We all hope that we’ll never have to use our insurance policies. We carry homeowners, auto, and medical insurance to protect against disaster, but we hope that disaster never comes. When the unthinkable happens, having insurance is the silver lining that makes things right again.
When it comes to your own business, getting things back in line and continuing on with business as usual is crucial. When you need to file a business insurance claim in order to maintain your livelihood, use these steps to get you back on your feet as soon as possible.
There are several reasons why filing an insurance claim on your business policy is a good idea. Whether it is a fire, accident, natural disaster or burglary, your policy is designed to protect your assets and your business.
1. Inform your insurance agent of the incident as soon as possible.
Your insurance company should be the second phone call you make. The first phone call should be to law enforcement officials or emergency assistance. The second phone call you should make is to the insurance company. If it is after hours or on a weekend, call anyway, leave a message if necessary. Provide as much information as possible, and give detailed answers to questions.
2. Find and read your policy.
Your insurance agent will be able to give you clear direction and guidance as to what you need to do and what you need to provide, but it is important to take the time and read your policy again, taking special note of the areas which focus on the particular disaster you are facing.
Understand clearly your requirements, and what you can expect from the insurance company. Highlight a copy of your policy and keep it handy if it is necessary to refer to later.
3. Minimize further damage.
Don’t let things get worse while you’re waiting for the insurance company. Make temporary repairs, fix things where you can, and make do until you get the support you need. Allowing damage to get worse over time due to neglect may compromise your coverage.
4. Don’t throw anything away.
During the clean-up process, be careful about throwing anything away. Before disposing of damaged objects, give the claims adjuster an opportunity to inspect them. There may be valuable information needed from those object, so be careful about what you dispose of. Take several pictures of everything and anything.
Anytime you need to file an insurance claim, it can be a frustrating process. Even with all of the necessary paperwork and regardless of how the procedures are followed, not every claims process goes smoothly. If you become frustrated with how your claim is being handled, speak directly to your agent and explain the situation and ask about possibly remedies.
If necessary, contact the customer service or claims department to get more information about your specific claim and what steps may be taken. If all other measures fail, voice your displeasure to your state’s department of insurance for assistance.
By Matt Reynolds - Google+