- Keep a copy of your policy documents somewhere safe. Make sure you have receipts and photographs of any valuable items covered by your policy.
- Ensure that employees inform you as soon as possible of any damage, breakages, accidents, thefts, legal action against you or other potential claims.
- Notify your insurer or broker immediately; ensure that any losses resulting from crime are reported to the police too.
- Ask what action you are required to take to minimise further loss or damage; ensure that the insurer approves any action you plan (eg emergency repairs). Your insurer may require you to use an approved workman.
- Check whether the loss is covered by your insurance policy and that you were complying with any conditions (eg appropriate security measures).
- Consider whether it is worth claiming, or if the excess you have to pay and the potential increase in renewal premiums outweigh the benefits of claiming.
- Keep records of the claim (eg photographs of the damage or loss, police crime log number), initial notification and subsequent communications.
- Gather all the facts for completion of the claim – details of dates, times and anyone involved in the incident; a list and details of stolen or damaged items (including receipts and photographs if possible); CCTV footage; any other evidence that supports your claim.
- Take advice from the insurer or your insurance broker if necessary.
- Be ready to get estimates for any repairs, or to be visited by the insurer’s loss adjuster who will assess the loss.
- Claim for the full scale of your loss - for example, emergency cleaning, repairs, replacements and loss of earnings (if covered).
- Submit the claim and ask for an estimate of how long the claim process will take; agree a timetable.
- Be prepared to negotiate your claim; consider appointing your own loss adjuster for large, complex claims whose value is disputed by the insurer.
- Progress your claim as quickly as possible by providing information whenever required; consider negotiating interim payments if necessary.
- Review your claims experience to identify any changes needed to your insurance cover and procedures (eg record-keeping).
- notify your insurer immediately
- provide accurate information as quickly as possible
- actively progress your claim
- underinsure, or invalidate your insurance by failing to comply with any conditions
- make uneconomic claims, or claims where you are not covered
- make repairs or take other actions without the insurer’s approval
- underestimate the full costs of any loss you suffer
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Browse topics: Commercial premises law