By Chris Dougherty, General Manager, Westlawn Insurance 18 March 2014
In the first of our series on Advice vs Price we examine what happens when it comes time to claim on your business insurance and highlight the value of the advice and ongoing support you receive from an insurance broker.
While choosing the cheapest budget or direct business insurance policy may provide some modest savings on annual premiums, it’s when your business needs to make a claim where a “cheap” policy could cost you dearly.
Just as there are differences in price between various business insurance policies, so too are there differences in the cover provided. Understanding often complex policy wordings for each type of cover included in your business insurance is vitally important … as you may only discover once it’s too late that you’re not covered for what you believed.
That’s where your insurance broker initially adds value. They will help you when choosing the right insurance to suit your business. They can compare the policy wording of different insurers to help ensure the cover you pay for is appropriate for your needs.
But, it’s not only when taking out your business insurance that your broker provides real value.
Covering the costs of making your claim
Should you need to make a major claim, your insurer will generally engage the services of experts, known as loss adjusters, to protect their own interests by carefully scrutinising your claim.
But what many businesses may not realise, is that depending on the policy wording of their insurance, they may also be entitled to claim some or all of the costs of engaging independent experts to assist with preparing their claim. This is commonly referred to as a claims preparation clause and where included, will vary from one policy to the next.
The claims preparation clause generally covers a range of different assistance to support your claim, for example, engaging an expert with a forensic accounting background to assist with business interruption calculations.
Claims preparation costs may also extend to receiving advice on minimising disruption to your business and to preparation of a business recovery plan to help get your business up and running again.
Value of expert advice
Why is it so important to receive expert assistance when making a claim?
Firstly, managing the claims process can be very stressful and time consuming for a business owner. Your time and energy will be better spent concentrating on getting your business up and running again. Your insurance broker offers support and assistance throughout the claims process and provides advice on your entitlements in relation to claims preparation costs.
Secondly, with the insurer’s loss adjustors scrutinising your claim, there is the risk of delay in receiving compensation, receiving inadequate compensation or even the rejection of your claim altogether if the entire process is not managed correctly. Having an independent claims expert on your side will significantly help to reduce those risks.
By choosing the right insurance cover in the first instance with assistance from your insurance broker, you can rest easy knowing that if you need to make a claim, you will get the support you need to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you have paid for and are entitled to.