How to Raise an Insurance Repair Claim

Unexpectedly, an incident can occur that catches caravan and RV owners by surprise, resulting in damage to their beloved belonging.  It can be a massive shock, and some then become overwhelmed with where to start when raising a claim against their insurance.   This blog is written to assist you in understanding the 'typical' process of a claim when dealing with most leading caravan insurance providers.

The Claims Process  - How to raise a claim with your insurance company.

The process of an insurance claim from an overall perspective incorporates 5 steps:

  1. Incident Occurs 
  2. Obtain a Claim Number 
  3. Obtain a Repair Quote
  4. Assessment & Approval
  5. Repairs Undertaken

1. Incident Occurs
    An incident generally is defined as a specific event that occurs that causes resultant damage to the caravan or RV vehicle.  The more common incidents that occur are weather events like hail or storms, as well as accidental damage caused by negligence from a particular person - be it the owner or anyone else. This could be in many forms - like a traffic accident, reversing into structures or trees, hitting of street signs or poles etc.   Ensure you check your policy documents to see what your insurance company deems an incident and be sure your happy with it.  

When the incident has just occurred, it is a great idea to capture photos of any damage or items that are present. This can help paint a better picture for the repairer and assessor when trying to understand what has occurred.

2. Obtain a Claim Number
   Once the incident has been dealt with and details exchanged if required, you need to contact your insurance company and lodge the claim with them.  This process usually entails a call centre staff member identifying you and your policy documents, asking about the details of the incident - including where, when and  a description of what damage has occurred and how it came about.  Once they have completed the questioning required for them to complete your application of a claim, they will issue you a unique reference number, usually referred to as a Claim Number.  This number becomes the identifier for all parties involved throughout the entire claims process.  You will need to have this number ready to give to a repairer that needs to quote on the repairs.

3. Obtain a Repair Quote
    Once you have raised your claim and been issued with a claim number, you will then be required to source a repair quote. Most insurance companies allow the policy holder to select which repairer they would like to have perform the repairs. Most also have a preferred repair network - these companies are usually contracted to the insurance company and are bound to particular terms and conditions. Be aware that sometimes these commercial agreements can be motivated around the commercial rates offered by the repairers, and could reflect in the overall standard and repair experience as a result.
   When talking to potential repairers, it is always good practice to research how long they have been in the industry, do they employ qualified staff, what is the expected delay until the caravan is repaired fully etc.  Be sure that you are confident the company can perform the scope of repairs and are not going to deflect any issues arising if they so present after the work is complete.

4. Assessment and Authority
   Once the repair quote has been issued, the relevant quote form and pictures of the damage are submitted into the insurance company, for them to peruse and issue to an assessor for final approval.  Final approval can be given in 2 ways mostly...  

  1. Onsite assessment     or
  2. Over the phone

Different insurance companies will have different parameters around what claims they will approve in person or off the images supplied.  This will sometimes be explained to you by the call centre representative or from the assessor directly.  Which ever way they select, the main aim of this process is to confirm the damage exists, the repair quote is in line with the repairs required and to ensure that they are commercially taking the right direction in resolving the claim.

When the assessment has occurred, the assessor will advise the policy holder the claim is approved for repair, and then usually contacts the repairer to advise.  Once approved, a repair authority document is issued to the repairer.  Once this document is received, the repairers are then able to commence ordering and scheduling the repairs to be done.

5. Repairs Undertaken

    The insurance company will issue the repair authority to the repairer to confirm it is ok to proceed with the repairs. This authority will include what items have been approved, and what excess may or may not be required to be collected from the policy holder.  Sometimes there can be a delay between when the assessor notifies the policy holder through to the repairer receiving the authority document.  Most assessors have the authority issued within 24 - 48 hours.  It is ok to call the repairer if you have not received a call after this period has lapsed.

Repair time can greatly vary depending on a number of factors. Some factors include the list of work that already exists prior to your approval, the severity of the damage, the capacity of the repair shop, the sourcing of parts required... amongst other things.

A good repairer should be open to communicating often with you throughout the repair process and should allow you to inspect the repairs throughout the process as well.  Many quality repairers will also take notes and pictures of the various stages of the repairs being undertaken. Once the repair process has concluded, you collect your caravan or RV and get organised to get going on your next adventure.

And there you have it... this is a typical claims process with insurance companies.  The process will greatly differ from one incident to another, however, if you remain alert and research good repairers, then the process of getting any damage rectified should be alot smoother.

RV Warehouse has been repairing caravans and motorhomes for all insurance companies since 2007. It repairs any damage from a simple awning repair through to full caravan resheets and reconstruction caused by weather or accident events.  If you have damage you need to have quoted, call the RV Warehouse freecall number 1800 612 672, and an onsite inspection can be arranged.  Inspections can also be undertaken at the workshop as well.

We hope this assists you in understanding how to raise a caravan claim and if you find yourself needing assistance with any of the above steps, please call our friendly team and they will only be too happy to assist.

Safe Travels !

To arrange a repair quote for an insurance claim, follow this link

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