FAQs | Service | Zurich Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions

  • General

    I've just sent my documents for my claim, what happens next?

    We will review and respond to you within 5 working days, letting you know of the next steps.

    Will my premium be affected by my claim and if you can't answer this, who can?

    Your premium is based upon various different factors and risks. One of these factors is how many claims you have made in the last 5 years so it has the potential to affect your premium. However, until your renewal is generated 3 weeks before your policy is due to expire, no one will be able to advise what type of affect, if any, will occur to your premium.

    How long will my claim take?

    We aim to resolve your claim as quickly as we are able however each and every claim has different elements, complexities and needs, which will affect the length of the overall claim lifecycle. Our experienced handlers are on hand to deal with your claim as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you feel your claim isn’t moving along as quickly as you had hoped, please contact us to discuss this with you. You’ll find our contact numbers under the ‘make a claim’ section separately for home insurance and car insurance.

    Can I use my own contractor or repairer?

    Of course, however we will still need to validate your claim and so any works complete prior to this point will be at your own cost until we confirm that your claim is covered. We will still appoint one of approved vendors to validate any quotes obtained by you. Certain policies however will require you to pay an additional excess to use your own repairers.

    Why are there so many people involved in my claim?

    We want to ensure that the right people are appointed for every detail of your claim, where possible. Therefore we will appoint specialised companies for different parts of the claim process to ensure you get the best possible service.

    Making your first claim

    If you need to make a claim, be clear about exactly what happened so you can tell your story factually and consistently with no missing details or exaggeration. To help speed up the processing of your claim, make sure you answer all questions truthfully and fully explain the circumstances of any claim. Be sure to take photos of any damage as soon as possible, to help us with our validation.

    Claim process

    We'll notify you if we intend to appoint one of our approved vendors to deal with your claim and will explain the reasons why. We may appoint a Claims Representative or property surveyor to visit you, depending on the type of claim you make. We utilise a number of approved vendors to collect information to assist us in getting your claim settled as soon as possible. 

    Compulsory and voluntary excesses

    A compulsory excess is the amount the insurer requires you to pay towards a claim.  If you claim under more than one cover section you may have to pay an excess for each. A voluntary excess is an amount that you choose to pay towards a claim in exchange for which the insurer may reduce your premium.  This may be in addition to a compulsory excess.
  • Home

    I have photos of the damage to my property, why do you need to send someone to look at the damage?

    Whilst photos can prove useful in settlement of a claim, often they do not show the full extent of the damage. Having one of our approved vendors to review the damage in person will provide a more accurate amount for settlement of the claim and ensure all aspects of your claim are resolved in a timely manner.

    I don't have proof that I owned all of the items I am claiming for, what will happen with those?

    Generally we would require proofs for all items being claimed for, so that we can evidence that you owned them in the first place.  If this is not possible, please provide as much proof of ownership as you can and we will review each claim on it’s own merit.

    I don't have original purchase receipts, what else can I send?

    We can also consider photos of the items, bank statements evidencing purchases, photos of original packaging or manuals, power cables etc.  This will depend on the type of item you are claiming for and its age but our claim handlers will be able to help you identify what we can accept for your claim.  If we do require a receipt, you should be able to contact the original seller for a duplicate or e-receipt.

    Why is my escape of water excess so high?

    These types of claims are common and usually expensive, and therefore the insurance industry as a whole imposes higher excesses on these claims typically. Don’t forget – your insurance policy will not cover the cost of fixing the leak (i.e. the cost of replacing the pipe), but the resultant damage is covered subject to the excess being paid and a valid claim arising.

    I don't know any builders, are you able to send someone out for me?

    We are able to appoint our own approved vendors for you in most instances so please don’t hesitate to ask us. If for any reason we are unable to do this, we will always fully explain why and provide guidance on how to do this yourself.

    Contents vs. Buildings - how do I know what's what?

    Generally speaking, anything you would take with you when you move house is classed as a ‘content’, such as curtains, laptops, cutlery etc. This also extends to carpets and some ‘click-lock’ laminate flooring and any freestanding appliances. The ‘buildings’ are the main structure of your home or outbuildings and anything built in like an integrated dishwasher or cooker.

    Definition of subsidence

    Subsidence happens when the ground beneath a property moves or sinks downwards, causing the foundations of the building to move. Some soils (and clay) can cause subsidence as it dries and shrinks, trees and other vegetation can cause it by drawing water from the soil, and excessive water from flooding or burst pipes can wash soil away which also causes subsidence. The effect on the building ranges from cracked walls to severe structural damage.

    Trace and access

    This is usually covered up to £5000 to determine where the water leak is coming from. Please consult your policy documentation for further clarification or call us to confirm whether you have this cover. You’ll find a list of our contact numbers here (link so contact numbers as per slide 11).
  • Car

    How can you tell that my vehicle is a write off when you haven't seen it?

    We are able to use a system that calculates whether your vehicle is likely to be a total loss based on how many components of the vehicle have been damaged (e.g. bonnet, bumpers, side panels), the severity of the damage and the age of the vehicle.

    How is the claim my fault when they hit me?

    Sometimes you have to claim on your own insurance rather that the others that are involved if you weren’t able to obtain their vehicle or insurance details. In those cases we are not able to pursue their insurer as we do not know who this is. There are also occasions where you feel the other party hit you, however the incident would be classed as your fault due to the highway code terms. Our experts will always fully explain your incident and the possible outcomes to you when you report your claim.

    You're my insurer, why should I go to the other person's insurance company to claim for this?

    Any claim you wish to make through your own insurance policy will be subject to your excess and may affect your No Claims Bonus (NCB). By going directly to the third party’s insurance you can avoid this payment and the incident will only be recorded on your policy for notification purposes, therefore not affecting your NCB.

    Motor legal cover

    If you need to make a claim and were 50% or less to blame for an accident, a solicitor will be instructed to pursue a claim against the other insurance company.  They will pursue a claim for your losses which may include the cost of repairing your car, personal injury, loss of earnings and any other uninsured losses you have incurred. Please refer to your policy schedule to see if you have selected this cover on your policy.

    When to report a motor claim

    It's important to report all incidents to us as quickly as possible. You will need to report a theft or loss within 24 hours to the police and we may ask you for a police report number. You’ll find a list of our contact numbers for motor insurance here (link to motor contact numbers as per slide 10).

    I have had a motor incident that was my fault, what is the other driver makes a claim?

    It may take a number of months to settle the other driver’s claim. We’ll endeavour to agree a fair and reasonable settlement. If you are at fault then we can assist the other driver with any repairs that are required and help them with any alternative transport that they may require whilst their own vehicle is being repaired.

    If they are injured, we'll assist them with any rehabilitation treatment and will compensate them fairly for their injury.

    Under the current legislation claims for injury can be made up to a period of 3 years and for non-injury claims it is 6 years after the accident has taken place, or 5 years in Scotland.  

    In the event that we do not agree that the other driver's claim is reasonable, we will pay an amount which we feel represents the true value of their claim. We will only pay for damages which we feel have been caused solely by the accident and are reasonable. This may result in the other driver issuing court proceedings in an attempt to recover their losses in full.

    Your No Claims Discount (NCD or NCB) following an incident

    If you have a claim on your policy where you were at fault or we were unable to recuperate all costs from another party and your policy is due for renewal, your NCD will be reduced, unless it is protected.
    If you have protected your NCD, there's a limit to the amount of claims you're able to make

    Claiming for windscreen damage

    When you notify us of windscreen damage, one of our approved vendors will assess the urgency of your situation and arrange a suitable time to attend your vehicle. If your car is undriveable, they will aim to attend the same day, all other urgent scenarios are usually dealt with the next day at the latest. If the damage is not urgent, our vendors will aim to repair your vehicle in less than 72 hours from initial contact, unless you request otherwise.

    You may arrange to have your own choice of repairer to repair or fit new glass, however, the excess and policy limits may vary and you should refer to your policy schedule for more information.

    What information to give in the event of a car accident

    After an accident occurs, you’ll be expected to give the other person certain information. We suggest that you provide the following and ask them for the same details in return.

    • Name
    • Address
    • Contact numbers
    • Vehicle make and model
    • Registration number
    • Insurance details, including the policy number and insurer contact number

    Vehicles beyond economic repair

    Each claim is unique, so it's difficult for us to say exactly how long the process will take. If your vehicle has been deemed to be beyond economical repair, a qualified engineer who is an expert in vehicle damage assessment will inspect your vehicle and determine its market value, using their own experience and referring to industry recognised retail price guides. Once we have received a copy of the engineering report, we aim to settle your claim within 7 working days.

    Police involvement on a motor claim

    • Your car has been vandalised
    • Glass is broken as a result of a break in  
    • There is a dispute over exchanging details
    • Someone has been hurt
    • The road is blocked by the accident
    • The other driver appears drunk or under the influence of drugs
    • A stolen car is involved
    • The driver of the other car has driven off