The 5 Most Common Business Insurance Claims

The 5 Most Common Business Insurance Claims

When a small business owner purchases insurance, they don’t do so with the expectation of a loss. Most see insurance not as a shield against the daily risks inherent in running a business, but as a buffer that allows them to be safe, rather than sorry, after a catastrophic event. However, a public adjuster would beg to differ.

According to a 2015 study from The Hartford, theft and burglary make up roughly 20% of all claims filed each year. Furthermore, while most businesses never experience multimillion-dollar losses, ordinary theft and burglary incidents result in claims averaging from $8000 to $50,000. These figures are quite considerable, and they can hurt businesses that don’t have the right coverage. In this guide, you’ll learn about the most common business insurance claim types.

Burglary and Theft

As mentioned in the section above, incidents of theft and burglary make up one-fifth of annual small business insurance claims. Such claims are made not only on lost merchandise and products, but on the damages caused by a break-in or burglary.

Water Damage

Although Bruce Lee told aspiring martial artists to be more like water, most business owners would rather avoid the problems that come with floods, rainstorms, and other water incidents. These events typically occur during winter when ice causes pipes to burst, but they can occur during the summer rainy season as well. Water damage makes up approximately 15% of all annual business insurance claims, and they carry an average cost of $17,000 to small business owners.

Customer Injuries

No matter what type of business you operate, there’s always the potential for customer injuries. These events occur in a variety of ways; customers may slip or fall, or they may even knock a shelf over, injuring themselves in the process. The average customer injury claim costs $30,000, and that’s from just one complaint. Customer injuries make up about 10% of claims each year, with the most common injury being a slip and fall on the company’s premises.

Reputational Damage

Here, reputational damage refers to a third-party claim made against a company for a civil infraction like invasion of privacy, slander, or libel. While reputational damage only makes up 5% of yearly small business insurance claims, it comes at a high cost, with the average claim costing approximately $50,000.

Product Liability

In most instances, a company’s susceptibility to product liability depends on the nature of its operations and the warranties accompanying the products being sold. Making up about 5% of yearly claims, product liability, if left unaddressed, may result in severe financial fallout of $35,000 or more annually.

In Closing

Purchasing the right type and amount of business insurance coverage is essential to properly safeguard yourself and your company. In today’s litigious business environment, it’s more important than ever to buy a level of liability coverage that’s above and beyond that afforded by standard business policies. With the help of a good policy and a public adjuster, you can ensure that you’re protected from the common risks listed above, as well as others not listed.

Business Owner’s Guide to Getting the Most for Your Property Insurance Claim

Dealing with a disaster recovery for your business is no easy task. Download our Disaster Recovery tips as a resource to help you through the turmoil.

5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Public Adjuster After a Loss

5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Public Adjuster After a Loss

Significant damages to your home can lead to filing a claim for compensation with your insurance company. Unfortunately, the insurance company is going to minimize the amount they’re willing to pay and you could end up covering repairs out of pocket because of this. To avoid this, you’ll want to hire a public adjuster to help you file and handle your claim.

They Work for You

Your insurance company, while they may be willing to pay on your claim, works for their own company and to protect their profits. The insurance adjuster they’ll send to check out your property is not on your side and is trying to minimize the potential cost of damages to your property so the insurance company can pay out less. When you hire a public adjuster, you’re hiring someone who will work for you and look out for your interests, not the interests of the insurance company.

Maximize the Settlement

Your public adjuster is going to work to maximize the amount of money you’ll receive for your claim. They know what your damages are worth and what can be included in your claim to help you maximize the amount you’ll receive and minimize or eliminate out-of-pocket expenses. This could make a huge difference in how much money you’ll receive from the insurance company.

Remove Emotions from Claim

You’re likely stressed and worried because of the damage to your property. All of this can lead to mistakes while filing the claim or towards settling for a smaller amount just to get everything over and done with. When you hire a public adjuster, they don’t have the emotional attachment to your home and can work hard to help you get more for your claim.

Experience and Education

You likely don’t have much experience dealing with an insurance claim, you may not know the local laws for insurance claims very well, and you likely don’t have any training that will help you handle the claim to maximize your settlement. However, a public adjuster does and they’ll use their experience and education to help you get a larger settlement.

Payment is Made from the Claim

It’s possible for you to get help without paying money up front for the help. Many public adjusters work on a contingency basis, which means they don’t get paid until you get a settlement. Since they’ll receive a percentage of your settlement, they’re going to work hard to obtain the largest settlement for you. The more money you receive, the more they’re paid for the work.

Even though your insurance company is going to pay the claim, you’re going to want to make sure you maximize the amount you get so you minimize the amount you’ll need to pay on your own. A public adjuster is a critical component in your quest for the maximum settlement as they have the ability to help you get more to cover the damages to your property. Hire a public adjuster today to get the help you need.

Business Owner’s Guide to Getting the Most for Your Property Insurance Claim

Dealing with a disaster recovery for your business is no easy task. Download our Disaster Recovery tips as a resource to help you through the turmoil.

10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Public Adjuster

10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Public Adjuster

Hiring a public adjuster benefits many individuals who are fighting an insurance claim. Insurance companies use a variety of tactics to delay or deny the payment of a claim, and the adjuster can be of great help at this time. What questions should be asked, however, before hiring a professional of this type?

  • The National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters established the industry standards for these professionals. Inquire as to whether the company is registered with this organization. Members of the NAPIA have agreed to adhere to the organization’s strict code of conduct, which may be viewed at 

  • Request information regarding the company’s errors and omissions insurance policy. In the event a company refuses to share the policy number, the insurer’s name and number, or other pertinent information, continue looking for an adjuster. This insurance protects the individual in the event the adjuster makes an error or omits pertinent information and the claim is negatively impacted as a result.
  • What types of claims are handled? Insurance comes in many forms, and the same is true of insurance claims. When hiring an adjuster, make certain they have handled claims of a similar type. This information may also be found on the company website in many cases. 

  • Is the company licensed within the state? The state insurance department should be contacted at this time to determine if the company is currently licensed. They tend to be the agency overseeing the licensing of public adjusters in the different states. 

  • How long has the company been in business? Although this should not be the deciding factor, the information ought to be obtained. The experience of the adjusters working within the firm needs to likewise be taken into consideration, as an adjuster may have years or decades of experience before opting to branch out on his or her own or join a newly established firm. 

  • Ask that the adjuster provide industry references. A legitimate firm will gladly provide references along with recommendation letters from previous clients. Don’t take these references and recommendation at face value, though. Make the time to follow up with the clients to learn more about the firm and how it operates. 

  • How are business interruption claims addressed? A CPA is needed within the adjusting team to ensure the matter is handled properly. A reputable firm will have a CPA on their staff for this reason. 

  • How many claims are currently being handled? Each claim needs individual attention from the adjuster. As a result, a person fighting a claim needs to know the adjuster will give his or her case the attention it deserves.

  • Who will be responsible for communicating with the insurance company and its representatives? Some people wish to remain involved in the process. Others, however, want the adjuster to take on all tasks associated with the claim. Learn what the adjuster prefers before hiring a professional of this type. 

Why is the company a good fit for this claim? Let the adjuster explain why his or her firm should be hired. This provides additional information about the inner workings of the process, the firm, and more. 

A public adjuster becomes of great help when a settlement is delayed for any reason. However, the choice of public adjuster is of great importance. Research several professionals before choosing one to handle a case, as this helps to ensure the best outcome possible.

Business Owner’s Guide to Getting the Most for Your Property Insurance Claim

Dealing with a disaster recovery for your business is no easy task. Download our Disaster Recovery tips as a resource to help you through the turmoil.

10 Tips for Filing a Proof of Loss on Property Damage

10 Tips for Filing a Proof of Loss on Property Damage

When your home is significantly or completely damaged due to a fire, a natural disaster, or another cause, you need to file an insurance claim to obtain compensation and start repairing or rebuilding your home. Part of the process, and likely one of the most important parts, is to fill out a Proof of Loss form to show what was damaged and what compensation you need. Below are tips to help you with this form.

Secure Your Property

If necessary, secure any belongings that are left in your home. This should be done if you cannot stay in your home until all repairs are made and your home is livable again. This helps protect you from further damage or theft.

Read Your Policy

Read your insurance policy carefully. This gives you all of the details you need for the Proof of Loss form required by your insurance company, including what needs to be attached and the deadline for filing the form.

Create an Inventory

Create a list of all damaged items, including specifically what the item is and the replacement value of the item. Be as specific as possible.

Take Photographs of Damage

If feasible, take photographs of the damage to your home and belongings. Take as many pictures as possible, making sure they’re clear and the damage is easily seen from multiple angles.

Keep Track of Living Expenses

Start tracking any living expenses that occur as soon as you leave your home if you cannot live in your home until repairs are made. You may be reimbursed for some or all of these expenses, so you’ll want to track what you purchased and keep receipts.

Fill Out Form Accurately

Be as accurate and specific as possible when you’re filling out the Proof of Loss. The more accurate and specific you are, the easier it is for the insurance company to see how much compensation you need.

Fill Out Form Promptly

Your insurer will set a time limit for how long you have to file the Proof of Loss. Make sure you get the form completed and filed on time. If extenuating circumstances mean you need extra time, contact the insurance company and get extra time in writing.

Fill Out Form Completely

Do not skip parts of the Proof of Loss form, even if you aren’t sure they’re really needed or you’re not sure what is needed. When the form is completely filled out, the insurance company will have the information they need to compensate you for the damages.

Obtain Detailed Estimates

Do not guess when you’re trying to estimate the property damage. Instead, get itemized and detailed estimates of the property damage and the cost to repair your property.

Get Professional Assistance

If you need any assistance filling out or filing the Proof of Loss form, do not hesitate to seek assistance. An insurance adjuster is going to be on your side and will walk you through everything you need to do to fill out and file the Proof of Loss form promptly so you can obtain the compensation you need.

Successfully Navigating Your Homeowners Insurance Claim

Dealing with a disaster recovery for your home is no easy task. Download Successfully Navigating Your Homeowners Insurance Claim as a resource to help you through the turmoil.

5 Signs that You’re Being Treated Unfairly by Your Insurance Company

5 Signs that You’re Being Treated Unfairly by Your Insurance Company

Insurance companies generate huge profits every year, bringing in more than $30 billion. Furthermore, they possess assets worth trillions of dollars and the CEOs of these companies make generous salaries, more than in any other industry. The consumer is the one who pays for their lavishness, as they tend to treat their clients unfairly. Huge rate hikes continue to be witnessed and claims are being denied at rates not seen before.

The same companies spend billions on advertising to generate more business as they deny these claims, delay payments on claims that have been approved, and use insurance-speak to confuse their clients. Furthermore, they are known to retroactively deny individuals they believe may cost them money and cut into their profits. How do they do so?

Denial of Claims

Major insurance companies, including names such as State Farm and Allstate, deny valid claims to increase their profits. They have taken this much further, however, and provide some employees with rewards for denying valid claims. At the same time, employees who failed to reject these claims were released. In addition, outright fraud has been reported in the industry, as the insurers do everything in their power to avoid paying out on claims.

In certain cases, an insurance company takes a consumer’s money for years only to cancel or rescind the policy when the person develops a major illness. They often provide bonuses to those employees who meet an established cancellation goal. There is no relationship between the insurer and the client, as he or she is simply a customer who can be easily replaced.

Credit Score Discrimination

Insurance companies often look at a consumer’s credit score when determining premiums or whether to offer coverage to an individual. Individuals who have suffered financial difficulties in the past may find they are unable to obtain coverage, the premiums are excessively high, or their policy is not renewed. The driving record of the individual, for example, may actually be of less concern than their credit score.

Major Delays

Insurers employ another tactic to reduce their costs. They frequently delay claims in the hopes the policyholders will give up. Individuals who are elderly or ill may find their claim is delayed for extended periods of time. The insurance company also does so in the hopes the policyholder will pass away before any money changes hands. While this may seem heartless, it sadly happens more than people realize and it needs to stop.

Industry Jargon Leads to Confusion

Pick up an insurance contract and attempt to read through it. An attorney is needed to determine exactly what is and is not covered. However, many individuals purchase a policy believing they are protecting for most occurrences. It isn’t until they file the claim they learn they are denied due to some obscure clause hidden in the contract.

Phone Call Cancellations

Certain insurance companies have now cancelled or failed to renew a policy simply because the insured called to ask a question about their coverage. Others raise the premium for the policyholder, even if the call involved nothing more than inquiring about the claim process or the possibility of filing a claim. The inquiry is viewed as a claim and leads to the cancellation of the policy, a failure to renew the policy, or a premium hike.

Individuals who are being treated unfairly by their insurer need to obtain the help of a professional experienced in these matters. Some individuals turn to an attorney only to find a public adjuster would be of more assistance. Don’t delay in obtaining help, as insurance companies count on consumers doing so. Take the advantage away from them by bringing in an adjuster today.

Business Owner’s Guide to Getting the Most for Your Property Insurance Claim

Dealing with a disaster recovery for your business is no easy task. Download our Disaster Recovery tips as a resource to help you through the turmoil.