Your opening manager showed up on a Wednesday morning, only to find windows to your store broken and cash registers emptied. Perhaps it was not cash but rather merchandise that went missing. Burglars may target all sorts of businesses, from grocery stores to resale shops. They can cause massive damage to the premises in addition to whatever they actually steal.
Thankfully, as a business owner or executive, you had the foresight to carry insurance that includes coverage for your company’s property. General business policies often include coverage for when criminals target a business. Depending on the terms of your policy, you could seek the cost to repair the damage to your vehicle and possibly also the cost of lost or damaged merchandise.
Although you might expect a business insurance claim to be a straightforward process, companies are often reticent to pay out on large claims, especially those related to unresolved criminal activity. What can you do if the insurance company refuses to pay a claim related to criminal activity?
Review your policy carefully
Sometimes, people make inaccurate assumptions about the coverage available through their policy. An example would be those who assume that a basic property damage policy will cover flood damage, for example.
There may be limits to the coverage available after criminal activity. Verifying what conditions you have to meet to make a claim related to a burglary or similar incident you can help you determine if the insurance company has actually violated its obligations to you.
Keep thorough records
You will need a police report about the incident and internal records showing the value of the items stolen or damaged. You also need records related to the claim you made.
From the letter where the insurance adjuster tells you they don’t think they can cover the claim to the invoices from the professionals repairing your business facilities, the more records you have validating the circumstances and the consequences for your company, the easier it will be for you to make a successful insurance claim.
If the company will not cooperate with you, then you may need to pursue a bad faith insurance claim. A judge can hold an insurance company accountable if they intentionally refuse to uphold the terms of a policy.
Ensuring that you filed the right paperwork and make sense of your rights will facilitate a smoother business insurance claim or appeal after a disputed claim.