Many business owners make costly mistakes when filing commercial insurance claims. Such mistakes may seem minor but can have serious consequences like delayed settlements or even denial. Here are the top five mistakes to avoid when making a business insurance claim in Mt. Ephraim, NJ:
Failing to Notify Your Insurance Provider Immediately
Immediately after an accident or a covered loss occurs at your business, the first step should be to notify your insurer. This is important for two apparent reasons. First, the insurance adjusters find it easy to assess and adjust the claims since the evidence is still fresh. Often, physical evidence and witness memories fade over time. Secondly, most commercial insurance policies have a condition of timely notice whenever an insured loss occurs, failure to which the claim may be denied.
Inconsistent record keeping can delay the processing of your claim. Always record the time, date, and statements of any witnesses or verbal conversations. Keep all the relevant documents in a single file for ease of access. Any emailed documents should also be printed out and filed. When you have verbal conversations with an insurance representative, be sure to send a summary of the conversation on email for recordkeeping purposes. Additionally, you can take as many pictures of the accident scene as possible as a proof of the severity of the loss.
Failing to Retain the Damaged Property
If a fire or other perils damaged property at your business premises, you might be tempted to discard it. Don’t do that. Instead, leave the property in its rusty status until an insurance adjuster has inspected it. However, if the item is insured under the commercial property damage, you’re obligated to protect it from further damage. For instance, if it’s a roof that is damaged by a windstorm, you can protect the building from further water damage by covering the blown part with some tarp or a similar material.
Failing to Notify the Police
Some commercial insurance policies require you to notify the police whenever a covered peril strikes, otherwise you’ll violate the terms of the policy. Read through your policy document to familiarize yourself with all the requirements. Vandalism is generally prohibited by law in New Jersey and every other state. So, most insurers will not take it lightly when you file a claim without first calling the police.
Paying Third-Party Claims from your Pocket
Some business owners are sometimes tempted to compensate third parties who incur minor injuries within their premises out of pocket. This can be a bad idea because of two reasons. First, injuries may seem minor at the time of the accident but can quickly escalate into major complications in the future. Secondly, many commercial insurance policies bar you from voluntarily making payments, incurring expenses, or assuming responsibility without the consent of your insurer. So, making payments to someone who may later file a claim or lawsuit against you will mean that your claim will be denied on the grounds of violation of insurance terms.
Avoid these five mistakes to quicken your insurance claim process. Remember that Marino Agency Inc. and every other insurer will go by the evidence provided on the ground. So, keep your documentation clear and begin the claim process as early as possible when the evidence is still fresh. Marino Agency Inc. provides affordable and effective commercial insurance policies in Mt. Ephraim, NJ and the surrounding areas. Contact us today for a quote.