Reading and understanding your insurance policy conditions puts you ahead of the game should a claim arise.
The longer you’re in business, the more likely you are to face an insurance claim at some point. It is never an easy position to be in, but understanding the claims process will make the situation less stressful. The important thing is to be certain that you are operating within the conditions of your insurances, so that if a claim does arise, you know you are covered.
Are you con dent that you understand what you are covered for? If not, now is a good time to learn your insurance policy conditions, from your professional indemnity and general liability to business interruption and motor cover. Read your product disclosure statements to understand the breadth of coverage and your excess payment obligations.
In the event that a customer makes a serious complaint, the rst step is to advise your insurer. Even if a claim doesn’t eventuate, your insurer will want to be informed. If a claim does arise, your insurer will check you have met the policy conditions and your insurance hadn’t lapsed. It will also check that the business activity in question was covered – which is why it is crucial to update your insurer before expanding your services.
Once the checks are done, you will need to pay the excess amount and your insurer will begin investigating the circumstances of the claim. Your responsibility is to provide all facts and documentation relating to the job in question. This might include a pest inspection report (with any limitations noted), treatment plan, safe work method statement, chemical usage and application record, and written customer communications.
The more information you provide, and the more experience your insurer has with your industry, the better. This will help the claim to be processed as quickly and meticulously as possible once all evidence is received. Be ready for this to take up to a few months, perhaps more. Complex claims take a long time to be concluded, particularly if the customer has initiated formal legal proceedings. But at least it will be out of your hands and in the hands of a professional working towards the best possible outcome.
Futureproofing your business against claims means taking the time to understand the claims process, and your insurances policies. It may not sound an exciting thing to do, but it’s an essential exercise to protect your business.