Six Steps To Take When Filing An Insurance Claim

Your small business insurance may cover data breaches, auto accidents and weather damage. To get reimbursed, though, you need to file a claim. Use these six steps to ensure your insurance claim is processed quickly and properly.

1. Contact your insurance agent immediately.

Before you touch anything, contact your insurance agent. He or she needs to see the the full picture of the damage in order to give you all the benefits to which you are entitled. Rest assured that most insurance companies employ quick-response teams that specialize in assessing damages and filing claims quickly.

2. Document all damages.

In some cases, you may need to move inventory or make repairs right away to prevent further damage. For instance, if the water line breaks and floods your office, go ahead and move furniture and equipment. Just be sure to always take pictures or a video before you move or fix anything. Even small details such as where a chair was sitting when the office flooded could be an important factor in ensuring you receive the full insurance benefit.

3. Assemble witnesses.

Eye-witness accounts of accidents and other events affect your insurance claim. Ask any witnesses to share what they saw. Their testimony verifies the event and can help you prove your case with the insurance company.

4. Save all damaged good.

The moldy insulation that caused a company-wide illness or the faulty ladder that caused an employee to break her leg is evidence. Instead of tossing damaged goods into the trash, save them for the insurance agent to inspect. These items can affect your insurance claim.

5. Know what your policy covers.

While you have a basic understanding of your business property or auto insurance policies, your coverage might not cover damages caused by natural disasters or accidents involving personal vehicles. You certainly can call your insurance agent to verify coverage, but also understand your policy. You’ll save valuable time if you skip the claims process for any damages not covered by your business insurance policies.

6. Appeal an unfair insurance estimate.

Insurance agents are on your side, but they also have to report to the insurance underwriter. That’s why you may get an estimate for damages that’s lower than what you expected. In this case, you can appeal the decision. Ask for a second opinion from an impartial party as you get the amount you deserve.

Take these six steps when you file an insurance claim. They help you and your agent process the claim as quickly as possible so you can return to business as normal. Why not take time right now, though, to review your business insurance policies. Ensure they provide adequate coverage for your needs.
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