Protect Yourself

The sad but true fact in the business insurance industry is that there are often unpleasant surprises one will face whenever he or she makes an insurance claim. Most insurance companies will go above and beyond to advertise how fast, generous, understanding and kind they are when attempting to sell you one of their policies, and this kindness and patience may continue for as long as you make your insurance premium payments on time without asking for anything in return. However, once a claim is made, consumers learn that many times there are limits to such insurer friendliness.

In order to ensure you will have a professional and caring business insurance company by your side should you need to make a claim, here are some tips to follow:

Before you buy any business insurance policy, take careful notes. Write down everything the insurance agent informs you about the specific coverage you are buying. Save all notes you take in a file, along with your business insurance policy, as well as any promotional material you are given or shown when you purchase the policy.

Read the entire completed application form yourself, instead of just having the agent read it to you. Ascertain that your answers are truthful and thorough. Any lies made on an application can only come back to hurt you in the long run. If the business insurance company finds a basis for asserting that you misrepresented a vital fact on the application, they would then have the right to rescind your policy in its entirety after you make a large claim.

You will also want to see the business insurance policy before you purchase it, in order to completely understand key points, such as deductibles, exclusions, and limitations.

When you have an actual claim, get out all those papers you carefully saved. Review all the business insurance policy and notes before you attempt to speak with a company representative. Understand everything there is to know about complex coverage, exclusions, and limitations provisions. This will help lessen the likelihood of you saying something that the insurance company could turn around into a basis for denying the claim.

Gather all materials that will help you build evidence and prove your claim. Be sure to photograph your loss and keep records of it.

As a business insurance policy holder, there are some common mistakes to avoid when making a claim:

  1. Exaggerate any aspect of a claim
  2. Accept the business insurance’s company’s expert evaluations of the losses without first getting an independent expert’s estimates
  3. Submit to what is known as an “examination under oath” by the company without first contacting an attorney or obtaining legal advice, and
  4. Sign an insurance company release or check without first verifying that the amount is full and correct

When you make a claim, it is an excellent idea to start a log for the claim you are making. Write down all of the pertinent details, including the date, time, and a thorough summary of every telephone call or written communication you have had with the business insurance company representatives. Jot down the name, title, and direct telephone line of each and every person at the insurance company with whom you have made contact.

The reason for the importance of a log is due to the fact that several business insurance companies frequently switch adjusters on claims. As a policy holder, you will need sufficient evidence of everything that was said or done, as well as when and by whom, throughout the handling of the claim. Keeping notes, or keeping a log will also make it more difficult for the insurance company to blame any delay on the claim on you.

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