person filling out auto insurance claim form

Imagine the following scenario: you run a small business, an accident happens, and now you’ve got to file an insurance claim. What do you do? For many other SMB owners like yourself, there are some easily avoidable mistakes that tend to get made, so this short guide will lay out what pitfalls you should watch for and explain how to get around them.

Not Reading Their Policy In Detail

Far and away, one of the most common ways in which small business owners shoot themselves in the foot is by not adequately understanding their policy and the details it contains. By not reviewing their policies, many small business owners aren’t fully aware of the risks they’re exposed to and don’t truly understand what their insurance will cover.

Don’t make the same mistake. Be sure to review your policy in detail with your business insurance agent and get a grasp of what you’re covered against. That way, you’ll be able to assess whether or not you need to update your policy or purchase any additional policies to protect your business.

Failing To Quickly Notify Their Insurer

Long story short? If you wait too long to contact your insurer about an accident or loss, it’s going to make the entire process more difficult than it needs to be. Your insurer may assume, since you waited, that the severity of any damages is being exaggerated. On top of that, any delays in reporting will muddle the facts of the case, making it harder for an accurate claim to be made.

What’s more, reporting losses promptly might be a condition of your business insurance policy, so again, be sure you’re reading your documents so that you know what you’re responsible for and how soon you have to act. As a general rule, try to report things as quickly as you can.

Keeping Poor Records

Documentation matters if you’re running a business. It becomes doubly important if you’ve experienced a loss and need to make a claim, as your insurer is going to need detailed information about what happened if they’re going to compensate you.

Unfortunately, a number of small business owners fail to keep their records tidy, and don’t properly document what’s going on in regards to any accidents and eventual claims processes. As a result, they have a tougher go of trying to get anything done. Save yourself the hassle and make sure you’re keeping a log of everything that happens.

Being Uncooperative

It might surprise you to learn that many small business owners act unruly during the claims process—failing to provide the appropriate information being one of the greatest offences. Needless to say, this almost always makes it more difficult to reach a satisfying conclusion to your claim, and it may even give your insurer a reason to deny you coverage.

Discarding Damaged Property

If an accident occurs at your business and something is damaged, your immediate reaction might be to discard it, but this is actually an error. You’ll need to hang onto whatever’s been damaged so that an insurance adjuster can properly examine it for your claim. This is a very important step, and usually a requirement for most business insurance policies, so don’t overlook it! Reach out to a San Francisco car accident law firm if you need help.