The Tale of Two Claims


Running a business is sometimes like herding cats. There is always more to do each day than can ever be done, but operating continuously that way leaves holes in our processes that can lead to a difficult and a painful result.


We recently had a client who suffered a theft loss at their business. The claim was filed, but the pain just started. The client was asked to come up with a list of items that were stolen, the value of those items, a description of each item and a way to substantiate a proof of ownership. The task was monumental!


Two weeks struggling to develop a list


The client struggled for weeks developing a list of items and went through endless revisions. They worked through the same process to reconstruct the proof of value and ownership. The claim dominated their time and kept them from more important issues they faced in the company. It significantly impacted the staff as they were missing the tools they need to do their jobs productively, so they found themselves authorizing purchases not knowing if they would get equal value from the insurance carrier. Eventually, the client documented the claim and submitted it to the carrier for payment. Payment was made promptly, but from beginning to end the process took over six weeks to recover from what was stolen. Our client mentioned that he hoped he would never, ever have to go through the pain of a loss again!


The claims process took only a few days


In comparison, another of our clients suffered a similar fate. The business was broken into one night and the thieves ransacked every room taking items of value and leaving a mess. The difference was the client had an inventory of every item, a description, the value and proof of ownership. The claims process only took a few days. It didn’t interrupt the day to day business operation, because they were back in business with all the tools the staff needed to be productive. The client was pleased with the results.


The tale of these two scenarios were only different because one owner was prepared and the other was not. The inventory was helpful in simplifying the claims process and got the business back into operation more quickly. Asking both of our clients about the claims, our first client was not very satisfied and was unhappy for the loss of time and productivity. Our second client was very satisfied with the timing and the speed with which the claim was handled.


Digging a little deeper, the prepared owner said that creating the inventory and documentation was arduous and if they need to do it over again he would hire a service to help. In addition, the client said he would set a schedule to update his inventory every couple years. I agree that hiring a professional inventory service is a wise choice.


We hope that a loss never happens to you or your business, but if it does, you can feel the pain more deeply or be prepared in advance. The choice is yours!


The owner of Avon Insurance Associates Inc., Rick Bowman has been an insurance agent for six years. AIA is an independent insurance agency representing many different insurance carriers in order to provide the best level of service, price and coverage. Located in Avon, Indiana, AIA serves residential and business clients throughout the state of Indiana. Contact Rick at 317-718-1747 or