Even if you have invested in the best possible commercial insurance, there are some ways business owners commonly mess up when filing a claim after an accident or incident occurs that results in damage or destruction.
One major mistake that is commonly made by business owners when filing an insurance claim is not contacting your coverage provider immediately. While you may need to make some minor changes or repairs to prevent further damage, you should avoid doing so before someone comes to assess the claim or before you can properly document your company’s state directly after the event. It may be best to leave things as they are to avoid the potential of your claim being denied.
Most insurance companies have a 24-hour hotline for making claims when things happen outside of regular business hours, but check with your representative for the best way to get in contact with your insurance company. Another alternative that some insurance providers have begun using are applications available on smartphones and the internet. Likewise, not documenting damages can cause your insurer to deny a claim.
Should you need to remove some items that have been damaged, it is crucial to keep them rather than throwing this evidence away. Photographs of initial damage can be helpful but your adjuster may request to see these in person so be sure to put any removed debris aside but not dispose of it until someone comes out to assess the damages.
In some cases, your insurance provider’s representative may give you an estimate that seems lower than you expected, and if this happens it may be a good idea to appeal the decision. This would allow you to enlist services from your own adjuster, one who is not employed by your insurance company. Should there be major discrepancies, a mediator will step in to make the final decision regarding how much reimbursement will be received.
If you don’t read and fully understand your insurance policy, you could find your claim is denied. It is important to understand the perils listed in your plan. Should you need additional coverage, investing in an add-on policy is highly encouraged so you don’t find yourself without protection in specific situations. While many natural disasters are covered by basic insurance policies, you won’t likely have protection should your business suffer damage following a floor or an earthquake. These incidents typically require separate policies that may or may not be available through your BOP provider.
Of course, being prepared can prevent some damage from occurring. Some situations may call for a disaster plan, while you will also need to have a concrete plan for communicating with employees and clients should you have to shut your doors for some time. Preparations can make a notable difference in how well your company fares following a need to file a business insurance claim. Additionally, you will want to keep a copy of your insurance policy outside of your office so you can refer back to it if something goes wrong and it is unable to be obtained from your work space. Another smart move for many business owners is to keep an up-to-date inventory of all assets ranging from furniture to technology. Should items disappear or be stolen, this will allow you to make a claim with the inventory, complete with proof of purchase as evidence.