Whether your claim involves property, liability, workers compensation, auto or some other type of insurance coverage, your policy describes your obligations in the event that you have a claim.
For all types of claims, you are required to contact your insurance company right away.
Your policy describes all your obligations in the event of a property claim. Among other things, the Businessowners Policy (BOP) obligates you to:
If your policy provides business income coverage, you will need business records, such as those listed below, to establish the amount of your insurance benefits. They include:
If someone threatens to file a lawsuit against you, you should let your insurer know about the possibility of a liability claim. However, there may be events that could result in a liability claim but may not. A classic example is when a third party—for example, a customer, client or delivery person—suffers a fall on your premises. At the time of the fall you do not know whether the person will sue. However, this is the type of “occurrence” that could lead to a lawsuit and that the BOP requires you to report to your insurance company. You should give the insurer notice of the specifics of the event and contact information for any witnesses.
The BOP also requires that you should not incur any expenses, other than for first aid, for anyone who claims to have been injured.
If there is a lawsuit, you must notify the insurer immediately and cooperate in the investigation and defense of the case.
Workers compensation insurers generally want to be notified quickly if an employee has a work-related injury. Their immediate action in providing an assessment of the accident and medical care can often help accelerate the employee’s recovery, rehabilitation and return to work. You are obligated to cooperate in the insurer’s investigation of the claim, providing records and any other information requested.
Employees who drive vehicles on business, whether their own or the company’s, should be instructed on how to respond in the event of an accident. Carrying an accident kit in the vehicle will help assure a proper response to an accident.
After an accident, the police should be notified so that they can make an accident report. Obtain names and contact information for any witnesses.
Notify the insurer quickly of the accident and cooperate in the insurer’s investigation.
Your insurance policy probably contains information about how you are obliged to proceed if you are unhappy with how your claim was handled. Be sure to read the policy’s instructions about the dispute resolution procedure you agreed to when you bought the policy. You will need to follow that procedure and should be aware of it before you take further steps.
These are some further actions you may wish to take.