Insurance claims for businesses are seen as complex, usually drawn-out procedures with some claims lasting multiple years. Public Loss Adjusters help ensure that this will not happen to you and your business. Enduring a fire, flood or any other type of damage to your commercial property can have disastrous consequences for your business.
That is why you must be prepared and know the correct steps to take. The following information will help outline the main guidelines for dealing with commercial insurance claims. This information outlines the initial steps of checking damage to finalising the claim.
Business Disruption Is Kept To A Minimum
It is imperative that any insurance claims are settled and your property is repaired as soon as possible so that your business can resume normal operations. The longer your business is closed the more income you stand to lose. Public Loss Adjusters understand this and work with the urgency you require whilst maintaining complete professionalism. Our business claims managers will help ensure you are back up and running in the shortest time possible.
Not only can we offer our loss adjusting services at no cost to you*, we will keep the pressure on your insurers to make sure that there are no hold ups with any ongoing insurance claims. As soon as we get approval from your insurer we can recommend one of our preferred nationwide building contractors to reinstate your commercial property and get you back in business.
Ensure The Insurance Policy Has Your Business Covered
In order to restore your property after a disastrous event, you must have taken out an insurance policy prior to the event. You never know when fire, flood or a different source of damage will occur. Due to this ensure your business is covered by insurance at the earliest opportunity. After paying your insurance premiums year after year it is now time to make a claim. Will your insurance provider be so forthcoming with you now that you need them to fulfill the services you have been paying for?
The bad news is that without our help, you could now have to endure a lengthy insurance claims process whilst trying to support yourself financially, not to mention any of your employees that are relying on a wage to support their families.
Insurance Claims Process
Your insurance provider will appoint a loss adjusting company to assess the situation on their behalf. More than likely the appointed loss adjuster will tell you that they are separate and impartial to the insurance company, in reality, this may not be the case after all. Consider this, who is paying for their services? How can an insurance appointed loss adjuster be impartial when their fees are paid for by your insurer?
After a loss adjuster has been appointed your insurer will then present you with an offer which they believe is reasonable. However what they think is reasonable may be a long way off the financial settlement you consider to be acceptable to cover your losses and repair your property to its pre-loss condition.
We Put Your Interests First
Did you know that you have the right to employ an independent loss adjuster to manage your business claim? These independent loss adjusters will be working to protect your interests rather than your insurers. Public Loss Adjusters have a wealth of experience with commercial insurance claims management. It is our goal to ensure that you receive your FULL ENTITLEMENT.
As Loss Adjusters and insurance claims handlers, our main objective is to work for your best interests entirely. PLA’s team of specialists are all professionally accredited in insurance claims negotiations. We are thoroughly confident that we will get YOU the settlement that you are fully entitled to gain from your insurance company. Public Loss Adjusters can represent your business during the whole process of the claim. This takes away the stress you are having to endure.
For Free Claims Help Call Our Team Now On 08000 434 999 | 03337 333 999
Step By Step Guide To Commercial Insurance Claim
When a business suffers from a fire, flood or any other insured event, the immediate results can be disastrous. If you had to submit an insurance claim, would you know what to expect from your insurer? Or know what other help is available?
Public Loss Adjusters have produced this helpful guide to manage your commercial insurance claim. If you are unfortunate enough to be in this situation, we can help by managing the complicated insurance claim on your behalf.
Always Plan Ahead in Case The Worst Happens
First of all, nobody ever expects to be put in this unfortunate situation but it does happen to many businesses! When you receive your insurance documents store them in a safe and secure location preferably off-site.
Most insurance companies will email your insurance policy to you or provide an online portal where you can log in for quick access. If this is the case, make sure you save the email that links to this portal. This will prove invaluable during the insurance claims process. Access to these files will allow your appointed loss adjuster to cover all of your insurance entitlements within your policy.
Make sure you know all the important contact numbers for your insurance company just in case you have to submit a claim. You may also want to keep a record of any out-of-hours contact numbers as well. The best way to do this is by storing them on your mobile phone.
Ensure that your policy is up to date with your current business needs. Keep in mind that your needs may change as your business grows! Ask yourself if you are still fully covered with every change your business makes? Be sure to check your insurance policy.
It is better to ask your insurer if you need to change your policy or not. The last thing you need is to find out that your claims are invalid as you are not covered because your insurance policy is outdated.
If you renew your policy annually or regularly change your insurance provider make sure any contact details you have on file are up to date. When you take out a new policy ensure you are not underinsured if disaster does strike. You must ensure your insurance allows for a claims settlement that will be enough for full restoration.
Address Safety Concerns
After the incident, you are responsible to ensure that your business premises are secure. This will help to prevent further damage, vandalism or theft. You will need to ensure that the property is safe to enter and any immediate dangers are dealt with.
Public Loss Adjusters can help you by recommending local professionals to carry out emergency business repair works. Any emergency repair work will be reimbursed after the insurance claim is settled.
Identifying Damaged Contents
Your insurer may want to examine all damaged items associated with the claim. Keep an inventory of all the contents of the building and take photos of everything including stock. If you have not kept an up to date inventory attempt to find evidence of all items not listed on the contents page.
Some items may be repairable while other items may be cheaper to just replace, this is all depending on repair costs and damage dealt with each item. Remember to not dispose of any items in and around the property unless you are instructed to do so.
Communication is the Key
In the first instance, you should inform your insurance company, even if it is out of hours. If your place of business is rented, you will need to inform your landlord. This is due to the fact that they will also have to get in touch with their own insurers.
Make sure that you inform anyone related to the business of the current situation. This may include customers, staff, suppliers or even other neighbouring businesses. If you are providing services to your customers, reassure them that you can still provide the services that you may be contracted to. If you cannot provide these services explain your situation and let them know as soon as possible.
Know Your Rights Regarding Insurance Claims Management Services
Your insurance provider will generally appoint a loss adjuster to provide them with a full assessment of the damage and their potential liability. After meeting you and evaluating the damage the loss adjuster will then report back to your insurer with recommendations of liability how to move forward with the claim.
Your insurer may appoint a forensic expert who will investigate the cause of the peril. During what could be a lengthy process you may have to wait months to find out if liability will be accepted.
The loss adjuster provided will be employed directly or indirectly by your insurance company. In other words, they will be working for them. If you are not happy or are unsure of the loss adjusters findings there may not be much room for negotiations. Additionally, you probably won’t be experienced enough to know the best course of action to go forward.
Many people do not realise that they are perfectly entitled to appoint their own representation to work on their behalf. This representation is in the form of an independent chartered loss adjusting company who have the experience to negotiate with your insurer on your behalf.
Think about it, your very own loss adjusters will be there to help answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding your insurance claim. Your loss adjuster will be able to go back and forth to your insurer and scrutinise every decision they make.
They will be able to manage the whole claim for you and negotiate the settlement that you are entitled to. Your representative will be able to keep on top of the claim by providing your insurer with all the necessary information they require. In many cases, this can dramatically reduce the time of the claim settlement period.
Mitigation and Interim Payments
At this stage in your claim, your insurer will expect you to do everything you possibly can to mitigate your losses and continue trading.
The insurance claims process may have begun but you may be under tremendous pressure to keep your business afloat. As a business owner, you will still have your day to day responsibilities to your customer, suppliers, and staff.
If your business has had to temporarily close the main aim will be to limit the business disruption and get up and running as soon as possible. During this time, you may have very little cash flow, if any at all so settling your claim quickly is a high priority.
Once liability has been accepted there still may be some way to go before your claim is fully settled. By appointing your own insurance claims management company it will speed up the whole claims process. In many cases, they may even be able to negotiate a much-needed interim payment to keep you afloat whilst your claim is ongoing.
This may help you to replace important items that you need to keep your business running such as machinery and equipment. You may also need help claiming for loss of income if covered within your insurance policy.
Your own appointed loss adjuster may also help you find alternative business premises whilst your claim is ongoing. Appointing your own loss adjuster gives you access to assistance and advice with many of the problems that you will come across.
Appointing a Chartered Surveyor
Once liability has been accepted, insurers will appoint a chartered surveyor to provide a detailed scope of works. If you do not own your business premises, this may be dealt with through your landlord. If this is the case ensure you are kept up to date on all new information.
An independently appointed loss adjuster can approach your insurer to appoint your own independent chartered surveyor too. This can be done to gain an independent scope of costs, not one that may be influenced by the insurance company. Generally, your insurer will agree to cover your independent surveyor’s costs if you have a valid insurance claim.
Settling Insurance Claims
Your insurer should now be aware of the costs needed to proceed with your claim:
- The estimated costs to fully repair the damage to the building including fixtures and fittings
- The costs to replace or repair machinery and other trade contents
- The costs to replace any stock that has perished
- A prediction of business interruption costs
With larger claims, the next stage would be for the appointed surveyor to put the building works out to tender. With medium-sized to smaller claims, insurers will regularly ask the policyholder to take on this responsibility.
Generally, a couple of building contractors would be invited to submit an estimate for the cost of repair work. A company recommended by your insurer may only be working to rates set by your insurer. These insurance rates may not cover the repair costs to its pre-loss standard.
If you have been asked to find your own contractors, any company you contact must be capable of carrying out the restoration. Repairing a property that has suffered water or fire damage is complicated and more of a specialist nature.
It will prove invaluable if a specialist company who are experts in fire and flood restoration are appointed. At Public Loss Adjusters, we only recommend specialist building companies. This is to ensure the works are carried out to the highest standard available within the scope of the costs.
Based on the building estimates submitted, you can now decide on who to appoint to carry out the restoration work. A timescale will then be agreed upon for the works to be completed. This will also give your insurer a better idea of estimating the business interruption part of your claim.
Getting Back to Business
As soon as the building work is completed, you should be prepared to open as a fully operational business again. Most of your claim will now be finalised, however, the business interruption part of the claim could still be awaiting completion.
This may not be finalised until you are operational to the level seen before the incident occurred.
Why Choose Public Loss Adjusters?
Public Loss Adjusters will manage your claim on your behalf and be available every step of the way. Once appointed, we will manage all insurance negotiations and keep you up to date at all times.
You will be assigned your very own claims manager. This manager will always be available to answer any questions you may have throughout the whole process. Our job is to ensure that you receive a full and fair settlement.
If you would like to see the real difference between an insurer led claim and a Public Loss Adjusters claim please click here.
To find out how we can help call us now on 08000 434 999 or ask a question through our contact us page. Don’t settle for less – Settle for the best.