With hurricanes and other natural disasters being more frequent than ever, and things like theft and vandalism being ever present, a lot of business owners are left wondering whether the insurance they have will cover potential losses. In the chaos that comes after these kinds of incidents, it can be pretty easy to make mistakes when chasing up an insurance claim. Here are some of the most common ones you need to avoid.
Putting Off Contacting Your Insurer
If your commercial property gets damaged, whether it’s equipment, stock or the premises itself, then you may be inclined to start clearing things up and dealing with repairs before contacting their insurer, and having a representative come in to assess the damages. While I understand the logic here, putting off contacting your insurer can really confuse the situation in terms of how bad the damage is. It can also mean that the work you organised or paid for will be disallowed if it preceded an insurer’s inspection. Fortunately, in the case of a natural disaster or some freak incident like a fire, most insurers will have a quick-response team they can send out to the site immediately.
Failing to Document the Damage. All of It!
In many cases when commercial property takes on damage, the repairs have to start as soon as possible in order to minimise the risk of any additional damage. Failing this, equipment can become exposed to the elements, and may have to be moved to a different location. If there’s no way you can wait around for an investigator, then it’s extremely important that you document all the damage before anything else. If, for example, if you wanted to file a commercial hail insurance claim to recoup losses against property damages, but started to work on repairs without taking dated photos or videos of the damage, you could find it very hard to recover your losses later. Before interfering with anything, document all the damage that’s occurred, and don’t give your insurer any room for penny-pinching!
Skim-Reading Your Policy
One of the most common and dangerous myths there are about commercial insurance is that if you have insurance for a property, you’ll be covered for fires, floods, earthquakes and any other possible calamities. If it’s not too late, don’t take this kind of cover as a given! In areas which are prone to earthquakes, for example, coverage for them usually has to come from a separate policy or rider. Flood insurance, on the other hand, is only available through the National Flood Insurance Program. Before you decide to pursue any claims, make sure you go through your policy in detail, and don’t waste your time submitting anything that will be turned around. If you’re reading this post more as a precaution, then now’s a good a time as any to review your business insurance and find out what you’re covered for.
Whether disaster’s already struck your business or you’re just being cautious, be sure to avoid these mistakes when making a claim.
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