What You Should Have in Preparation for Your Insurance Claim
Filing an insurance claim can seem like a daunting task. For many business owners, reliving the events that led to the claim – whether an accident involving one of your commercial vehicles, an on-the-job injury to one of your employees, or anything in between – can be stressful enough. As a result, we’re often met with lots of questions: What information do I need to have on hand? What questions will I get asked? How late is too late to file a claim?
As a general rule, the sooner you file a claim, the better. Typically, you want to file your claim immediately after the incident because delays up front can cause delays throughout the entire claims process.
To get the process started, we must first establish the type of insurance claim you’re looking to file. The most common business insurance claims are:
- General liability
- Commercial vehicle
- Errors and omissions
- Employment practices
- Workers compensation
Next, where applicable, you’ll want to take note of all damages that may have been sustained to your own business property or any third-party assets, and you’ll need to keep all of your evidence together in a controlled, organized manner. Doing so will help to ensure all problems are resolved efficiently. This means creating one comprehensive file of all documents and photos that are related to the incident, and making sure they are easily accessible.
If, at any point, you contacted emergency services because the damages sustained were so severe, or someone was injured, or there is an ongoing hazard as a result of the incident, make sure to retain a copy of the police report. You’ll want to have a copy for your own records, and you’ll need an additional one for the insurance company as well.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, talk to your insurance agent. Opening up the lines of communication with your agent will increase your chances for the best possible outcomes. Your agent will ask you to send over all of the reports and evidence you collected that support your claim, and they will help you complete any paperwork necessary to begin the claims process.
Your agent is also your greatest resource for answering any questions you may have related to your claim, including:
- What’s covered under the policy?
- Is this particular incident covered?
- What if a lawsuit is filed?
- What are the next steps?
Once your claim is in the hands of your agent, you may consider taking a step back to start thinking about the safety measures you can put in place to prevent any further claims going forward. By making an appointment with a risk management team, they can help you identify any steps available that you can take to reduce the chances of a similar risk in the future. Depending on the specifics of your particular incident, you may be advised to consider security cameras, a standardized reporting system, and/or an evacuation plan to keep your business, your employees and your assets as protected as possible.
For additional help preparing a claim, or for more information on how to protect your business from future claims, contact SWZ Insurance today to schedule a consultation.