It is natural and prudent to have small business insurance in place to provide general liability and property coverage in the event of an unforeseen loss or catastrophe on the business property. According to The Hartford’s records and as reported in the Insurance Journal, four out of ten small businesses will file either a property or general liability claim with their insurance company within the next ten years. The reasons for these claims are varied. However, some events and circumstances are more likely to give rise to claims than others. Those facts and circumstances that do result in the filing of a claim also can vary in terms of the cost to the small business and/or its insurance company.
Top Ten Most Common and Most Costly Small Business Claims
The Hartford’s list of the most common types of small business claims is derived from the company’s own records. The most common small business claims include claims based upon:
- Burglary or theft (about 20 percent of all claims)
- Water / freeze damage (about 15 percent of all claims)
- Damage caused by wind or hail (about 15 percent of all claims)
- Fire (about 10 percent of all claims)
- Slip and fall injuries sustained by customers (about 10 percent of all claims)
- Other types of injuries to customers (less than 5 percent of all claims)
- Defective product/dangerous product (less than 5 percent of all claims)
- Struck by an object injuries (less than 5 percent of all claims)
- Harm to the business’s reputation (less than 5 percent of all claims)
- Car or truck crash (less than 5 percent of all claims)
This list does not necessarily reflect the types of claims that are the most costly to the small business. If a business does not have an applicable insurance policy in force at the time of the loss or event, the business will need to draw upon its own resources to address the lost. The types of claims that are the most costly for small business owners include:
- Burglary or theft (average $8,000)
- Struck by an object injuries (average $10,000)
- Water / freeze damage (average $17,000)
- Slip and fall injuries sustained by customers (average $20,000)
- Damage caused by wind or hail (average $26,000)
- Other types of injuries to customers (average $30,000)
- Defective product/dangerous product (average $35,000)
- Fire (average $35,000)
- Car or truck crash ($45,000)
- Harm to the business’s reputation ($50,000)
What Does This Mean for Florida Small Business Owners?
Small businesses that operate without any type of property or general liability insurance policy in place confront unnecessary risk. The potential cost of premium payments or the belief that you will be able to shoulder the costs of an unexpected event are not good reasons for neglecting to obtain adequate coverage. For those business owners who may feel as if the insurance claims process is too confusing or too time consuming, a plaintiff’s insurance claims attorney is available to assist you in filing or appealing the denial of a claim.
Business owners who do have a property and/or general liability policy in place should review the extent of their coverage and ensure that they are adequately protected in the event of a calamity.
If your insurance carrier is refusing to comply with its contractual obligation, you are invited to contact our law firm to speak to an experienced Miami insurance claims attorney. My law firm specializes in representing policyholders in claims disputes in Miami and throughout Florida. Click here to read about some of our case results. The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations. No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees. Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.