Getting back on your feet after a setback, can be far simpler with an insurance broker on your team.

A setback in your small business can end up costing you far more than your visible assets. It can impact upon your revenue, your customers, the livelihoods of your staff and your professional reputation.

This is why the right insurance cover is such an essential part of running a small business. In the event you need to make a claim, here are the steps you need to take.

First things first - get the right advice

An insurance policy is effectively a promise by the insurer to be compensated in the event of any covered losses. If you’re well prepared, making a claim can be a straightforward process. However, every business is unique and has different needs - choosing the right insurance policy for your business isn’t something to be taken lightly.

Your insurance broker will get to know your business, explaining policies by translating ‘insurance speak’ into ‘human speak’. They’ll help ensure you’ve got the right cover for scenarios that could arise, which will ease your mind if a setback was to occur.

Remember, exclusions and the excess you need to pay can vary greatly depending upon your insurer, so ask your broker to outline these for you, plus the limit on each insured benefit.

Case study: See how Webjet plays to their strengths, with an insurance broker on their team.

Handling an event

In the event of a loss in your small business, you should do whatever is necessary to prevent further loss or property damage - providing it is safe to do so. This could include: evacuating the property, calling the police or fire brigade, or calling other emergency services. You may also need to investigate the causes of the damage.

Call your insurance broker

If you already have a relationship with an insurance broker, then it’s easy. Simply notify your insurance broker that you have suffered loss or damage that you believe is covered by the policy, and request support. Your insurance broker will get the claim started on your behalf.

An insurance broker is worth their weight in gold, because they’re aware of the terms and conditions, benefits and exclusions of a wide range of competing insurance policies, meaning you’ll have answers about expected outcomes very quickly.

If you don’t have an existing relationship with an insurance broker, you’ll need to review the Product Disclosure Statement to see if you have a valid claim and the event isn’t excluded from your policy. If you think you are eligible, you will need to go direct to the insurer you purchased your cover from to lodge the claim.

Case Study: When Blake's business went up in flames, his insurance broker was there to help him through his claim.

Prepare documentation

Your insurer will need you to fill out some paperwork; however your insurance broker can usually do most of this for you. Make sure you disclose all the facts and share any related information about the event such as a copy of a police statement if relevant, any expenses and invoices, photographs of the event you might have taken and any other related documents. By storing these documents in the cloud, will mean you can easily locate and forward to your broker, therefore speeding up the process.

Get assistance with clean-up

Your insurance broker will work hard to get your business back on its feet. Because Steadfast insurance brokers work locally in your area, they may know if you can access local services to assist in the clean-up, such as natural disaster assistance or local government services. So make sure you reach out and ask if they have any contacts in your local area to assist you in getting back up and running.

The financial side

A setback can put huge financial strain on a small business, often for a prolonged period of time, with staff still needing to be paid even if they’re not working in the weeks or months after the event. Depending on the conditions of your policy, an insurance broker can organise progress payments with the insurer to help you in this time of need, so make sure you ask the question.

Speed up claims holdups

If you make a claim and there happens to be an issue, your Steadfast insurance broker can harness the power of the Steadfast network to escalate the matter. Through solid relationships with its insurers, Steadfast will get your voice heard and will champion well-evidenced claims on your behalf in an effort to achieve positive claims outcomes.

Getting back to business

Once you’re back on your feet, contact your insurance broker to review your policies to make sure they’re in order and you’re well prepared for the future. This will include reassessing your insurance cover to see if there are areas of your business that could be more appropriately covered in the event of a further setback.

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The views expressed are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect those of Steadfast.

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