How To Make a Shop Insurance Claim – Step By Step
Every shop owner dreads the thought of needing to make a claim on their shop insurance. If you ever have to claim insurance for an event, it is hard to know who to contact first, especially if you have never made a claim before.
You can be reassured that no matter how stressful your situation is, your shop insurance provider is there to support you throughout the process and will do everything they can to make things easier for you.
We all know that disasters can happen that are out of our control, so when they affect your business, it can help to know what to do to make a claim so you can get your shop up and running ASAP.
In this guide, we discuss the steps you need to take to claim on your shop insurance and to understand what you can claim for so you don’t end up paying out of your own pocket for repairs or replacement stock that your insurance will cover.
Step 1: Examine your policy: do you have a claim?
Your shop insurance policy will contain details of what coverage you have, so you should read through your policy to make sure that what you need help with is covered. For example, it is usual to include flood, fire and theft protection, but what if your shop was vandalised and your stock was damaged instead of stolen?
Checking that your shop insurance policy includes vandalism and stock damage will make it clear whether you can make a claim. Some shop owners have believed that their stock wasn’t covered and have paid out of pocket to replace their inventory, only to find later that they could have made a claim to cover the costs of replacement stock.
No two shop insurance policies will be the same, so it can help to understand the terms, conditions and requirements or clauses that may affect your claim.
Step 2: Report your shop insurance claim immediately
The shock of having a major event involving your shop can be overwhelming. This can often lead to the shop owner delaying making a claim to cover the cost of damages. You should report your shop insurance claim without delay, as leaving it too long could make the situation worse.
For example, if your shop were broken into, the thieves or vandals would have caused a lot of damage, and your shop will be unsecured against further damage. This means that more damage may be done to your property by vandals or looters that aren’t related to the original incident, which is the one your shop insurance provider will be willing to cover.
The quicker you report the incident and make an insurance claim, the faster your policy paperwork with be filed. This means that your shop insurance company can investigate and assess your claim while it is still fresh and work alongside the police if needed.
Step 3: Assess the damages, and photograph the evidence
It is best to document the damage to your shop as soon as possible. It can help to photograph the evidence at the scene to make it easier for your insurance assessor to process your claim. While it may be tempting to start cleaning up the mess and putting things right, you should leave the evidence alone until after the police and your insurer have investigated the scene and given you the go-ahead to start cleaning up.
If there is damage, such as burst pipes, leaking gas or electrical shock risks, these will need repairing and made safe by professionals before you should attempt any DIY clean-up operations. While photographic evidence of the damage is a valuable backup for your claim, don’t risk your life or physical health when gathering photographic evidence.
Making a list of your damaged inventory and equipment and lost stock helps assess your costs, but remember to work out repair costs and lost income and revenue caused by the incident. It can help to protect yourself with business interruption insurance to cover expenses that you will still need to pay while your shop is out of action, such as your shop rent and business rates, for example.
Step 4: Fill in the paperwork
Once you have notified your insurance provider and gathered your evidence, you will need to complete your insurance claim paperwork. You should work closely with your insurance provider to ask for advice or guidance on filling out the paperwork if required, as they are a great source of knowledge and support.
Some insurance terminology can be confusing, so it can help to get support from your insurance provider if you are struggling to complete your claim paperwork. Your insurer will understand that you will be going through a very stressful time, so they can help you avoid making any mistakes on your paperwork that could cause delays or problems with its processing.
Step 5: Track your claim progress
It can help put your mind at ease to keep in regular contact with your claims adjuster to keep track of the progress of your claim. Your claims adjuster is there to help support you and answer any questions you have about the process.
Keeping track of your claim can also help you with your timetable for damage repair or refurbishments to get your shop open and trading once again. Depending on your finances, you may want to pay upfront for some repairs to your shop to get things moving quickly, but it can be very reassuring to know when your insurance claim will be finalised so you can reimburse any up-front costs you have paid out of your own pocket.
Unforeseen events can happen to any shop owner, so the best way to protect yourself is by taking out the most appropriate commercial shop insurance to meet your needs. Shop insurance quotes can vary significantly from one provider to another, so the easiest way to find a cost-effective deal that meets your individual shop needs is to compare quotes with Brisco Business Insurance.
If you need any help and guidance choosing the right insurance for your type of shop, our dedicated team of business insurance brokers can help narrow down the right deal for you. We have years of industry know-how and experience that you can take advantage of to get the best possible value from leading shop insurance UK providers. When it comes to business insurance, trust Brisco Business to provide you with tailored solutions.
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