How Do I File a Business Insurance Claim?
Typically, you need to contact your insurance carrier directly when you want to file a commercial insurance claim. But the steps you take may differ based on whether you're filing a property claim or a liability claim. Let's take a look at each type.
If your claim is related to theft or vandalism, your first step is to call the police. If not, your first call will likely be to your insurance agent, who will explain the steps you need to take to file your claim. For example, you may need to:
- Take photographs of any damage.
- Create an itemized list of the damaged property.
- Gather receipts for the items (if you have them).
- Provide other documentation of your loss.
Your policy documents or your insurance carrier's website should have detailed instructions on how to file a claim. If you have questions or can’t locate a copy of your policy, contact us to talk to your TechInsurance agent.
If the claim is related to property damage, make sure you speak to your insurance agent before you schedule any repairs related to the incident.
Good to know: One way you can make things go faster in the event of a claim is to keep detailed lists of your business property, such as computers, monitors, printers, etc. If possible, take photos of each item, and make sure to snap the serial number, too.
For a liability claim, your first call should be to your insurance carrier. Same as above – if you aren’t sure how to contact your insurance company, your TechInsurance agent can help.
It’s important to report any incidents that could result in a claim to your insurance provider as soon as possible. For example, if a client slips and falls in your office, you may want to contact your insurer even if the client doesn't appear to be hurt. Injuries that appear later could lead to a General Liability Insurance claim, and keeping your provider informed helps ensure timely coverage.
Call your insurance provider immediately if you need to file an Errors and Omissions Insurance claim. Most E&O policies offer claims-made coverage, which means in order for your claim to be covered, both the incident and the resulting claim need to happen while the policy is active. If your coverage lapses for any reason before you file your claim, you probably won’t be covered. Read our article “What Is Claims-Made Liability Coverage?” for more information.
For Errors & Omissions claims, it’s a good idea to start gathering as much documentation as you can to defend your business, including…
- A copy of the client letter and / or lawsuit.
- Any proposals you sent to the client.
- The initial client contract.
- Any change orders, if applicable.
- Emails between you and the client about the project.
- Documents outlining your service fees.
- Sample bills or invoices.
Good to know: One sure way to hurt your case is to submit a claim and mention that there were lots of change orders for the client that weren’t documented. Any time a client asks for changes, get the request in writing!