As soon as you discover loss or damage to your business assets, you need to report it to your insurance provider. If you think that the loss or damage is due to a criminal act, you should report it to the police immediately. You should write down as many details as possible about what happened and when.
Information you need to provide to insurers
You will also need to provide your insurers with:
- estimates for repairs
- proof of the cost of any emergency repairs that were required, eg to make equipment or premises secure
- proof of ownership
- the cost of the items you are claiming for, with valuations and/or receipts
- a police crime reference number, if you think that your business has been the victim of a crime
- the opportunity to inspect any damaged assets if required
If you need to make emergency repairs, do so and advise your insurers of what you have done. If possible, advise insurers before going ahead, but it is most important that you prevent further damage that might increase the claim.
For large or complicated claims, the insurance company will often employ a loss adjuster. They will inspect the damage and check insurance claims for quantity, description and pricing. Loss adjusters are impartial experts who can advise both the insurer and the policyholder.
They can also advise you on:
- how to improve security and safety
- areas of cover you may have overlooked
- repair techniques and specialist companies that can carry out such work
You could employ a loss assessor who will negotiate and settle the insurance claim on your behalf. However, since they will charge a fee, it is usually only worth considering if you are likely to make a substantial insurance claim.