We buy business insurance to protect our business against unforeseen insured losses. Whether your small business is based in Wellington, Hamilton, Christchurch, Auckland or anywhere else in New Zealand, what’s the best insurance advice for lodging a claim? What can you do to get your New Zealand business back on its feet quickly? Here is our insurance claims advice to get you back in business and making more profits as quickly as possible.
Don’t Delay. Contact Your Insurer and Insurance Broker as Soon as Possible
The sooner you notify your insurance company and insurance broker of your business insurance claim, the better. Your insurance company will be able to work with you to assess and pay your business insurance claim as quickly as possible.
Your insurance company will want to know some essential information about your business insurance policy. This includes your insurance policy number, the date and cause of your commercial insurance loss and your current contact details. The more information you provide the better as it will help speed up your claim and help your insurer to appoint appropriate staff to commence the claims management process and payments.
If your business has any special requirements you should let your insurance company know too. For example, you may have perishable stock that will need to be disposed of quickly and you may have some urgent deliveries of finished goods that have now been damaged. Letting your insurance company know of any special requirements will help get your business insurance claim off to a good start and will help get your business back on its feet faster.
Your broker will be able to manage your claim’s progress and can provide further insurance advice if needed. Customers of Insure Online are at an advantage as they will be able to lodge their business insurance claim through our website or by phone to speed up the process.
Know What Emergency Help Is Available
New Zealand businesses pay a fire and emergency levy when they purchase material damage insurance. The levy is noted in your itemised tax invoice. This levy funds the fire and emergency services and their website provides lots of advice and assistance. Their website covers fire prevention and how to seek help after an emergency.
When you lodge an insurance claim, let your insurer know if you need to make your business premise safe, need to carry out emergency repairs to secure your stock and plant and need emergency work to prevent further business insurance losses. Your insurance company will advise you and may even arrange for companies to respond.
If you have purchased business interruption insurance, make sure you’ve lodged a claim for that too. Your insurer will guide you through the process. It is in their interest and to your benefit to contain any losses caused by business interruption following a claimable loss. You should also notify your financial accountant as they may be required to provide and/or prepare accounts for assessment of any eligible business interruption claim.
Check Before You Remove Any Damaged Insured Items
Any damaged stock and plant will be relevant to your insurance company. It is evidence of the amount of damage incurred. Your insurance company may appoint a loss assessor to manage examine your business insurance claim. The insurance loss assessor may want you to show them any damaged stock and plant. Before you dispose of any damaged goods and stock, check with your insurance company. They may want you to keep it until their insurance loss assessor has seen it, or they may want you to take photographs before you remove any debris.
Keep a Diary
There’s a lot going on when damage occurs and your business is interrupted. Staff and customers need to be cared for and specialists may need to be called on. These may include glaziers, the fire service, carpet repairers, locksmiths, plumbers, a rubbish removal firm and your accountant.
Keeping a diary of who you speak will help keep track of names, dates, time, contact details and conversations you have with them. It will