When your client suffers a loss and needs to file a small business insurance claim, their claim experience can be made much better by advising them through the following important steps.
Report the loss as soon as possible
Every claim is investigated, even if the cause, circumstances, and damage seem obvious. An investigation helps define the details and scope of the loss, so the policyholder and carrier can come to an agreement about compensation for the claim.
While some insurance policies allow claims to be filed up to a year after the date of loss, reporting damage as soon as possible helps ensure the loss conditions are preserved. When the investigative details are allowed to fade over time, settlement dollars can fade with it.
If your client reaches out to you to report a loss, you can advise them to contact the insurance carrier directly, or you can file the claim on their behalf. Be sure to have on hand the:
- Insured’s name, as it appears on the policy
- Carrier name, policy number and period
- Date, location, and description of loss
Defend against additional damage
The last thing your client needs is damage on top of damage. Advise them to document the loss with either pictures or video, and take all reasonable measures to prevent additional damage:
- Tarp damaged roofs
- Remove water
- Board up doors, windows and other entry points
- Secure all property
- Prevent unauthorized entry
Contact local law enforcement, if there is any reason to suspect the loss was the result of a crime. Criminal investigation involves more than a loss investigation, and each type of investigation should be conducted by properly trained experts.
Read and abide by all duties in the policy
A small business insurance policy is a legally binding contract that requires both the insurance carrier and policyholder to complete specific obligations, within specific timeframes, both to maintain the policy and to claim against it. Ensure that your client reads, understands, and abides by each of these obligations, outlined in their Coterie policy under, “Duties Following a Loss,” on page 25 in this sample business owners policy.
Get world-class claim service from a world-class claims team
Claims is where Coterie fulfills its promise to protect small businesses—and our claims service is ranked world class by NPS. Write small business with confidence knowing if your client suffers a loss, our team is right here to make sure they have the best claims experience possible.