How to File a Commercial Insurance Claim • Benzinga
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Filing a commercial insurance claim can be overwhelming. First, you have to deal with the incident happening while managing an intense claims process. If something were to happen to your business, it’s important to consider all of your options and carefully review your insurance policy before contacting your insurance provider.
Steps to File a Commercial Insurance Claim
One of the most stressful and frustrating situations as a small business owner is dealing with a situation that was beyond your control and has now affected your business. A business insurance claim can be filed when a small business suffers some type of loss due to accident, damage, crime or liability. Filing an insurance claim will allow you to help cover some of the financial losses you have suffered.
Most business insurance provides coverage for common risk factors associated with the industry and hazards unique to your business. However, several types of insurance policies may be required to file a claim. commercial insurance claimincluding commercial property, general liability, commercial auto insurance and workers’ compensation.
Have the ability and knowledge of how to file a business insurance claim correctly and quickly can help you get your needed repairs or replacements back as soon as possible. When something happens and you have to file a claim, your business suffers, so if you know what to do, your business will suffer less than necessary. The steps to file an insurance claim for your business follow.
Step 1: Make a plan
The most important part of developing a claim plan is reading and understanding your commercial insurance policy. If you haven’t read it yet, this is the first step. No one wants something to happen to their business, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared. Know the ins and outs of the policy so you know what is covered in the event of an incident.
Even if you don’t need to file a commercial insurance claim now, it’s a good idea to always have a plan in place in case something happens in the future. Your plan should work to make the deposit process faster and easier. You can also install surveillance equipment on your property, as this will make the next step (collecting evidence) much easier. Make sure your employees know how to use and monitor your surveillance equipment if you decide to install it.
Step 2: Collect evidence
If disaster strikes, you should have a plan in place, which means you will know what the next steps are. One of these steps is to gather evidence of what happened to give to the insurance company. You should take photos or collect footage of monitoring equipment immediately after the disaster to document the damage. Take an inventory of all destroyed or damaged items so your insurer knows how much they will have to pay. You can also record witness testimonies if there are any. This proof must be sent to the insurance company and to your adjuster.
Step 3: file a police report
It is important to note that this step will not be necessary in all cases. If your business has been the victim of a theft or a car accident, for example, contact the police and file a report. You will also want to get a copy of the report to give to your insurance company, as most require a police report when a crime occurs.
Step 4: Contact your insurance professional
Your insurance agent or broker should be contacted as soon as possible to let them know what happened. They will help you through the claims process, asking you questions about what happened and what parts of your property need to be replaced or repaired in order to submit the claim to the insurer.
Step 5: Prepare for the Trimmer
If the damage to your business is extensive, your insurance professional will appoint an adjuster to verify the damage. Be prepared for the adjuster to examine not only the damage, but also your business records and books. The claims adjuster will then determine the share of liability that falls to your insurer.
Step 6: Get quotes from professionals
It is best to get at least two quotes and estimates from professionals for the necessary repairs. You will also want to do what is necessary to prevent further damage, such as putting a tarp over any exposed roofing if that is where the damage occurred. Be sure to keep receipts for any repairs you make to submit to your insurer. Although you may be reimbursed for these repairs, it is important to remember that the total settlement will include payments made by the insurer to make temporary repairs to your property to prevent further damage.
Step 7: Get professional help if you need it
Professional help can come from a lawyer or an accountant. If the claim you are filing is significant, you may want to consider contacting an insurance attorney for advice. Not only can they help you through the claims process, they can also help you with any disputes between the adjuster and you. Likewise, if you are concerned about the claims filing process and need help, it may be a good idea to speak to an accountant before filing your claim.
Can your agent file a commercial complaint on your behalf?
Your insurance agent can file a commercial claim on your behalf. Your agent doesn’t have to do this, but if you think it’s the best option, they can. If not, your agent will help you through the insurance claim process. Your insurance agent has an obligation to guide you through the claims process as a customer.
Common documentation for a commercial insurance claim
The most important document you need to file for a commercial insurance claim is the declaration form. These forms are fairly uniform across the board. If necessary due to a crime, a police report will also need to be submitted to your insurer. The actual claim forms will likely be completed and sent to the insurer by your insurance professional. However, you will need to provide a proof of loss form to the adjuster, usually in the form of photos or surveillance footage.
Is a Trade Assurance Claim Worth It?
Before filing a claim when an incident occurs, be sure to consider all of your options. While filing a claim may be worthwhile in some cases, it is not in all cases of damage or loss. If you file too many business insurance claims, it can be a red flag to insurance companies that you are not doing your part to keep your business safe, leading to higher premiums and no -renewals. Classification may not be worth reporting as high risk when the damage is minimal and can be dealt with out of pocket.
Filing a claim is not worth it if the circumstance is excluded from your coverage. Not only will you not get paid for the damages, but the suit will continue and remain on your insurance file. Also, remember that some insurance policies have a deductible that will be subtracted from the amount of the claim. So if your claim is worth $3,000 and your deductible is $2,000, you will only get $1,000 to repair the damage.
A Trade Assurance claim may be worth it if the damage that occurred could cause further damage. For example, if a small incident occurs and you do not contact your insurer immediately, you could be refused later if this small damage were to cause further damage.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What documents are required for an insurance claim?
What documents are required for an insurance claim?
To file a commercial insurance claim, you will need to complete a claim form and submit photos of the damage to your insurance provider. You should also create an inventory of all damaged items and obtain at least two estimates from repair professionals so your insurance company can assess the damage. You may also need a police report if a crime has been committed.
What is an insurance adjuster?
What is an insurance adjuster?
As an employee of your insurance company, an adjuster reviews your policy and the losses you have incurred to determine how much money the insurance company owes you based on the terms of your insurance contract.