How to File a Business Insurance ClaimDecember 24, 2020
If your business experiences a property loss and you have to file a business insurance claim, or your business receives notice of a liability claim being brought against it, things can become stressful. Having a comprehensive insurance plan can help to reduce the stress load because of the assurance of financial protection that insurance policies can provide.
A great deal of the initial claim situation will often be handled by your independent agent and the insuring company that provides your coverage. After the initial stages of the claim, you may be in direct contact with a representative from the insurance company or a third-party claims adjuster. In cases of liability claims, you may end up working closely with a lawyer who is provided to you by your insurance company.
In order to move things forward smoothly, it is important for you to be organized and provide information in a timely manner. This helps to keep the process as efficient and streamlined as possible. Here’s how to file a business insurance claim and a few things you should do to be prepared:
4 Things You Should Do If Your Business Has An Insurance Claim
Here are some general guidelines to follow if you find yourself needing to file an insurance claim on behalf of your business:
1. Provide Immediate Notice of Loss
One of the very first, and most important, things you will need to do is provide notice of loss to your insurance company. This gets the ball rolling when it comes to your claim’s settlement. When you provide notice of loss, a lot goes on behind the scenes with the insurance company.
An adjuster will be assigned to your loss. In most cases, they will contact you within a business day. When the insurance company or your agent contacts you, it will be to gather some general information about the claim so that the adjuster can start their process.
Be sure that you do not delay this step in the process. Part of your insuring agreement is that you will provide immediate notice to your insurance company if a claim occurs. Failing to do so could result in your business insurance claim getting denied.
2. Document All Relevant Details
Be sure that you document all applicable details about the claim. If it is a property claim, write down the date and time of the loss. Also, start compiling a list of items that were damaged or destroyed.
In the event that a liability claim occurs, be sure to start a file with any documentation that is received from the injured party’s legal representation. Furthermore, prior to any claims, be sure that you instruct your employees to document any incident reports that could lead to a future liability claim and detail what occurred, what was said by the injured party, and what was done to help them.
For example, if a customer slips and falls on a slippery walkway while entering your place of business, this should be documented with the date and time of the event along with any medical treatment the customer received or was offered. Even if they do not file a claim immediately, it is possible that they could do so at a later date.
By establishing a system of record-keeping, you will be giving your own legal representation something to work with if a claim or lawsuit would arise. Keep in mind; in most cases, the injured party has up to two (2) years to file a claim. Having documentation procedures in place that are consistently followed can help businesses, farms, and other facilities avoid frivolous liability claims and also be well-prepared for other claims that may arise.
3. Protect the Property
When a property claim occurs, it is important to protect the rest of the property from further damage or hire someone to do so. For example, if a tree falls on a building and causes damage to the roof of the structure, you should call someone to remove the tree and place a temporary covering on the roof.
This prevents precipitation from damaging the remaining structure or its contents while the claim is being settled and the building is repaired. In cases like this, it is most helpful to take pictures of the damage before doing any temporary repairs to the property. This will help substantiate the extent of the loss.
4. Communicate Effectively
Keep an open line of communication with your agent and the insurance company’s adjuster. Provide the documentation they request as quickly as possible and provide answers to their questions as accurately as you can. This will help to speed up the process and will help you get your claim check processed and your property replaced much faster.
Regularly Review Your Coverage to Make Sure You’re Covered
Claims situations tend to highlight the positive effect that regular reviews of your insurance coverage can have for your business. If you’ve reviewed your policies with your agent recently, a claim situation is often much less stressful. You have the assurance of knowing that you have the proper coverage in place to pay for the financial losses that have occurred.
Having the right insurance coverage provides a great deal of peace of mind in these situations and can make a bad day much more tolerable. Be sure to conduct a review of your insurance coverage with a trusted independent agent on, at least, an annual basis. And, if a claim does occur, follow these guidelines to file a business insurance claim to help receive a quick settlement and have your business back up and running as quickly as possible.
To discuss more details about your business insurance coverage, contact one of the experienced commercial lines agents at Ruhl Insurance by calling 1-800-537-6880 or 717-665-2283.
Disclaimer: Information and claims presented in this content are meant for informative, illustrative purposes and should not be considered legally binding.