As a small business owner, you may try to do everything you can to protect your business. Most people believe that if they have a good commercial policy for their business, they will be fully covered in case an unfortunate event occurs for which their company is held financially responsible. However, this isn't always the case, and sometimes you may not always be fully covered. It's important that you know how to improve your chances of receiving all of the compensation you deserve.
The following are a few common mistakes that small business owners make while filing claims, which you should be aware of.
The biggest mistake you can make as a business owner is not knowing your commercial insurance policy. You must learn as much as you can about your policy, including your coverage limits and the different perils. If there is anything you do not understand, set up an appointment with your insurance agent, and don't stop until you have all of your questions answered to your satisfaction.
Another mistake you can make as a business owner is to delay notifying your insurance agent when an accident occurs. Not reporting an accident or injury can result in your claim being denied or receiving only part of what you would have received if you had filed immediately after the event. If an accident of any kind occurs, you should call 911 first and your insurance agent second.
Documentation is the key to winning any case. Often, a business owner may forget to document valuable evidence when dealing with the immediate aftermath of an accident. It's essential, however, to go back to the scene of the accident and take as many notes as possible. Ask for written statements. Take pictures of the location and any physical damage that may be present.
During the clean-up of an accident, many business owners mistakenly throw away damaged items without realizing their importance as possible evidence. If you have any type of accident on your company's property, do not dispose of anything that was damaged or even remotely related to the event. You should photograph each item and document even the smallest amount of damage.
Whether you are acting on behalf of yourself or your business, you must never admit fault. Admitting fault will result in your company, or you, taking full financial responsibility. There may be times when you or your company are not at fault. It's important to take a look at all of the damage so that you know what really happened and whether you are responsible for any damage caused.
There are times when you may receive less compensation than what you feel is sufficient. Don't be afraid to defend your claim. You may be able to negotiate a more favorable payout, especially if you can back up your argument with accurate and verifiable documentation.
If you wish to have your commercial insurance reviewed or feel it may no longer be sufficient, contact our agents at Bell Black Insurance. We will evaluate your policy to make sure you have enough coverage to meet your needs.