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How to claim on your business insurance

  • Blog
  • 18 August 2017

There can be those times when running a company that you’ll need to make a claim on your business insurance, from your office equipment being stolen to a storm causing severe damage to your premises. So it’s important to know what to do to make sure your claim is accepted and you get the result you deserve.

This blog explains the process you should follow when making a claim on your business insurance and the key things you should consider to ensure your claim is a success.

How to claim on your business insurance

Examine your insurance policy

When looking to claim on your business insurance, the first thing you should think about is what the claim is for and whether or not your policy will cover it. For instance, is it for theft, or property damage, or for liability claims? It’s important to mention that if you’re claiming for theft or malicious damage you should first report the incident to the police and make a note of the criminal reference number.

What you can claim for depends on your policy, so you should check the full details of your insurance documents to make sure you will be covered. Most business insurance policies will cover different types of cover, such as employers’ liability, professional indemnity and public liability. You can learn about these types of cover and others in our blog, What sort of business insurance do I need?

Contact your claims team and gather evidence

Once you’ve checked your policy, you should contact your insurance company’s claims team. There should be a phone number listed, which you can call to contact them, on your policy documents. Your insurer might also allow you to log your claim online, via its company website.

Once you’ve given the basic details of your claim, your insurer should put you in touch with a claims officer to provide further details, or request you to submit a claims form. This could include providing a list of stolen or damaged items and their costs, for instance.

Your insurer will probably then ask you to gather and send further evidence that supports your claim. Depending on your claim, this could include things like receipts, photos, and a copy of your health and safety policy.

Wait for your insurer to assess you claim

Once you’ve provided all the requested details, documents and evidence, it can be just a case of waiting for your insurer to assess your claim. They may also send someone to visit you to discuss how valid your claim is and how they think it should be settled.

It’s worth mentioning that you should follow up with your claims officer if some time has passed and you haven’t heard from them. A good insurer will keep you updated throughout the process, but it’s still a good idea to follow up with them regularly. You could also ask for a status report to see how your case is developing.

Winning your claim

If supporting evidence stands up and you’re successful, you will need to pay the amount agreed in your policy to win your claim. You may have to pay this before your claim is paid, or your insurer may deduct it from the total value of your claim.

The way you receive payment can depend on what you’re claiming for. If the claim is concerned with liability, for instance, the money should go straight to the third party, such as the employee or member of public involved. Whereas, if the claim is concerned with interruption to your business, the money should be paid directly to your company, such as by cheque or into your business bank account.

Having your claim refused  

It’s important to mention that an insurer can refuse your claim. Reasons for this can include your policy not covering the loss or damage you’re claiming for, you not following the correct procedure your insurer requests when making your claim, or providing false information.

If you feel your claim has been unfairly refused, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Other points you should remember when making a claim

  • It’s wise not to apologise or accept blame, such as for liability claims – it could incriminate the outcome of your claim  
  • Report your claim immediately – leaving it too long can affect the result, such as for claims involving property damage
  • Follow the correct claims procedure – not doing as your insurer requests can affect the outcome
  • Provide honest and accurate details – if you don’t, your claim is likely to be refused
  • Assess the damage – it’s wise to list all damaged equipment, repair costs, and lost business hours, for instance, to get the best outcome
  • Try to leave evidence alone – attempting to make repairs to damage yourself, for instance, can affect your claim. However, if you feel you need to, make sure you take photos first to back up the full extent of damage

Helping provide insurance to keep you prepared and your business protected

Good business cover for your company is essential to make sure you’re fully prepared and equipped should you have to make a claim. With our expert business insurance service, we can give you the support you need to ensure you’re protected, give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on running your business. The service, available to all FSB Business Essentials and Business Creation members, includes:

  • Access to the right policies for your business and higher levels of insurance where possible
  • Claims advice no matter how complex your requirements
  • Access to a team of expert insurance advisers to help save you time and money

If you’d like to find out more about this service and how it can help you, please visit our FSB Insurance Service page. The FSB Business Insurance Service is included as standard with our Business Essentials and Business Creation membership. Please take a look at our product comparison page to find out about other benefits or these membership packages.

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