What to Do When You Have a Claim.
Start right away.
Promptly notify your broker of the loss or incident. Provide all pertinent documents including, but not limited to, summons and complaint, incident reports and police reports. Early reporting of losses or situations that could result in a claim is extremely critical to the adjustment process. Keep in mind that prompt reporting:
- Is a policy requirement that, if breached, could void your coverage
- Enables your insurance carrier to begin prompt investigation and document evidence to protect your interests against liability claims
- Speeds up response time in the event of a first party property loss. It minimizes inconvenience to you and expedites the return to normal operations
Losses Below the Deductible
Losses that are obviously below the deductible should be handled like any other repair. If there is any question as to the scope and amount of damage, we recommend reporting the loss immediately. This will protect you from any "late notice" ramifications and give you access to professional advice and direction. Prompt reporting also expedites the response by the insurance carrier should a claim be made.
All water losses must be handled quickly utilizing appropriate repair techniques to eliminate or prevent mold. This is important whether the loss is covered by your policy or below your deductible.
Reporting Losses After Normal Business Hours
Notify your broker promptly – many have 24/7 reporting systems. Take reasonable and necessary steps to protect the property from further damage. Obtain detailed invoices for any and all emergency work performed.
Liability Incident or Claim
Any incident involving bodily injury must be reported immediately regardless of the nature and extent of the injury. This protects you from any "late notice" ramifications. It will also give the insurance carrier the opportunity to decide whether or not an investigation is appropriate.
This is crucial to the insurance company's ability to defend against third party claims and lawsuits. The majority of personal injury lawsuits are filed months or even years after an incident occurs. Without the benefit of early investigation and documentation, the carrier will be at a distinct disadvantage in defending and mitigating the claim for you.
Include the name, address and phone number of the claimant and a detailed description of the incident, damage or claim in the report.
Take photographs that show the location of the incident as quickly as possible so you can preserve the evidence. Show the location and/or alleged condition from multiple angles.
After your insurance carrier has investigated the incident and had the opportunity to inspect the property, repair or eliminate any dangerous or defective conditions to prevent a recurrence.
Lawsuit papers (summons and complaints) must be hand-delivered or sent by overnight mail. In the transmittal, identify who was served with the papers and the date of service. Also include any contracts, leases, certificates of insurance or by-laws that will assist the insurance carrier in responding to the lawsuit. Time is of the essence on all litigation, so please expedite this process. Make sure you receive a confirmation that the papers were received.
Refer any contact or communication from an attorney or private investigator representing an injured party to your insurance carrier. Cooperate fully with any adjuster or attorney representing the insured or the insurance carrier
Directors & Officers Loss
Refer any contact or communication from an attorney or private investigator representing an injured party to your insurance carrier. Cooperate fully with any adjuster or attorney representing the insured or the insurance carrier.
All claims should be reported directly to your broker. Please note that these types of claims cannot be reported by telephone.
The insured may need to engage personal counsel to file an extension if a lawsuit is involved. The carrier will determine coverage prior to accepting defense of the litigation.
All claims should be reported directly to your broker. Once you report the claim, the length of the process will vary depending on the nature of the claim. The process generally includes the following steps:
- Acknowledgment – a letter will be sent to you and your broker acknowledging the carrier’s receipt of the claim notice
- There will be a period of information gathering, investigation, and coverage determination
- Release and assignment – If coverage for your claim is afforded under the policy, the insurer may ask you to sign a release and assignment of your claim. This document will permit them to pursue recovery from any parties responsible for the loss