Calgary commercial insurance is designed to protect you and your business from unforeseen incidents. Take your options into careful consideration before launching the claims process, including a thorough evaluation of whether or not it’s worth it to even begin. If the damages don’t exceed your deductible, or if a claim payout will increase your premiums to a level that exceeds your compensation, it’s usually better to explore other options.
With these caveats in mind, here’s a detailed guide to filing a business insurance claim.
To File or Not to File?
First, here’s a checklist to help you determine whether or not to file a Calgary commercial insurance claim. It’s a good idea to go ahead with a claim if:
- A covered event has caused a significant interruption of business operations, resulting in lost revenues, or damage to property, inventory, or other necessities
- The event has forced you to suspend operations or move operations to a temporary location
Conversely, you should reconsider your decision to file a commercial insurance claim if:
- The total damages you stand to be awarded do not exceed your deductible
- Anticipated increases to your business insurance premiums would exceed the compensation you’re entitled to receive
- The event that caused the damage resulted from avoidable negligence, such as a lack of maintenance or failure to adhere to established safety guidelines
Remember that your claims history will become part of your insurance record, and will remain on your record for a period of seven years. This remains true, even if you elect to change insurance providers.
Common Reasons for Filing Business-Related Claims
According to a recent study conducted in the United States, these are the five most common reasons for filing a business insurance claim:
- Water damage
- Wind and hail damage
- Fire damage
- Slip and fall accidents involving staff or customers
It’s also worth noting that some of the more rare types of business claims are also associated with the highest insurance payouts. These include accidents involving commercial vehicles, and unjustified damage to your reputation or your company’s reputation.
No matter what the underlying reason for your claim, you should review the fine print of your insurance policy in advance to make sure that the event is covered, and that you stand to be compensated to a degree that makes the claim worth your while. If necessary, be prepared to consult an attorney with insurance experience before you begin the claims process.
How to Submit Your Claim
There are five primary steps in the business insurance claims resolution process, which always begins with contacting your broker or your insurance company. Before you do, you should document all damage to the most complete possible degree, including photographing physical damage and gathering repair estimates.
Next, you will have to complete a report, which you will do with the advisement and assistance of your insurance provider. Once it’s complete, your case will be assigned to a claims adjuster, who will let you know what the next steps will be in your specific case.
In many cases, the next step will be for you to submit hard proof of your financial losses resulting from the covered event. This can involve numerous other pieces of documentation, including but not limited to:
- Sworn statements
- Police reports
- Proof of loss forms (supplied by your insurance provider)
- Visits to your business by the claims adjuster
Once your losses have been verified, your claim will proceed to the review stage. If it is approved, you will be paid out for the claim. If it is rejected, you should get a written explanation as to why from your insurance provider.
Should your claim be rejected and you believe it should have been accepted you have recourse. All insurance companies operating in Alberta are legally required to employ an ombudsperson to handle such disputes. Should you need to escalate to outside agencies, the Insurance Bureau of Canada can help.
Of course, the best way to come out on top is to avoid claims altogether. For tips on how, please consult our previously published article on the topic, available here.
Calgary Commercial Insurance: Contact Lane’s Insurance for Outstanding Claims Support
There are many different types of commercial insurance available, and the professionals at Lane’s can help you choose the right products for your business. Lane’s only works with the province’s most trusted carriers, and also offers industry-leading claims support. Get started today by contacting Lane’s Insurance.