As a business owner you hope accidents and injuries in your workplace never happen.
But in the back of your mind, you know the risks of an unexpected accident or injury were there. Businesses, regardless of the size or industry, are never completely safe from insurance claims.
While these losses can have a significant impact on your hard-earned work, there are ways to effectively manage a claim to ensure continued business success.
Here’s what you need to know if someone makes an insurance claim against your business.
Make Sure You Have the Right Cover
Unfortunately, there’s no one size fits all solution for insurance cover.
Your business type, industry and risks involved will determine the right insurance policies you need. For adequate protection, check what insurance is mandatory in your state. Workers’ compensation insurance, for example, is compulsory in Australia.
General liability insurance is another cover to consider, which protects against a host of problems including personal injury, property damage, slander and libel.
Once the claim has been made against you, check your insurance will cover it. Don’t assume everything is covered under the one policy. Specific circumstances of the claim may be excluded from the policy or covered under another insurance.
Don’t Ignore the Claim
Having an employee or outsider make a claim against your business can seem daunting, especially with no claim history.
However, as the insurance claim is the first step of recovery, it’s crucial you understand what to do and respond to the claim accordingly. If you don’t respond to the claim, the person making the claim may decide to start a court case against you, which will cost more time and money.
Inform Your Insurance Company
To make the claim process as smooth as possible, contact your insurance company as soon as you’re aware of the claim.
Different insurance companies will have different processes for handling claims. If your insurance company is a member of the Insurance Council of Australia, there are set standards for handling a claim which needs to be met. These can beviewed in the General Insurance Code of Practice.
Your insurance company will help determine whether your policy covers the claim and how it will be paid out. Typically, they will look at the claim frequency and claim severity to determine the best way to deal with the claim.
Remember: It’s crucial you’re completely upfront about all the details of the claim.
Think Long-Term Strategies
Prevention is one of the best ways to minimise accidents and their impact in the workplace.
As the business owner, it’s your responsibility to not just have the right insurance covers, but to also create a safe working culture. This can be done through regular safety training and safety and building inspections.
Aside from the typical risks of spills, falls or other injuries associated with your industry, it’s your responsibility as a business owner to keep the workplace maintained. Regular building maintenance, such as loose bricks or stair/railing damage are hazards which can lead to an employee or member of the public making a claim against your business.