If you are fortunate, you may never have to make a claim against your insurance. However, when things do go wrong and you are involved in an unexpected accident, disaster or other loss that is covered by your insurance policy, you can make a claim with your insurer.

The policy you buy is a promise of assistance when things go wrong, provided you fall within the policy’s terms and conditions. You need to lodge a claim to activate the insurer’s response. If your claim is accepted (and almost all are), the insurer will fulfil the promise it made in the policy. This is commonly through repairing or replacing damaged property or items, covering legal fees, or through a payment.

Insurers are there to pay legitimate claims, and more than 97 per cent of all claims made each year are accepted and paid to the limits of the policy’s terms and conditions. Each year, Australian insurers write more than 50 million general insurance policies and pay $25 billion in claims.

About 5 per cent of home and contents policyholders and 16 per cent of motor vehicle insurance policy holders will make a claim in a typical year.