Many business owners hope that they won’t come to the point where their commercial insurance is necessary, but you never know when an emergency will strike. In the event that something happens, you’ll have something to fall back on, that’s when you file a claim. If it’s your first time filing a claim, then this blog is for you.
Your insurance is meant to be there when times get tough. Plenty of situations can set back a business, some of those including an electrical fire, a burglary, if a customer is injured on the premises, and weather catastrophes (hurricanes, wildfire, flood, or other catastrophe). As long as you have proper coverage and maybe even additional coverage, then filing a claim for your business won’t be such a nightmare. You’ll be able to move on from these events and subsequently keep your business up and running. Below are the steps you should follow in order to get things a little bit closer back to normal.
- Contact your insurance professional and insurer as soon as possible. Once contacted, they will provide help with your loss and filing your claim. If you have extensive damage, an adjuster will probably come out themselves to assess the damage.
- Contact the police, if needed. If a crime happened, then the police have to be called.
- Review your insurance policy. It’s always good to look over your commercial insurance policy. It might already list specific steps to take when filing a claim.
- Prepare an inventory. Prepare an inventory of damaged goods for the adjuster. Also, make sure you have receipt copies.
- Provide proof of loss. You must send a signed, sworn proof of loss containing the information requested to investigate the claim. It must be done within 60 days of the insurer request.
- Be ready for the adjuster. Prepare for them to roam the grounds and check over the books and records.
- Document damage to the property. Identify the damage and write it down so you can show the adjuster. Photos or video of the damage are also helpful.
- Make temporary repairs if needed. Protect your property from further damage; this is if you have to and if you have the means to. Save receipts for later.
- Get at least two bids for repairs. A competitive bid should happen in order to provide options and lower costs.
- Stay organized. Everything that you submit to the insurance company, you should also have a copy of. Everything that you get back, keep. Keep names and numbers of those you speak with while dealing with the claim.
- Consider these additional steps. If you have to temporarily relocate, you’re going to want to file a business income and extra expense claim, if you carry this type of coverage. To get this settlement, your business has to prove their net income, among other things. You’re going to want to keep detailed records of everything, including any transactions, operating expenses and ongoing expenses you’re paying even though your business is closed.
No business ever wants to think about experiencing a catastrophe, but it’s always within the realm of possibility. As long as you have a comprehensive Commercial Insurance program tailored to your business and its exposures, you will make it through this tough time.
About David G. Sayles Insurance Services
At David G. Sayles Insurance Services, we strive to protect the investments of business owners like you. Our comprehensive policies are customized for you to provide the exact coverage you need. For more information, contact us today at (800) 439-0292.