Six simple steps to help settle a claim in 24 hours

Safety and insurance

26 April 2019

86,400 seconds. 1440 minutes. 24 hours. As a business owner, each day can feel like a race against the clock to tick off as many tasks from your to-do list as you can. As the old saying goes: time is money, and this couldn’t be truer when it comes to running a business.

So, if something goes wrong and you need make a claim, you don’t have a second to spare navigating a slow or complex claims process to help make things right.

That’s why at AXA, we’re working hard to make it simpler for you to settle your business insurance claims as smoothly as possible. In fact, we’re working to settle more and more claims within 24 hours1.

Here’s some of our top time-saving tips to increase the chances of your business insurance claim being paid out sooner rather than later.

1. Gather your policy information before calling

It’s said that for every minute spent organising, an hour is earned. Get ahead of the game by making sure you have the information below at hand when you contact us:

  1. Your insurance policy number and business details
  2. Your trade or occupation
  3. The address you’re insured at
  4. The date when the damage or loss happened
  5. Your VAT status and number
  6. Bank details like the sort code, account number and name of the account holder we should pay – with our electronic payment service (which is our preferred payment method) your money could be in your account within two hours

2. Provide as much detail as you can

The devil’s in the detail, so if you can give us as much of the information we need as early as possible, we’ll be able to deal with your business insurance claim more effectively.

Before giving us a call to discuss your claim, try to provide us with as much of the following information as you can:

  1. A description of your business.
  2. Details of exactly what happened which leads to your claim.
  3. The full nature and extent of your loss, including details of all damage. And any supporting evidence you can provide, such as estimates, images or original invoices, can help us settle your claim sooner too.
  4. A description of your business premises (if you’ve insured them), whether the premises are occupied or not and the typical hours they tend to be occupied.

We’re not looking for War and Peace, but the more in-depth you can go, the better we can understand the ins and outs of your claim and get it processed.

3. Store your policy information in a safe, easy-to-reach place

Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Why not consider storing the important information listed above in a secure but easy-to-access location and downloading your policy to your laptop or phone?

When you’re in the middle of an emergency, the last thing you want to be doing is wasting precious time rummaging around for your business insurance policy details. Having them nearby means you can begin the claims process quicker.

4. Create a list of your most valuable items

Ask yourself: could your business be stopped in its tracks if certain assets were lost, damaged or stolen? If the answer is yes and you have contents or business equipment cover, it may be worth your while creating a list of your business’ most valuable items.

A good way to set up your list of items is going room by room and working out what items help you complete business activities. Then take note of their make, serial numbers and price – information which should be available through owners’ manuals, the manufacturer or supplier’s website, or your email confirmations and receipts.

This might seem like a longwinded exercise – but it could save you lots of time and stress should you ever need to make a claim.

Keep in mind that if you’ve had items stolen or vandalised, report it to the police as soon as possible too, as you’ll need the crime incident number for your claim too.

5. Get emergency repair work done as quickly as you can

Damage can become worse and take longer to repair if left alone. For example, if a roof leak isn’t stopped, the water will continue to gather inside the structure, resulting in greater harm to not only your property but your wallet, thanks to more expensive final repairs.

If you must call out an emergency tradesperson to help limit damage to your business premises following an incident, always remember to keep copies of the receipts for the work carried out. That way you can include them at the beginning of your business insurance claim, which can help the process run smoother.

6. Make the claim as soon as possible

This might sound obvious, but if an incident feels like a non-emergency, you may be tempted to leave it until after the weekend. But the early bird catches the worm, and the sooner you report your claim the quicker we can set things in motion.

Once you’ve got all the information you need, get in touch with one of our award-winning claims teams2 using the contact details on our business insurance claims page and we’ll do all we can to help you from there.

We all try our best to prepare for the worst, but sometimes unexpected incidents can stop us in our tracks. Reduce stress and save time and money by keeping these six simple steps in mind if the worst happens. By staying organised, you’ll feel reassured knowing that you can make a claim quickly and efficiently, leaving you to get back to doing what you do best: keeping your customers happy.

Work hard, insure easy

Running a business is hard work. That’s why we’re doing all we can to make your insurance a bit easier. From helping you tailor your policy to your unique business needs, to taking the guesswork out of finding business insurance, find out what we’re doing to help small businesses.

1 Our claims office is open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm, but any calls outside of these hours are picked up by our out-of-hours claim team on a 24/7 basis. Calls are charged at local rate and may be recorded or monitored. Not all claims are eligible – each claim is assessed on a case by case basis (see how you can increase your chance of getting your claim paid in 24 hours here). In 2018 we paid 8% of claims in 24 hours and 22% in 48 hours – and we’re working to improve that.

2 Our claims team have won leading industry awards at the CII Public Interest Awards 2015 and 2016, The British Insurance Awards 2012 and 2015, and The Claims Awards 2012.