At what time is insurance needed the most? When a claim occurs and you need your insurance company or broker to assist you and keep your business running.
For the majority of people insurance is only thought about once a year, at renewal time, and for the most part, people and businesses will just pay the renewal and not expect to use their insurance at all. Insurance keeps you covered in the event that something goes wrong and you are not left significantly out of pocket. You need the right policy and the right people working with you to get your claim paid and not leave you out of pocket.
But what happens when the day comes when you need to use your insurance.
Any incident that occurs can make or break a business, and having your insurer or broker on side and assisting is vitally important to ensure that the claim is resolved, the third party is kept happy and you are able to continue your business with minimal fuss or problems.
So how do you ensure that your claim is progressing and handled the way it should be. The best thing you can do in a claim is be open and honest and provide information and documentation that is requested of you.
Be honest when completing your claim form or providing information about your claim. There may be an assessor appointed to your claim who has been appointed by the insurer to get details of the claim, and to ensure the smooth and efficient handling of your claim. They can work with you to ensure your repairs are organised, and have been done to a suitable standard that you accept.
“Third parties have up to seven years to claim for damages or incidents.”
Some people in the event of claims try and stretch the truth, or claim for extra things that may not have been damaged or taken. This is not a good idea as it normally gets found out that you are trying to claim for extras. Keep in mind that when you are dealing with claims staff, you are dealing with people who handle claims daily. They know what to expect and can tell if someone is stretching the truth. This will only open you up to further investigation, delays and potential claim denial.
There are many ways you can assist in fast tracking a claim
At the immediate time of the incident try and get as much information as possible. Your phone is your key asset and can take many photos of the incident, what has been damaged, third party property, or third party licences.
Write down what has happened
Once the incident has occurred, first and foremost try and make sure everything and everyone is okay. Depending on the incident you may go in to shock or forget what has and how it happened. Therefore, when it is fresh in your mind, write down a detailed report of the incident. Remember, third parties have up to seven years to claim for damages or incidents.
Try and rectify the situation
In some situations you may be able to minimise the loss by taking steps to prevent further damage, or for the damage of getting worse. This may mean patching or tarping up a roof to avoid further water damage or drying carpet out so that water damage does not spread. Insurers like to see this and also assists in prompt claims assessment and settlement.
A claim may require invoices, quotes, specialist reports (engineering, Police) etc. Keep all of this documentation and forward it to your broker or insurer. This can assist to expedite the claim settlement in most cases.
You have your insurance for a reason and have experts there to help you when needed. Your insurance pays for itself, and then some in the event of a claim.
It can make or break your business and in many cases we have seen businesses grow larger once their claim has been suitably handled. That’s why you need to have the right policy, and the right people working for you in the event of a claim.
For assistance with any of your insurance needs contact the team at Fitzpatrick & Co. on (03) 8544 1600 or send an email at [email protected]