Having to make an insurance claim will usually mean people have suffered some kind of loss or property damage, often from a recent natural disaster.

Many people in these situations are finding the insurance claims process after these types of events to be a particularly daunting task.

Insurance claims can be stressful

Research from Queensland University of Technology’s psychology department has found in some cases, people find dealing with an insurer after a catastrophe even more stressful than the event that caused losses in the first place.

The researchers studied the mental health impacts caused by the flood disasters in Brisbane in 2011 and Mackay in 2008, and found 75 per cent of people said the most difficult aspect was the aftermath and dealing with their insurance companies.

The biggest sources of stress were found to be insurer staff giving inconsistent information, delays in claim assessment, finding out they were not covered for certain events and inadequate compensation.

Insurance expert Professor Allen Manning believes brokers should “put myself in the shoes of the insured and make the process as painless and stress free as I possibly can.”

“This means regular contact, prompt progress payments and making sure that all the trades turn up when they ought and do the proper thing by the insured,” he said.

Focussing on customers 

Natural disasters common to Australia, including floods, cyclones and bush fires, can cause significant damage to communities and stop business operating for several weeks. Having business interruption cover is useful for companies in places prone to natural catastrophes, but many are still finding it hard to get their claims processed quickly.

This year alone has seen the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) declare five catastrophes for the industry, the most recent being the storm in the south-east in early May.

On May 4, the ICA reported that insurance companies had received about 7,500 claims with initial losses estimated at around $26 million. Dealing with such high numbers of claims at one time was putting pressure on the industry as well as policyholders.

Thankfully, there are insurance companies that understand how difficult the process can be and work hard to provide customers with accurate information in a timely manner.

At MGA Insurance Brokers our top priority is making the process for our customers as smooth as possible. With 36 offices throughout the country, we are able to make time to hear your claim and have it processed quickly, avoiding you any unnecessary stress.