What are the most common insurance claims? Though most small business owners don’t purchase insurance with the expectation of suffering a loss, public adjusters know some claims are more common than any business owner would like to think.
While you may believe business insurance keeps you safe rather than sorry in the event of a catastrophic incident, the reality — as evident in commercial insurance claim statistics — is that business insurance is a shield that protects your enterprise from daily risks. Though most small companies do not suffer multimillion-dollar losses, ordinary burglary and theft incidents can result in thousands of dollars worth of claims.
1. Burglary and Theft
Some of the most common business insurance claims are for burglary and theft. These claims are made for lost products and merchandise and damages caused by a burglary or break-in. Perpetrators of a burglary or theft may be outsiders or dishonest employees.
As a small business owner, you can prevent theft and burglary claims by:
- Installing adequate lighting.
- Installing fences and gates.
- Implementing background checks.
- Installing access controls to your business premises.
If you choose Gunn-Mowery, LLC, as your insurance agency, you can expect the following in the event of a claim:
- Notify your insurance provider about your claim: First, you will either notify your insurance provider directly or call us at Gunn-Mowery for assistance or advice.
- Provide all necessary information: Next, you will give your insurance provider all the available information, including any papers or documents that can help if a legal defense becomes necessary.
- Receive assistance: Our dedicated team at Gunn-Mowery can advocate for you with your insurance company. We can save you time and spare you the stress of pleading your case, and since we have developed relationships with all major insurance carriers, we are the best possible advocates for you.
- Track your claim: Finally, with Gunn-Mowery, you can track your claim through to its conclusion. When you have a dedicated team on your side, you will get the answers you need. One of our claim management experts can handle the entire claim from start to finish while offering the support you need.
2. Water Damage
Water damage is another common small business insurance claim. Water damage can result from rainstorms, floods and other incidents involving water. In winter, for example, these events tend to occur when ice causes a pipe to burst. However, burst pipes can occur at any time of the year. Further, the summer rainy season can lead to flooding that causes damage.
Small business owners can lose tens of thousands of dollars due to water damage, so having coverage for these events is key to protecting your business. You can also avoid this type of damage caused by freezing by:
- Paying attention to attics and entries that may not have sufficient heating ducts, and ensuring you provide heat to these spots on the coldest days and nights.
- Fixing doors and windows to ensure they close tightly, along with closing and sealing unneeded vents, louvers and dampers.
- Draining water from wet pipe sprinklers, as ice plugs can obstruct piping or damage sprinklers and fittings.
- Maintaining adequate indoor temperatures to prevent pipes from freezing.
- Minimizing unnecessary openings by inspecting your business’s building.
- Allowing water to flow and opening on-site fire hydrants.
- Training employees on shutting off the water.
- Clearing roofs of ice and snow.
Additionally, fire losses can be significant for a small business. To minimize losses due to fire, you should establish an emergency plan and routinely practice emergency drills to ensure your employees will know what to do if a fire does occur. Be sure to also regularly test your fire suppression and detection equipment.
Property and casualty insurance can cover your small business if your property is lost or damaged from a fire. With Gunn-Mowery, you won’t have to choose between property and liability insurance. Many small enterprises benefit from having both, and we can help you find the right policy for your company.
4. Slip-And-Fall Accidents
As a small business owner, you may also have to submit claims for customers’ slip-and-fall accidents. Regardless of what kind of company you run, there is always the risk of customer injuries. Slip-and-fall accidents are some of the costliest business insurance claims. Among all customer injuries, slips and falls on a business’s premises are the most common source of injury.
Injuries can occur, for example, when a customer slips on a slippery floor, knocks over a shelf or is hit by a falling ceiling tile. To prevent slip-and-fall accidents on your property, practice proper maintenance and good housekeeping.
5. Product Liability
A small company can be susceptible to product liability depending on the nature of the business’s operations and the warranties on the products for sale. If your business sells a product, then product liability insurance can offer you protection in case your merchandise is found faulty or causes harm or injuries to someone.
Though product liability claims make up a smaller percentage of small business insurance claims, they can cause severe financial damage if left unaddressed.
6. Reputational Damage
Finally, a small business owner may also face the need to file a reputational damage claim. Reputational damage is a third-party claim made against a business for a civil infraction, such as libel, slander or an invasion of privacy. While reputational damage does not make up a large fraction of annual small business insurance claims, these claims do come at a high cost. They are some of the most costly for small businesses, which is why it’s essential to have an effective policy for these matters.
You can avoid reputational damage by refraining from publicly criticizing your competitors and obtaining permission from content owners before you post their content on your website.