• Top tips for filing a commercial insurance claim

Top tips for filing a commercial insurance claim

29 January 2020

Andrew Howard , Partner, Forensic Services |

When the unexpected happens, businesses and individuals can face significant losses, including damage to physical property and business interruption (or loss of income) caused by the event.

As companies take steps to recover and rebuild, BDO's Forensic Insurance team helps those impacted navigate the insurance claim process.

Below are important tips to keep in mind when faced with an insurance claim.​

Insurance response checklist

  1. Communicate with employees and external stakeholders.  Following a disaster or significant event, it is critical to communicate with employees and stakeholders about their well-being, as various parties may be dealing with potentially significant, or devastating, personal and professional issues.
  2. Review your insurance policy. Insurance policies can be complex and most policies tend to cover the shortfalls in profits caused by the event and the resulting increased costs of running the business. However, policies may often include different types of business interruption coverage.
    E.g. even if your business is not physically damaged, it may be covered for what is commonly referred to as an ‘extension to other premises’ coverage.  Such coverage may provide grounds for a claim when your customers or suppliers have been directly impacted by an event.  
  3. Maintain contemporaneous documentation. To say that the hours and days after a disaster or event are chaotic is an understatement. This is a trying time for businesses as they try to rebuild and recover. However, keeping careful records even during this time of disruption is critical. Documentation around current market conditions, cancellations of sales or supplier/customer impacts is critical evidence when preparing a business interruption claim.
  4. Get the right team together. A major claim can take several months to resolve, and the complexity of the issues that can arise means external experts may be required to assist with a claim while management focuses on what is important—rebuilding and recovering. Additionally, the fees paid surrounding the claims preparations are often reimbursable by the insurance. It is always recommended that legal advice is sort when reviewing your insurance policy and before lodging any claims.
  5. Mitigate Losses.  Where possible, mitigating losses should be undertaken to help reduce the losses incurred as a result of the event.
  6. Establish milestones for claim recovery. Following a major catastrophe, resources are often stretched thin. It is important to create milestones and hold all members, from the adjusting team to internal stakeholders, accountable for achieving those goals.

Need assistance with your commercial insurance claim? Contact your local Forensic adviser