Claiming on insurance is never a happy time. Whether it’s car, building and contents insurance or travel insurance, a claim means that something has gone wrong and the personal, physical and emotional repercussions could be momentous.

It’s important that claiming on insurance is an easy process, but, depending upon the type of insurance you want to claim on, there’s often the odd hurdle to climb over. To make sure the process is as smooth as possible, remember to take these steps when you’re looking to make a claim.

1. Contact your insurer

It’s crucial to call your insurer almost as soon as the event occurs. The longer it takes to make that phone call, the longer your case will go on for, and if evidence is required that could help with your case, leaving it longer could make it void.

It’s also vital that you keep the details of your insurance policy to hand, and ensure you store it safely somewhere you can find it quickly. Usually, all an insurance provider will need is your name, address and policy number, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

2. Contact an authority figure

In some cases this should be done before you call your insurers. For example, in the event of damage to your vehicle from theft or vandalism, calling the police is often a necessary first step in a car insurance claim. Likewise, if you’re a victim of theft while on holiday, the police should be immediately alerted so you can claim on your travel insurance. If you’re claiming on health insurance then a visit to your doctor is an essential first step so you can receive the help you need, as well as find someone to provide more evidence for you should you need it.

Often, though, you won’t need to get the emergency services involved in your claim. If you’re looking to claim on life insurance, then you’ll need to contact the funeral director immediately so they can quickly provide you with your loved one’s death certificate.

3. Provide evidence

Especially for a road accident, or for housing insurance claims, pictorial evidence is the most necessary. If you’ve been in a road accident that doesn’t require hospitalisation, taking pictures of any damage done will help your claim along, especially if the other driver is uninsured.

Likewise, if you’re items are lost or stolen while on holiday, it’s possible that receipts will be necessary for verification.