Liability Claims: When To File

When should I file a liability claim on my insurance?

A serious problem insurance carriers express is clients waiting far too long to submit a claim.  A liability claim, from the initial incident to ruling, are generally slow moving cases and can be time consuming.  Often, these complaints take weeks or more to develop and then span over months or more of back and forth negotiation and often then end up in court.

The first mistake made by business owners and managers is not reporting the incident, no matter how simple it may seem.  If you have managers and supervisors, they must understand how serious this can be.  Many will wait months before finally notifying their agent and insurance company.  Some business owners put blinders on and just hope the problems magically goes away.  Some will use their own attorneys in an attempt to have a quick end to the problem or believe they will save money.

Following any of those paths can lead to jeopardizing the coverage of a liability insurance policy that may be covered.  Written into every policy is wording to the effect the insured must immediately notify the insurance company of any situation which could result in a claim.  This rapid notification allows the insurance company to investigate the situation and if necessary, prepare a defense.

Failing to notify the insurance company, or trying to handle the claim though another attorney, the company may have the right to deny the claim even if it would have been covered.  The insurance company may also opt to settle the claim because of the inadequate notification and preparation time gone by.  Your licensed insurance professional can work with you and your team to understand and develop a claim process.

Your business should have a business attorney. However, liability claims should go through your insurance company.  They will lay out the process to follow the claim through litigation.  In fact, your attorney may be involved through your insurance and paid through the insurance carrier.

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Work with your licensed insurance professional and develop a workplace process in notification of potential liability claims with your employees to you and you to your insurance carrier.  Don’t make a costly mistake that could severely impact your business.

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