After causing a minor accident usually comes the dread of a possible car insurance rate hike. Even if you have plenty of food truck insurance coverage, you might be tempted to avoid filing any food truck insurance claims or to keeping the accident a secret from your insurance company.

Be warned, your liability insurance is there to protect you from lawsuits. It’s also important to remember your insurance company is experienced with handling parties involved in an accident. Liability coverage pays for the damage and injuries you cause others, and it pays your legal defense costs if you’re sued as a result of an accident.

Making food truck insurance claims for damage or theft can be stressful, but if you follow these steps you can maximize your chances of success.

Checklist For Making Food Truck Insurance Claims

  • Ensure that employees inform you as soon as possible of any accidents, thefts, legal action against you or other potential claims.
  • Check whether the loss is covered by your insurance policy and that you were complying with any conditions.
  • Notify your insurer immediately; ensure that any losses resulting from crime are reported to the police as well.
  • Ask what action you are required to take to minimize further loss; ensure that the insurer approves any action you plan including emergency repairs.
  • Keep records of the claim (such as photographs of the damage or loss), initial notification and subsequent communications.
  • Collect all the information required, typically for completion of a claim form; take advice from the insurer or your insurance broker if necessary.
  • Be ready to get estimates for any repairs, or to be visited by the insurer’s loss adjuster who will assess the loss.
  • Claim for the full scale of your loss. This could include emergency cleaning, repairs, replacements and loss of business.
  • Submit the claim and ask for an estimate of how long the claim process will take; agree a timetable.
  • Process your claim as quickly as possible by providing information whenever required; consider negotiating interim payments if necessary.

When Not To File Food Truck Insurance Claims

  • It was a one vehicle accident and you and your staff aren’t injured, or if you’re able to pay for your medical expenses yourself.
  • You can afford to pay for the costs of damage to your food truck, or the costs of the repair are close to or not much over the cost of your deductible.
  • There’s little to no damage to the other vehicle or property. If you barely touched the other vehicle and didn’t cause any damage, you might not need to get insurance involved.

Please Note: Even if the other driver is honest and the accident was only a fender bender, the damage might be more serious than it first appears. Without your insurer’s help, you could end up on the hook for thousands of dollars in repairs.

RELATED: Additional Insured Certificates: What Food Truck Vendors Need To Know

The Bottom Line

When in doubt, involve your insurance company. Single food truck insurance claims won’t always set your mobile food business back. Some insurance companies offer accident forgiveness. This is where the first time you file a claim has zero effect on your rates. But it’s also always good to keep in mind that the whole purpose of food truck insurance is to protect consumers from potential financial disaster; not a small financial inconvenience.

Do you have any additional food truck insurance claim tips? Share your thoughts in the comment section or on social media. Facebook | Twitter