You have regularly paid your insurance premiums as a small company owner. When it comes time to submit a claim, it might be a shock to find out that your claim has been refused and that you will have to pay out of pocket – especially if you thought you were protected. The following are the most typical mistakes small business owners make when filing claims:
Failure to Recognize Covered Risks
Only particular “perils” are covered by insurance contracts. When a property is destroyed by flood, fire, earthquakes, or other natural disasters, business owners may feel they are insured, but this may not be the case. You must understand what your insurance covers, and deciphering the fine language is not simple. Consult an insurance agent to verify that you completely understand what is and is not covered, and that you have a policy in place to cover the gaps.
Failure to File a Claim in a Timely Manner
If you wait too long to file a claim, the procedure becomes much more complex and your claim may be refused. Rather than attempting to fix your restaurant, contact your insurance carrier as soon as possible after the incident to have an adjuster assigned to your location.
Damage Is Not Being Documented
One of the big mistakes small business owners make when filing claims is not documenting damage. Your insurance will want documentation of damage caused by a natural catastrophe or an accident. Failure to properly document the damage might result in a reduced settlement or a claim denial. Take pictures of the scene as soon as possible. Pay special attention to broken equipment, items, utilities, and anything else that might be expensive to fix or replace. Similarly, keep track of all of your interactions with your insurance. Make certain to:
- Keep track of the time, date, and content of your conversational exchanges.
- Keeping copies of your sent correspondence is a good idea.
- Make a folder for all of your email correspondence.
If you talk with a claims agent over the phone, write an email to that individual summarizing the conversation or request a transcript.
This documentation will help ensure your insurance company honors your policy to its fullest extent.
Getting Rid of Damaged Items
If you discard the damaged products, you may forfeit your right to reimbursement for the loss. You’ve taken photos and videos, but you’ll need to keep the damaged items so the insurance company can verify the losses.
If someone is hurt on your property, you may assume you are to blame in some manner. Never accept fault, since this may result in your claim being denied by your insurance carrier. Allow the inquiry into what occurred to continue without assigning blame.
Last But Not Least
Time is money when it comes to unexpected closures. The sooner you reopen your doors after a calamity, the higher your prospects of recovery. Panichelle Insurance is here to assist you in getting back on your feet after a mishap, but it is ultimately your obligation to file claims properly.