Policy Conditions: Some home insurance policies will have longer processing periods, while others may require you to move through a multi-step process before your claim is actioned. Always read through the claims process before committing to a home insurance policy so you understand exactly what it will be like.
How Soon Can You Claim on Home Insurance?
You can make a claim on your home insurance as soon as you notice a problem. The quicker you report an issue, the higher your chances of making a successful claim will be. Some home insurance policies require you to report problems before you’ve paid to have them fixed yourself, so the sooner you get in touch, the better.
However, if it has taken you a while to get around to making your claim, don’t worry, as most home insurance policies will usually have a generous window for you to submit your claim. You can usually expect this to be between 30 and 180 days, but keep in mind that every policy is different and that waiting longer may make it more difficult to prove certain types of claims.
If you’ve recently taken out a home insurance policy, make sure you’re clear on its start date. While most home insurance policies allow you to claim straight away, some may have a slight delay.
Do Home Insurance Claims Have Time Limits?
Most home insurance policies don’t have a time limit on how long it could take to resolve a claim. This means that it can be difficult to reliably estimate how long your claim will take to resolve. The best way to get an understanding of where you are in the process and when your insurance provider expects everything to be finalised is by keeping in touch with them. Most insurance providers should have a rough timeline and if communication is taking longer than expected, make sure you raise your concerns.
How to Speed Up Your Home Insurance Claim
Sometimes how long your insurance claim takes to resolve will be beyond your control, but there are small steps you can take to make sure you get an answer as quickly as possible.
- Always cooperate with your home insurance provider and their loss adjusters.
- Keep important documents carefully filed away and collect as much evidence as you can.
- Contact your insurance provider if things are moving slower than expected.
- Understand the terms of your policy and make sure you’re following guidelines for claims.
- Make sure your home is secure and well-maintained to strengthen your claims when you make them.
The more you do to make sure you’re filing your claim correctly and complying with your home insurer’s requirements, the quicker your claim is likely to resolve. Even if your home insurance provider is slow to review all the evidence you provide, taking a long time to collect this evidence will only prolong the whole process further.
My Home Insurance Claim is Taking a Long Time, What Can I Do?
If your home insurance claim is taking an unreasonably long time, or your insurer doesn’t seem to be following the appropriate process set out in your policy terms, there are steps you can take. However, you should only escalate the matter if you’ve already tried communicating your concerns to your insurer and haven’t received any updates.
If you’ve tried everything you can to communicate with your provider but you haven’t heard anything back for a minimum of eight weeks, you can speak to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS can independently evaluate your claim as well as the actions your insurance provider has taken and provide you with advice. They may also be able to step in and negotiate with your home insurance company on your behalf if they believe you have been treated unfairly.
You shouldn’t contact the FOS if your home insurance provider has been in contact and explained why your claim is taking longer than expected. Most home insurance claims are resolved within a year, so even if it’s been many months since you submitted your claim, you may just need to be patient.
What is the Typical Process for a Home Insurance Claim?
Home insurance claims will always begin with you informing your insurer about a problem and providing them with evidence. For small matters, this may be sufficient for your claim to be resolved. However, for more complicated claims home insurance companies will usually send a loss adjuster to assess the situation. They may visit your home more than once depending on the extent of the damage. Your insurance company may then organise professional repairmen or builders to come and remedy the damage to your home, or approve the tradesmen you’ve selected depending on the terms of your policy.
How Will My Home Insurance Claim Be Paid?
If your home insurer organised repairs to be made on your home or replaced furniture or certain high value items, you may not receive a sum of money as your insurer funded the cost of the renovations directly. However, if you had to pay for repairs yourself, you should be reimbursed for this via a pre-agreed-upon method, such as bank transfer or cheque.
Is it Worth Making a Home Insurance Claim?
You may be wondering whether it’s worth making a home insurance claim, especially if the process could take a long time to finalise. This is something that only you can decide and it will depend on a number of factors, such as the complexity of your claim, how much excess you have to pay, and the amount of money it would cost you to complete any repairs yourself. In general, the bigger claims that may take longer are worth putting forward to your home insurance provider, as they’ll likely cost you a lot more to resolve without your insurer's contribution.
Finding the Right Home Insurance Policy is Key
While it’s hard to know how long a home insurance claim will take ahead of time, finding the right policy for your needs can give you the best chance at resolving problems more quickly. The more aligned the policy is with what you’re looking for and the happier you are with the claims process, the more likely you will be to get to the resolution you want speedily. If you’re not sure where to begin, get in touch with us here at Money Expert to start your journey and get a quote.