Hiring a loss assessor

For small business owners, a loss assessor can be the missing link between you and your insurer to guarantee your insurance claim pays out in the event where you need to make a claim.

A theft, fire or natural disaster can potentially cripple a business if commercial insurance isn’t set up properly. Most small businesses don’t have the financial backing to recover from a massive loss of stock, earnings or excessive damage to their property, so it’s crucial for the safety of the business to have the insurance policy set up correctly from the beginning.

Unfortunately, even with a policy that offers sufficient coverage, insurance companies want to minimise the amount that they pay out for each claim. With this in mind, there’s a strong case to be made for employing an independent loss assessor to help secure a sufficient pay out.

A loss assessor will act on your behalf to assess damage to the property and ensure the correct claim is made and that you won’t be held liable for any unjust expense.

The principle of commercial property insurance is quite easy to understand, it insures you against any damage to your business premises and loss of stock. Business interruption insurance protects you against any loss of income – meaning that you will be compensated for the time your business had to close due to a theft, fire, flood or other disaster covered in your policy.

Getting a satisfactory pay out from your insurer is an entirely different issue

To make a large claim you will need to provide a wealth of proof that the damage was caused by the theft, fire or other type of damage covered by your policy. Ownership of company assets such as computers and other tools used for conducting business needs to be proven – and it might be that these documents were lost as part of the damage.

When it comes to making a claim it’s up to you to be talking to insurance companies and staff, as well as trying to assess the loss yourself. On top of running a business this can prove quite stressful, but there is a solution to take the burden off you.

As a business owner you are entitled to employ an independent loss assessor to help your get the pay out you need to get your business back to where it was prior to the damage.

A good independent loss assessor will be working for you, rather than the insurance company. This means that they take more of an unbiased approach to handling your insurance claim and will ensure you get the pay out you need from your insurer.

A loss assessor will act as a middle-man between you and your insurer and will also be able to get your business back off the ground. Depending on the situation, a loss assessor may also be able to help with temporary business relocation and helping secure interim payments from your insurer.

Above all, a loss assessor will give you the free time to put focus back on running your business, rather than spending time making insurance claims.

Choosing the right loss assessor

It’s worth noting that for commercial claims, insurance companies will often try to use their own loss adjustor to summarise and valuate the damage. This valuation can often be biased towards the insurance company, as ultimately they want to minimise pay outs, and they will not help you with your claim.

As a result it’s up to you to employ your own loss assessor. To do this, word of mouth recommendations are often best, but it’s important to only employ companies authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), formally the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The FCA is an independent body who have powers granted to them by the UK government to protect consumers from bad practice within the financial services industry. Employing a loss assessor who is regulated by this body will ensure that the level of service you receive is fair and to current standards.

Loss assessors are there to help your business when commercial insurance claims need to be made. Unless you know exactly what you’re doing when making a claim – whether it be a small or complex claim – it may be of great benefit to get a loss assessor involved to make sure you get the pay out you require.

This article was written by Paul Edmonds from Insurance Claim Solutions, an experienced independent loss assessor.

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