What information is needed to make a claim?

Gathering the right evidence

Before you make a claim, it can be helpful to understand what information will be required by the insurer. This not only makes sure that you can gather all of the correct evidence if an incident occurs, but also helps the insurer process your claim swiftly, to then hopefully result in a successful claim.

This guide takes you through the most common claim types and lists what you need to do and what an insurer may need to see. As a first port of call, the insurer will always as for your name and policy number. Keep in mind that this is just a guide, and the detail that's required by the insurer depends on the type of claim being made.

What's needed for theft claims?

Firstly, we would always recommend you report this to the police immediately upon discovery of an incident. They will give you a Crime Reference Number, which we will be used to check the progress of their investigation.

Some other things that may be needed:

  • Details of the police branch that you reported to e.g. Metropolitan Police – this is needed to check progress in the event recovery may be possible
  • Proof of purchase where possible - this can include images, user manuals or warranty cards, which all help to show that the item(s) were in your ownership
  • Confirmation of the make/model of the item(s) taken and estimated cost at the time of purchase
  • Photos that show forcible entry
  • If the theft involves tools, you'll need to provide confirmation of where the tools were kept overnight
  • Confirmation of whether you’re VAT registered

What's needed for accidental damage or lost items claims?

It’s incredibly frustrating if you’ve dropped a camera lens, spilled a drink over your laptop or lost your company phone, but these are all things that your insurance can potentially help with. To start your claim, you'll need to confirm and provide:

  • When you last had the item(s)
  • Proof of purchase where possible - this can include images, user manuals or warranty cards
  • The make/model of the item(s) you’ve misplaced or damaged
  • An estimate of how much the item(s) cost at the time of purchase
  • Whether you’re VAT registered
  • Photos showing any damage
  • Evidence that shows that the item is beyond repair – this can be an email from a repair shop, or a quote showing the cost of repair to the item(s) original condition

For accidental damage claims, it’s important to keep in mind that your insurance will not cover daily wear and tear for any items. As such, if your item has reached the end of its natural life,this is not something that would make an insurable claim.

What's needed for professional negligence and Directors' and Officers' claims?

As a first port of call, in the event of any allegations you should notify your insurers immediately and never make any admission of liability or raise a payment in respect of a potential claim.

You'll also need to confirm and provide:

  • The date of the incident - this is particularly important in professional negligence cases as there may be potential to run a ‘limitation defence’ on your behalf if the date of breach of contract, or the date of “damage” was more than 6 years ago
  • Details about what happened – you to be specific here and include why your services were engaged, what was agreed, who did you agree to provide services for and what the relationship between you and your client was
  • A copy of any contract between you and the affected party to understand what terms were agreed and in particular any service levels
  • Copies of all correspondence exchanged to date – it may be necessary for us to review a full copy of any file you may hold on the matter as a great deal can be deduced from attendance notes, emails or billing narratives
  • Confirmation about whether any other third parties were involved, for example solicitors, an accountant or a developer - naturally this may give rise to an argument that another party contributed to any losses suffered

What's needed for cyber crime claims?

Cyber crime claims can be intimidating, but the below steps are quick and easy to undertake and will ensure that things can be progressed quickly.

  • Firstly, contact should be made with Action Fraud immediately. There is also a 24-hour phone line if you need to speak to someone, which you can reach by calling 0300 123 2040. When you make the claim, you will need to confirm the date you reported the incident and the claim number from Action Fraud
  • If you run a business and you suspect that data has been stolen, you must also make sure that you’ve reported the situation to the Information Commissioner's Office. Again, you'll need to confirm the date you reported the incident and the claim number provided by them
  • If you suspect there is a risk that your finances may be vulnerable, it’s good practice to also speak to your bank

You'll also need to confirm and provide:

  • Details about what happened and when you believe the incident took place
  • What systems have been affected and/or targeted (to the best of your knowledge)
  • Who has been affected, in some instances it's possible to determine if specific sensitive data has been collected by a hacker and thereafter advise the potentially affected parties that their data has been compromised
  • Whether the business is still able to run or operate - this gives an idea of whether there are likely to be significant effects on your ability to go about your day-to-day activities as a business

Discover more about making a claim

Our business insurance claims guides answer the questions you may have about making a claim in detail, so you have all the right information should you need to claim.

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