First-party Property Insurance Coverage Policies And Your Business

Posted on: June 27, 2016

Picture it: you drive to work, only to discover that your thriving business has suddenly disappeared – into a sinkhole. What is the first thing you do? Call your insurance broker of course. Having appropriate insurance is part and parcel of owning a business. You expect that they will cover you in instances like this – property damage resulting from a natural disaster, business interruption, or builder’s risk. The last thing you can afford is any kind of delay; or worse, denial of claim.

One, two, three

When reading your insurance policy as a legal contract, “first party” is the term used for the insured. The “second party” refers to the insurance company, but it is an industry quirk that this term is seldom used. Anyone who is neither the insured nor the insurer is referred to as the “third party”.

So, for example, if one of your customers has a slip and fall on your premises, they would have a third party claim. However, if you have suffered a loss of your own property, your claim would be described as a first party claim.

Salt in the wound

If you have experienced some type of property loss, being paid out is top priority. There are often delays in decisions and action, unreasonable valuations, or coverage disputes.

A court case is a headache: expensive, and time-consuming. Ideally your insurance lawyer will aim to collect your insurance without the need to litigate. Insurance attorneys evaluate your situation, working towards a swift resolution.

Best practises

  • Be honest and give the correct information to the insurer.
  • Fill in the claim form yourself rather assigning it to a staff member.
  • Draw a line across any space left after filling in the form.
  • Scan a copy of the documents
  • Read all the terms and conditions in fine detail.
  • Conduct thorough research before selecting an insurance company.
  • Don’t decide in haste. Do ask for clarification.
  • Tackle the paperwork – time delays can cause a claim rejection.

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