Making a Claim
The time may come when your business suffers a loss and you need to make a claim against your insurance carrier. Insurance companies are rightfully sticklers for details, and if you do not follow their procedures to the letter, you may find that they will deny your claim, and legitimately. So after a loss, it is your job to make their job easier.
Before Making a Claim
The first thing is, to the extent possible, be sure you maintain excellent records that are kept in a safe, secure spot, preferably off site. All receipts, backups of important files, and backups of computer data should be readily accessible so that you can get to them easily.
It is a good practice to make a video of your premises and property every year so that you have a record of what you have.
Similarly, it is a good practice to make a video of your premises and property every year. Spend some time documenting what you have and where. Then put the recording with your other vital records in a secure location. It will be invaluable if you ever need it.
The main reason for keeping good records is that it speeds up the claims process. The longer it takes you to gather the information your insurer needs, the longer it will take to process your claim, and also, the longer it takes to process your claim the longer it will take to get that check.
After a loss
When you have suffered a loss, follow these steps when making a claim:
* Report the incident immediately. Tell your agent or carrier about the problem as soon as you can. Some policies require notification within a certain time limit, meaning that your insurer can deny coverage if notice comes in too late.
* Protect your property from further damage. If you are filing a property loss claim, policies often require that damaged property be kept safe from further damage.
* Provide documentation. If you have receipts, copy and provide them. If you made that videotape, get it out.
* Communicate and cooperate. The easier you make it for the adjuster, the easier it will be for you.
Of course when you own your own business, the idea of having to make an insurance claim is not pleasant, but things happen. After all, that is why you have insurance, right?