An update on business insurance claims
No one could have imagined as they popped open a bottle of bubbly at midnight on 31st December 2019, that the months following would bring major changes to the entire world! With individuals at risk of being infected by a transmissible and deadly virus, and many businesses shut down for public health safeguarding.
The insurance market has faced increased demand for insurance policies, claims experience, alongside an impact on the value of the assets that they hold to meet their obligations to policyholders.
Welcome to our own in-house Claims Manager, Sue Regan
At Glowsure we have been keeping a very careful eye on developments throughout last year and into 2021, and due to an increased demand on claims handling – we’ve even appointed our very own in-house Claims Manager, Sue Regan!
With over 29 years in the claims industry, Sue brings with her a wealth of experience in managing claims for both commercial and residential property, and is recognised for her tenacity when it comes to standing her ground on business related claims!
Key takeaways from insurance claims in 2020
As we’re now already nearing the end of the first month of 2021, Sue shares her insights into the insurance claims we’ve been handling internally.
Settling claims in-house for our clients
As an Insurance Broker that specialises in commercial property, we weren’t surprised to see that over 50% of the claims we handle were property related! In most instances, the claims we receive are a result of natural perils, (fire, theft, storm, and vandalism) and are usually settled within 4 weeks*. Where the nature of the claim is more complex, settlement times can be longer.
*Whilst our average claims settlement time is 4 weeks, we also settle some claims within a few days. If we have all necessary information and documentation to provide to the insurers, we can often request payment by BACS immediately.
Are all claims that are submitted, settled?
In the year of 2020, of the claims we received, 91% have been agreed, paid and settled. As one might imagine, the claims that we are seeing take longer to settle are Business Insurance related! Further information on the magnitude of the pandemic on Insurance can be found via the Association of British Insurers here.
What does the future look like for Business Insurance Interruption claims?
Whether business interruption is included was a question we were asked quite a bit in 2020, followed closely by whether the insurance policy would pay out!
With the recent judgement of the business interruption test case, The Supreme Court has ruled that many thousands of policyholders will now have their claims for coronavirus-related business interruption losses paid. This is positive news for some, however the majority of small businesses will still not receive a pay out!
Although they might have had ‘Business Interruption’ cover, most did not have the policy extension that covers ‘prevention of access’ and specifically where the government forced your business to close (most people could not have dreamed this situation would ever be a reality).
Or, their policy excluded ‘pandemics’ or only covered disease that were clearly specified in the wording (Covid-19 would not have been specified).
It is still worth double checking the wording of your policy because if you had business interruption cover that included prevention of access (and specifically where the government forced your business to close) then should you have grounds to claim.
If your policy included the extension of ‘notifiable diseases’, then you should be aware that the majority of policies providing this extension will only provide cover if its proved the disease was contracted at your place of work, which then forced closure of your business. There would also have to be no pandemic exclusion or specified diseases in the wording.
As you can see it’s not all the media has made it out to be and of course, it’s incredibly frustrating for business owners and us!
One thing we would like to encourage commercial policyholders to be extra diligent about, is whether your building is occupied or standing vacant amidst lock-down guidelines. Insurers are offering varying cover from 30 to 90 days, if vacant due to COVID.
So, we urge you to make us aware the instant anything changes to ensure you remain fully covered.
Why choose an Insurance Broker with an in-house claims team?
With combined experience of over 120 years (there’s 9 of us in the Glowsure team now!), we’re here to take the pain of insurance away and make it easy for you! Insurance can be a real ball-ache, just read above and you can see that policies are not easy to navigate or to know if you’re actually covered for something!
We like to keep things simple for you. We’ll ask you the right questions so we can make sure you have the right cover. You’ll have your own Account Handler who will even take care of any claims so you can get on with more important things! No call centres, no phone queues or being on hold!
If you’re concerned that your current insurance policy may not cover you, feel free to contact the team at Glowsure for a free policy health check!