Your first step in filing a business insurance claim is to contact your insurance agent. With the computer software provided by many companies, your agent can submit a claim for you online, greatly decreasing the response time from the company. In some cases, particularly with workman’s compensation insurance, you have either been previously given a packet of forms in case of a claim, or a special 800 number to call in claims after they have occurred. Work comp claims are required to be reported within 24 hours of their occurrence.
When reporting the claim, give the time and date that it occurred. Describe what happened, if there were any injuries or property damage that occurred, and what caused the claim. Provide other details as requested by your agent. Depending on the type of claim and the policy it falls under, your agent may need to request a variety of information.
Once your agent gets the claim report filled in and submitted, you will be contacted by either the claims adjustor at the company, or an outside adjustor who will come to your place of business to conduct an investigation. Outside adjusters are more likely for claims involving injuries or severe damages.
Once the adjustor is assigned, you will deal with that person on the claim. They will ask to be provided with any estimates or repair, bills that are a result of the claim and an inventory of what may have been lost. If you have a mercantile business, it is important that you have good records of your inventory and purchase costs so you can provide it to the company. Keeping a set of records somewhere safe and away from your place of business would be ideal in case the worst happens.
Claims involving injury to another person or to an employee will require information to be forwarded on the medical bills incurred. Once the adjustor has the hospital and doctor’s information, they will usually communicate directly.
If you cannot wait for an adjustor to get to your place of business before you have to clean up or repair damages, take pictures for documentation. Insurance policies require you to try and prevent further loss. This might mean moving business possessions into storage or boarding up broken windows. Inform the adjustor on the actions you plan to take so that there is no conflict with the insurance company. Temporary repairs are often approved and the cost of which might even be recoverable.