How To File a Business Insurance Claim
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Business insurance claims are requests that policyholders make to their insurance policy providers after a company loss or incident.
There are many different causes of business losses. Many business owners may be able to recover for their damages through their providing insurance company. These claims may be tricky, especially for first-time filers. Fortunately, there are some helpful steps that businesses can take when beginning the filing process.
DETERMINE WHAT TYPE OF BUSINESS INSURANCE CLAIM TO FILE
There are many different types of insurance claims that businesses can file to cover the costs related to an accident or disaster. When filing a business insurance claim, familiarize yourself with the different types of claims. Learning the different types of claims and the best way to file them can save you and your business time in the event of an accident or financial loss. According to experts, the most common types of insurance claims are as follows:
Burglary and Theft
Statistically, burglary and theft are the most common commercial insurance claims filed by businesses. These types of claims are frequently filed by retail, commercial, and manufacturing businesses because these industries typically have more liquid assets on hand. Victims can claim any damages associated with the theft, including the cost of any inflicted property damage or stolen merchandise.
Water and Freezing Damage
Water-related damages are the second most common type of insurance claim filed by companies. Water-related damages can be caused by burst pipes, flooding, or natural disasters. For these claims, your insurance may be able to cover the cost of the damage, including expenses related to fixing any structural issues.
Wind and Hail Damage
Any part of the world can be affected my heavy storms. Highspeed winds can bring trees and branches down onto buildings, causing structural damage or outages. Hail can break windows or damage roofs. Your insurance policy may be able to compensate you for any damages incurred during these storms.
Fire is a major threat to businesses, especially in certain parts of the country. Fires are another common insurance claim type in many industries. Your insurance policy may be able to cover any financial loss related to a fire, including fixing buildings or replacing damaged equipment.
Customer Slip and Falls
Slip and falls are a common personal injury claim for customers. When businesses are sued for a customer’s injuries, the results can be financially devastating, especially for small businesses. Your general liability insurance policy may cover your business from the financial losses caused by a customer slipping and falling on your commercial property.
Customer Injury and Property Damage
Similar to customer slip and falls, your general liability insurance policy may also cover any accidents that caused personal injury or property damage to a customer. General liability insurance can help cover the costs of related medical expenses, repairs, and legal fees.
If a product that your company manufactured is faulty, you may be held liable for any subsequent injuries or illnesses. Without the proper insurance coverage, your business may go bankrupt trying to litigate any resulting claims. General liability insurance and product liability insurance policies can help your business cover any risks associated with product liability.
Employees may be struck with falling or loose objects in workplace accidents. These accidents are especially common in construction and manufacturing jobs. In many states, businesses are required to purchase workers compensation insurance to guarantee employee protection in these situations. These insurance policies can also protect businesses from significant liability.
A reputational harm claim is necessary when an individual or company sues your company for causing them reputational damage. These types of claims are most common in technology and media organizations. Professional liability insurance policies may be able to protect your business against these risks.
Auto accidents are common. If your company’s vehicle is involved in an accident, you may be held liable for any vehicle damage or injury. A commercial automobile insurance policy may help protect your company’s vehicles and employees.
Depending on the type of business insurance claim you need to file, you may be required to provide different types of evidence or documentation. Knowing what type of insurance claim applies to your situation may help your company save time and money when approaching the filing process. Filing a business insurance claim can prove difficult to many business owners, especially if you are claiming a substantial amount of damages. Thus, it may be beneficial to contact an insurance claim attorney who may be able to help you navigate the filing process more efficiently.
RECORD YOUR COMPANY’S DAMAGES
Documentation and evidence is important when filing a business insurance claim. Business owners are usually responsible for proving their losses to their insurance company. Fortunately, proving your business’s losses can be simple if you begin documenting immediately after the accident.
There are many different types of documentation that you can use to prove your damages. Business owners should present the following types of documentation, if available, to their insurance company immediately following an incident:
- Police reports
- Incident reports
- Internal accident reports
- Medical evaluations
- Medical bills
- Internal notes
- Witness statements
- Repair costs
- Projected expenses
Proper documentation is key to a successful business insurance claim. Due to the serious implications of business losses, company owners should act proactively and be prepared for unexpected accidents. When filing a claim, business owners bear the burden of proving their assertions and losses with documentation and statements. Gathering this evidence may be difficult, especially if you are unfamiliar with the filing process. Fortunately, a business insurance claim attorney may be able to help ease you through the process. If your business was recently affected by a workplace disaster or accident, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to help expediate your claim.
CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE PROVIDER
Initially after an accident, policyholders should carefully review their policies. Most policies contain explicit language that lays out the extent of the policy’s coverage. Most policies also contain a section outlining which damages and events trigger or exclude coverage. Typically, business owner responsibilities are also included in the plain language of these insurance policies. Unbeknownst to many, some policies impose additional obligations onto holders. Thus, policyholders should be aware of their particular policy’s limits and requirements to avoid additional issues later down the road.
Typically, policyholders are required to contact their insurance provider as soon as it is practical to do so. In modern times, many companies offer online claim management platforms that may make the filing process even easier. Some claims can take as little as an hour, while more complex claims can take many weeks to complete.
When filing, business owners should utilize their insurance provider’s claim filing form. After completing the provided forms, you should do your best to attach all relevant documentation to the claim. Most insurance companies provide specific sections to attach additional documentation. If you fail to provide the appropriate information, you may unknowingly delay the progress of your claim.
What to do after filing your claim
After filing your initial claim, you should work with a claims adjuster to ensure that all of your expenses are adequately included in your claim. Business owners may be required to allow the adjuster onto their property to evaluate the damages firsthand. Your claim adjuster may also contact any witnesses for statements of the event.
Prior to scheduling a meeting with a claims adjuster, you should prepare for the inspection and avoid altering the scene of the accident. Notably, many policies contain a duty to defend clause, which requires your insurer to defend you in all claims, even when the claims are without merit. This language allows the insurer to take control of the litigation and settlement process. Without this language, you may be solely responsible for any subsequent litigation. Filing a business insurance claim can require substantial amounts of time and effort; hiring an attorney may reduce the burden of this process.
GET HELP FROM ZINDA’S BUSINESS INSURANCE CLAIM ATTORNEYS
Business accidents can be devastating for companies, especially smaller ones with fewer resources to spare. Losses can burden businesses financially, especially if owners are unaware of what to do in these situations. When filing a claim, there are many factors that owners should consider before choosing a particular avenue of redress. Business owners should be careful when filing their claim as to avoid being responsible for their losses. Business insurance claims can require extensive legal analysis and research, depending on the complexity of the accident. If your business recently suffered a loss, you should contact an insurance attorney as soon as possible. An experienced insurance attorney may be able to help you seek legal recourse, evaluate your claim, and negotiate a fair settlement with your provider.
At Zinda Law Group, we have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you pursue the highest compensation possible. Zinda Law Group may be able to provide you with personalized and quality consultation about the specifics of your legal claim. The sooner you contact our office, the better we may be able to serve you.
If your business was recently damaged or involved in an accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our insurance claim lawyers. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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