When you have an insurance claim you want to be working with an insurance broker
It’s safe to say, one of the biggest benefits to having an insurance broker is knowing there is someone who has your back if something goes wrong and you need to make an insurance claim.
Having the right insurance cover in place could be the difference between your business going on as normal or having to shut down.
We have unfortunately seen many claimable events this past year – from bushfires to floods, cyber security threats, theft, power outages, and damaged stock, etc.
Our clients have been able to lean on us for support and help when things have gone wrong.
Do you know what to do if you have an insurance claim?
When you’re in the thick of it – the last thing on your mind is insurance – or thinking about what you need to do to make an insurance claim.
But we know from experience, the sooner you notify us of the claim, the less likelihood of disruption and potential impact on your day-to-day operations.
A claim’s scenario
Picture this, it’s 3.00 pm on a Saturday afternoon and the alarm company calls to advise a smoke detector has gone off. Shortly afterward, you are told there is a fire on-site in an extraction unit and the fire brigade has attended. To make matters worse, water used by the fire brigade to put the fire out has contaminated your stock.
Would you know what to do if something went wrong?
We asked Peter Hanna, one of the SPT Directors to share his insights on what comes next if something happened to you and you needed to make an insurance claim.
One of the first things to do is to call your insurance broker (i.e. Us) and tell us what has happened.
Peter vividly recalls the sinking feeling you get in your stomach when the phone rings outside of business hours–you know something has happened – and know you’re about to galvanise into action.
On the other end of that line is one of your clients who may be going through one of the worst days of their life and it’s our job to help them. They are in a panic or feeling anxious and mostly just want someone else to tell them what they should do.
We are often the voice of calm in a stressful situation.
Each claim scenario is different, says Peter, but how we handle things stays consistent. We ask lots of questions to understand what’s happened and work out what the immediate risk is. Giving practical steps to follow.
Insurers like it when we’re involved when there is a claim too.
Because they know our goal is to minimise any disruption and keep our clients in business.
When you deal in insurance terms every day, we know exactly what is/isn’t covered and know what insurers expect to see before they pay a claim. I guide my clients to get details of police reports, take photos and secure the scene as soon as they can.
If there is extensive damage, we are fortunate that one of our client’s is also an approved ‘insurance builder’, which means they can go on site immediately and ‘make safe’ the area.
Cleaning, evaluating stock and making sure it’s safe for the public and your staff to return to the premises.
We get in touch with the insurer’s loss adjuster and Riverwall to come up with a plan to get the business back up and running ASAP.
I’ll turn up at the site on the day to help if I can, and I have been known to roll up my sleeves to work along clean-up efforts, says Peter.
My goal is to keep our clients in business, keep the lights on and trade ticking over.
If the policy has provisions for a claims preparer, we organise for them to come out ASAP and work together to prepare a report for the insurers.
Some of the claims we have been involved with over the past few years include fires, water damage, sprinkler discharges, machinery breakdown and power interruptions which caused damage to machines.
And unfortunately, one of our clients has had five claims in 10 years – for over $11 million worth of damage and loss of profits.
Thankful they had the right cover in place and could keep operating. Without insurance, there’s no way this (or any business) could sustain and stay in business after so many continuous hits.
It’s situations like this that drive home the seriousness of underinsurance or the importance of getting the right cover in place.
During the recovery phase, our role is to manage the claim, the effect on the client and their brand as a consequence of the claim.
Peter cautions ‘all too often, customer communications can be rushed, giving out the wrong impression. You can unwittingly put existing and future orders at risk. So, we try and get involved in that as well’.
Often, the policy will allow us to buy machinery or invest in short-term measures to minimise the interruption to business operations.
Which means orders can still go out, business can continue, and you keep customers happy.
It’s worth working with an insurance broker
As you can see, there’s a lot to do when there’s a claim. But when you have a broker, you don’t have to do it alone. We’re there beside you every step of the way.
When something goes wrong -
The advice on this website is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You must decide whether or not it is appropriate, in light of your own circumstances, to act on this advice. You should ensure you obtain and consider the Product Disclosure Statement for the policy before you make any decision to acquire it.