How to Easily File a Business or Commercial Insurance Claim

Photo: Hortica

Part of the responsibility of owning a business is filing insurance claims. Bad weather, natural disasters, injuries, thefts and equipment failures can all cause losses to your business. And, no doubt, the reality of rising transportation costs, harvest challenges and ongoing hiring issues has given you more than enough to deal with on a daily basis.

Whether you’re dealing with a major challenge or a minor incident, you — or your staff — can play an important role in ensuring the claims process runs smoothly. With your insurer’s preparation and assistance, you can file your next claim with confidence and get your business back up and running faster. To help you, I’ve put together five tips to help you manage your complaints with ease.

Understand your insurance coverage in advance

Before any damage or incident occurs, it is important to know what is covered and what is not covered by your insurance policy. If the language does not seem clear, contact your agent. They will be happy to review your coverage with you to help you better understand how it applies to your business.

Regularly reviewing your plans will also highlight any gaps in coverage you may have and alert you to when you need to track claims.

Contact the competent authorities

When the unexpected happens – and you’ve assessed the damage and protected your employees, customers, and inventory – the recovery process should begin as soon as possible.

• In case of vandalism and theft: Contact local authorities and file a report. If there is no police report on file, some insurance companies will not pay for losses incurred.
• If an employee or customer is injured: seek medical attention as soon as possible on their behalf. If it is a serious injury, call 911.
• If an accident occurs while you are in a company vehicle: Move to a safe place and contact the police. If there are serious injuries, call 911.

Details matter, so gather information and take photos

Taking the time to detail the incident before filing your claim will help expedite your claims process. Provide as much information as possible and double check for accuracy to avoid unnecessary delays later. Use the following checklist as a reference:

• Account name and policy number
• Date, time and location of the incident or damage
• Name and contact details of the person reporting the incident/damage
• Detailed account of what happened and who was involved
• A police report, if there is one

Not surprisingly, photos and videos are a crucial part of any claims process. If security issues are not an issue or additional damage does not occur, take photos and videos before making repairs or cleaning the area so that you have a more accurate record of the damage incurred. Always take more photos or videos than you think you’ll need and make sure the area is well lit. With the camera in hand, remember to take photos and videos that capture:

• The surrounding area from a wide angle
• The affected area from different angles
• Close-ups of the damage

Contact your insurance company to report the claim

Once you have carefully recorded the damage and details of the incident, contact your insurance company to report the claim. The First Notice of Loss (FNOL) is your initial report to your insurance company and initiates your claims process. It is important to act early. Some insurance companies require the FNOL within a certain time frame depending on the insurance plan.

How you submit your claim can also affect the ease of the process, which is why these tips can be so helpful for you and your team. A phone call to your insurance agent could start the process faster. If you submit your complaint via email or an online portal, it may add up to 48 hours for the complaints process to begin. Either way, make sure you have enough documentation to help you.

A claims adjuster will take over and gather additional information to determine your insurance claim settlement amount after the FNOL is complete. Your adjuster will ask you for the detailed information you have collected at this stage.

Document and track

Following a disaster, you must defend your business. Keep good records, duplicate the information, photos and videos you collect, and document your complaint in writing.

Complete an incident report for your business. If it’s not something you normally do as part of your loss control program, it’s important to add it.

• Record all incident details
• Keep an accurate timeline of where you are in the claims process
• Check your report against what the insurance company provides for any errors or inaccuracies
• Bring any discrepancies to the attention of the insurance company as soon as possible
• Contact the company for updates if they have not contacted you

Your insurer is there to help you

Don’t be afraid to rely on the expertise of your insurer. Trained claims professionals will guide you through the claims process and help you determine the vital information you need to file your claim.

Although claims management can be a lengthy process, it certainly doesn’t have to be. That’s why it’s so important to have an insurance provider who knows your business and understands your industry. Insurance protects you and gives you peace of mind, all so you can focus on growing your business, growing the crops your customers love, and planting the seeds with a skilled workforce. happy work.


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