Fire and General Insurance Claims

Have you had your insurance claim unfairly denied?

Many insurance companies go to great lengths to avoid paying out clients covered under their policy when things go wrong. When this happens, it’s easy for those affected to feel helpless and suffer severe financial and emotional hardship.

Shine Lawyers are experts when it comes to standing up for those who have had their insurance claim unfairly denied following a fire, accident or any other event that causes loss or damage to property. We have experience in battling insurance companies throughout New Zealand and the South Pacific and leave no stone unturned when it comes to getting clients the justice they deserve; often overturning decisions without the need for lengthy court proceedings.

The insurance industry uses the term “fire and general” to refer to all policies that are not health, life, income protection or marine policies.  This includes:

  • House policies
  • Contents policies
  • Rental property policies
  • Car or motor vehicle policies
  • Motorcycle policies
  • Liability policies including public liability and professional negligence policies

At Shine we have experts with over 30 years’ experience in these types of claims.  We have acted for insurance companies and know all their tricks.

Insurance companies utilise the services of investigators, usually ex police detectives to interrogate their customers, sometimes forcing mistakes from their clients that can result in claims being declined.  If you feel pressured, stop the interview, and get advice.  You are entitled to have representation and don’t be bullied into continuing an interview when you feel pressured.

Top tips when it comes to claiming through your insurance company:

  • Always provide full and accurate information to your insurer when applying. If you fail to do this, your insurance may be invalid and you won’t find out until it’s too late;
  • Don’t lie or mislead your insurance company when claiming as one small detail can lead to the whole claim being denied;
  • Don’t exaggerate your claim. One mis-described item can invalidate your entire claim. Most good policies provide adequate cover and you’d be surprised what you’re entitled to receive;
  • In the event your insurance company tells you you’re not covered, you may be able to challenge the decision. There are many laws that restrict the circumstances in which insurance companies can decline a claim, and most of these are not known to the public;
  • Seek legal advice as soon as possible if you believe you are being treated unfairly or if your claim has been denied.

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Andrew Hooker, Managing Director of Shine Lawyers New Zealand, works tirelessly to achieve great outcomes for clients. Learn more ›

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