Making a business insurance claim, is a nerve-wracking experience for the best of us, but there are things you can do to ease the situation. To help make your experience as smooth as possible, we caught up with Josh, who leads Superscript’s customer success team, and has years of claims experience, to share a little of his wisdom.
How to be prepared
When you’re busy, it can be tempting to rush an insurance purchase, basing your decision mainly on price. While cost is of course a factor, it’s not necessarily a good way to approach getting the right insurance fit for your business - and certainly isn’t the only factor you should be taking into account. So, here are some key things to bear in mind when buying any type of insurance:
Get the right policy to meet your needs
It sounds simple, but it’s easy to be seduced by the price of a policy, without taking the time to properly understand what it covers and whether it’s actually suited to your needs. At Superscript, we do our utmost to help you make the right decision, by asking qualifying questions. So, whether you’re buying cover online, or over the phone, it’s important to answer these questions accurately - they’re there to make sure that you end up with the right cover. Making guesses, or making up answers is a sure way to end up with cover that isn’t going to protect you.
Pay attention to the small print
The devil’s in the detail - and this is certainly the case with insurance small print. As lots of complex calculation around risk goes into insurance, the terms and conditions are inevitably quite detailed. The small print contains additional important details which are certainly not something to breeze through. It’s best, therefore, to invest the time early on to make sure that you read through and understand all the small print, rather than paying for something that won’t serve its purpose.
Check the exclusions. Most policies will comes with some exclusions - situations in which you’d be unable to make a claim. It’s important to understand what these exclusions are in relation to your policy. For example, if you were a freelance consultant working with clients in the US, you’d need your professional indemnity policy to cover this. If your policy were to exclude work for clients abroad, it would be useless you to.
Check for any excess. Many policies do come with an excess (also sometimes referred to as the deductible). This is an amount you’d need to pay towards a claim. A high excess will often mean a lower premium, or a lower excess a higher premium. This is to be expected, but it’s worth double-checking that you’re comfortable with the amount you’ll need to contribute in the event of a claim.
Keep all relevant records. These will vary according to the type of cover you’ve taken out, but it’s worth looking into the claims processes in advance, to gain an understanding of any business records you may need to provide as evidence in the event of a claim, just to make sure you’re filing everything you’d need.
What to do when making an insurance claim
Claim within the required time frame. You’ll often be able to find this out within your policy wording, but it’s a good idea to get in touch with your insurance company to confirm this, and to check the process. ‘The sooner, the better’ is the best mantra to follow.
Note that for some types of claims - a data breach, for example, it’s best to get in touch with your insurer even if there’s only a slight indication that something has happened (and it doesn’t necessarily come to a claim).
Don’t acknowledge any fault. When it comes to making a claim, it’s best to stay neutral, and to avoid admitting to being at fault. It’s important not to admit any liability to a third party until - and unless - you’ve been told you can do so by the insurer. If you admit to being at fault without the insurer's go-ahead, it could negatively affect your claims process.
Collect all required evidence and information. The evidence and information required will vary depending on the nature of your claim. Your policy wording will often summarise what you need to provide the insurer, but if in any doubt, it’s best to find out directly. You’ll often need to collect things like photographic evidence of damage, proof of ownership (receipts), police reports (if applicable). E.g. receipts or invoices for any equipment you need.
Keep track of all communications. While the process should be seamlessly managed by the insurer, it’s always a good idea to keep on top of things, playing an active role in keeping track of the progress of your claim. If things don’t meet your expectations, you’ll want as much proof as possible in order to make a complaint to the insurer, or even to the Ombudsman, if it comes to it.
Don’t make decisions without guidance. It may seem practical to just go ahead and pay for a repair or replacement, with the expectation that the insurer will reimburse you later, but this isn’t a good idea and could negatively impact your claim. It’s important to hold off until you have agreement in writing from the insurer, before making any claims-related payments.
So, there you have it: yes, it's stressful, but there are things you can do to put your best foot forward in the event of a claim.
At Superscript, we understand that time is of the essence for businesses when they need to make a claim. For small claims, we aim to process everything within a couple of days (or even less) of receiving the supporting information. For more complex claims, the process can sometimes take longer, but we’re committed to making sure the process is as stress-free as possible.