Insurance exists to protect something valuable. When it comes to your business, that 'something valuable' is likely to be your livelihood or your reputation. Probably both.
So, having spent good money on business insurance, you expect it to do its job. If something goes wrong and you have to claim, your policy should kick in and pay up. No questions asked.
Except questions are always asked. And unwittingly giving the wrong answers or the wrong information can jeopardise your chances of that all-important settlement.
Pick a side
So what can you do?
The simple answer is: use an insurance broker.
A glib answer perhaps, but one grounded in an unarguable truth: insurance brokers are on your side. They can help with insurance claims.
It's your broker's job to decode the questions you're asked and to make sure you give the right answers. It's your broker's job to see that your insurer fulfils its obligations to you. It's your broker's job to go toe-to-toe with your insurer and argue your claim if needs be.
It's your broker's job because it's not your job. Your job is running your business. Why make life hard trying to understand something when there's someone else to do that for you?
And if you don't use a broker?
Buying your insurance direct from an insurer isn't a bad thing, of course, but it can mean you're on your own at exactly the wrong time. Because they won't offer the help with insurance claims you may need.
If your insurer turns down your claim, you won't have much choice but to grudgingly accept it. You can fight your corner but, when it's you against them, it feels like they're holding all the cards. It's all a bit David and Goliath.
For better or worse, brokers deal with insurance all day, every day and they know it inside out. The good ones have taken insurance exams, too.
All that studying means they know as much as the insurer does, so are well placed to offer essential help with insurance claims. Any attempt to wriggle out of a claim on a technicality gets short shrift.
In fact, you'd be surprised how much sway a broker has. For example, we've persuaded insurers to pay claims even when they could reasonably argue the policy wording says they don't have to.
The point is that insurers sometimes need a nudge in the right direction. It takes a broker to point out that helping a customer can be in the insurer's best interests, even when not doing so would be easier and cheaper. Paying claims makes an insurer look good and helps customer loyalty. And there's no insurer that doesn't benefit from a spot of good PR.
How we help with insurance claims
Claims are our number one priority. Whether you're cursing a dropped laptop or clutching a stiffly worded letter from a client's solicitor, we deal with it first.
In practice, that means processes, commitments, measurements and targets to make sure we do what we need to do, when we need to do it. We have one of our most experienced, qualified people in charge of claims, making sure everything happens when it should. (That's Jane, by the way.)
We keep you in the loop every step of the way, whether something's happening or not. If there's anything you want to talk about, at any point, you have a direct line to the person looking after you. If you can't get hold of that person, anyone else is willing and able to help. You're never on your own.
The proof of the pudding
Surprisingly, this commitment is our choice not a specific insurance-industry requirement. You'd be forgiven for thinking claims are heavily regulated, but they're not – there are no official guidelines from industry bodies or the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), although we do always have to adhere to the principles of Treating Customers Fairly.
We think that's a bit odd. You're more bothered about your claim than anything else. Buying insurance is the easy bit – it's what happens when the chips are down that counts. That's when you find out what your broker or insurer is really like.
So we're doing our best to dispel the commonly held view that insurers are happy to take your money but less happy to pay it out again. It helps that we only work with progressive insurers that see things our way, of course, but we're not taking anything for granted.
For more information about claims, including what can cause them, how to avoid them, and what to do if you have one, click on the 'claims' tag button at the end of this post. Or give Jane a call on 0345 222 5391, she's happy to chat.claimsinsurance explainedrules and regulations