Making an insurance claim

Making insurance claims can seem daunting to many business owners, particularly for those with no accident history. As the insurance claim is the first step to recovery, it's important to understand what to do.

Before making an insurance claim, it's good to get evidence to support your claim. Depending on your circumstances, this may include:

  • taking photographs
  • making notes
  • getting copies of computer logs.

You should then inform your insurance provider, and if necessary, report any incidents to the police or other relevant authorities. You should also make sure you have all the details about how and when the incident occurred, and how it will affect your business.

When a workplace injury involves one of your workers, you should stay in regular contact with the worker and their treating medical specialists to ensure they are supported. Where possible, you should also identify appropriate suitable duties that can assist the worker in their injury recovery and support safe return to work.

You may need to make emergency repairs to minimise or prevent further damage to your business or your assets. If so, check your policy first to be sure it covers you for any repairs you make. Keep copies of all invoices and bills so you can provide these to your insurance provider.

You also need to consider whether paying for any repairs or replacements yourself will be better value than paying your excess for the claim.

Remember: it's important to be completely upfront when providing details for a claim. If you need to add details later, an auditor may delay or refuse your payment. Any claims you make can also affect your future insurance rating.

Disputing an insurance claim

If you have a dispute with your insurance company about a business insurance claim there is something you can do to resolve it. Consider taking the following steps:

  • Read the Product Disclosure Statement to ensure you understand the terms and conditions.
  • Raise the dispute with your insurer. You can do this over the phone or in writing. You should clearly state:
    • that you are lodging a formal dispute
    • what the problem is
    • what you would like the insurer to do to help.
  • If you still aren’t happy with the outcome, consider contacting the Financial Ombudsman Service(FOS). FOS provides dispute resolution services to businesses holding insurances that include:
    • fire
    • theft
    • lightning
    • explosion
    • earthquake
    • escape of liquids
    • impact
    • storm or rain water
    • automobile accidents for business insured vehicles.

If you are unhappy about a workplace injury claim, you can seek review of the claim decision through the workers' compensation review process in your state.

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