I used to stay clear of insurance claims. Insurance Claims were like an unknown devil - when to do it, how to do it, with whom should it be filed, what are the papers needed and so on.
It's the paperwork and the details that scare one off! However, once the process has been clarified, all one needs to do is to keep track of the details and systematically sit down and complete all the necessary paperwork. Then it's done.
When to Report?
- Read and carefully note the details in the policy.
- Timelines for reporting a claim will be clearly stated in the policy, and that's the first thing that has to be checked prior to reporting.
What to Report?
- Details on the policy that you've taken - the policy number, the name in which it is taken, etc.
- Get in touch with professionals like engineers, valuers, etc, if needed based on the damage or loss suffered, in order to evaluate and assess the loss.
- Get whatever documentation that can be salvaged to submit as proof of the damage suffered.
- The details of the claims, i.e. what caused the damage, what damage was done - the extent, what is the claim amount, etc.
- If there was any third party involvement, then details of the third party and their involvement has also to be given.
Where to Report?
- Check for the offices and contact details of the insurance company from whom you took out the policy. Send an email to the company contact, as given in the policy, or go and meet the Claims Unit staff at the company's local office, if any.
- The company representative will get in touch with you based on this contact. The acknowledgement of the claim receipt should be taken and kept in your files.
- Report to the broker or insurance professional who manages your insurance activities. That person will help, advise and even take on the role of reporting.
- Report must be made to law enforcement also in case the damage or loss has happened due to theft, vandalism or any such criminal act.
- If there is a loss of any credit cards or debit cards, report at once to the card issuer.
- Any third party involvement has also to be reported with third party details.
Follow up for closure
- There has to be formal follow up from your office on the status of the claim at regular intervals, to enquire that any requirement on your part is fulfilled.
All of this is helpful only to the extent of one's knowledge or awareness of the steps. So what steps should an organization take to ensure its readiness for an insurance claim activity?
- It is crucial that certain strategic staff of the organization is trained in reporting insurance claims should such a need arise.
- For critical areas of higher risk, ensure there are cameras or CCTVs to ensure that a record of any mishap is kept should anything happen.
Now you and your organization should be prepared, mentally and with the necessary action plan, and in case of a mishap needing an insurance claim, you will be in readiness!