Whether from an individual or an act of nature, your business will suffer damage and loss at some point. When that occurs, you will need to file a claim with your insurance carrier, but, because these instances are rare, you might not know just how to proceed. Here is a procedure to follow, followed by some tips to make the experience a little less stressful.
The Steps of Filing a Claim on Your Business Insurance
- Do You Need to Call the Police?
If it’s a matter of vandalism or theft, calling the authorities is the first thing you should do, even before calling your insurance provider. Many policies state this as a prerequisite for filing a claim, so be diligent in this. Make a list of missing or damaged items, so you can provide a complete list of your losses.
- Contact Your Broker
Your broker will complete the claim form with your help, which can then be submitted to your insurance company. Your broker should be able to explain the process in more detail and give you a timeline, as to when you might expect responses from the insurer.
- Communicating with Your Insurer
The insurance company will assign an adjuster to assess the losses suffered by your business. You will be contacted within 72 hours by the adjuster, so be prepared with thorough information. He will also want evidence of the damages and losses your business suffered. Photographs and video recordings are the best types of evidence, especially if they capture the incident in action.
- Get Quotes for Repairs
If you delay in this, your business may suffer. As you would with personal property damages, obtain estimates from several contractors to determine the best service for the money.
- Hire an Attorney
A lawyer knowledgeable about business insurance claims Miami Fl can help you expedite the process. Additionally, keeping a legal advocate apprised of the situation will help, if a dispute with your insurance provider arises.
Tips for Making a Business Insurance Claim Easier
Store a Copy of Your Policy Offsite
This is important because a fire or flooding might destroy the property, either completely or partially. By keeping a copy of your insurance policy offsite, you’ll have access to it in a time of need.
Start a File on the Claims Process
From the moment an incident occurs, start your own file in the claims process. Include copies of all documents related to the incident and your claim, as well as copies of photographic and video evidence. This will help you stay up to date on your insurer’s progress and ensure you’re aware of everything relating to your claim.
Do What You Can to Limit Damage
A temporary fix can help you mitigate the damage to your business. This will work in your favor with your insurance provider, throughout the claims process. Additionally, it will help you to keep your business operating, while you pursue more permanent fixes to the damages.
Hire a Loss Adjuster
This is another precaution that can help you in dealing with your insurance company. It’s likely that there will be disputes in regard to what is covered and how much you should be reimbursed for the damages. Someone with accounting expertise and knowledge of business insurance can help ensure you’re treated fairly.
At a time when your business has suffered damage or loss, dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating. By acting to protect your interests and retaining the services of related professionals, you can ensure you’ll be able to take full advantage of your insurance policy. After all, times like this are exactly why you pay for the insurance.