I’m Heather Cournoyer, your commercial insurance expert and I’m coming to you from “sunny” Alberta where the temperature here has risen to a balmy -25 with a windchill of -31. Gotta love Alberta!
In my last video we talked about what to expect in the insurance market for 2020 and the 3 steps to take to prepare.
- Review your operation – find ways to manage the risks and exposures in your business to prevent losses.
- Review your insurance – Have you changed your operation, have your values changes. Is your business interruption coverage up to date? Do you have cyber and privacy insurance protection.
- Lastly – meet with your broker to make sure that your insurance is updated.
So, what happens if you have a claim? That’s why you bought insurance in the first place. I spoke with several claims experts and asked them this question?
What is your best advice to an insured who has had a claim? Here’s what they had to say.
- Before you have a loss – Have an adequate inventory and update it on a regular basis. Perhaps you might want to send a copy to your broker or at least keep a copy somewhere safe. Proving your loss is your responsibility and having an inventory of all of your stock and equipment is invaluable.
- Minimize the loss to the best of your ability. For example is it’s a water-related claim (which are so common these days) Start cleaning up the water, Rent dehumidifiers help to reduce downtime. Pretend you don’t have insurance. The expert claims manager I spoke to said that not once has he denied reasonable costs to mitigate the claim
- Another expert agreed with that and also added that if there is any evidence, retain it! Let’s say you just had a plumber in to fix a piece of equipment and that equipment may have caused the problem. Make sure you keep any parts, take pictures. Your insurer may have the right to subrogate – in other words, perhaps the plumbers negligence caused the loss and he should be held accountable.
- Let’s talk about down time. More than likely, a loss can cause a disruption in your business which either reduces or eliminates your income for a period of time. Business interruption is much more common now. And although that is the case, it is still very misunderstood. You need to have good financial records that have monitored the trends in your business. Work with your adjuster and your accountant to help you determine what the amount of recovery may be.
- In the event of a third-party claim remember to Be Patient It takes time to get all the facts in. The Adjuster will assess those facts. In auto and liability claims there are two sides to every story and somewhere in the middle lies the truth. Make notes as soon as you can. Pictures are always good too! Peoples memories change over time.
And finally, perhaps some of the best advise
- Remember ……. The three C’s
- BE CANDID
- REMAIN CALM
Help your insurer to help you!
Bottom line – insurance is a contract. And if you’ve ever watched Judge Judy she always says – “Everything is in the four corners of the agreement.” In your case it’s an insurance policy.
I know what you’re thinking…whoever reads the policy anyway. It’s too complicated and it’s legal mumbo jumbo.
In our next video, we are going to give you some tips about how that policy is set up and some of the things to look for.
A special thanks to all my “experts” for their input. Great tips for the consumer.
Thanks for listening and my thought for today…
“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give”