One problem we see throughout the insurance industry is clients waiting too long to file a claim with their agent and their insurance company, especially liability claims. Liability claims are slow moving, take time, and typically run from the initial complaint or claim and end up in court.
This time frame will usually span several months or longer. Waiting to file can further delay and be very frustrating to all involved. Facts and memory gets blurred causing more questions and delays. All too often, business owners wait until several months have passed, or even longer before notifying their insurance company. Even worse, some owners try to block it out and hope it will just go away on its own or retain their own counsel to investigate and try to initially offer advice or a quick remedy when it’s a liability or potential liability claim of damage.
Waiting or trying to resolve a potential claim can jeopardize coverage for a liability claim, even if that scenario is actually covered under the liability policy of the business. A business liability policy typically states a policyholder needs to notify the insurance company if a situation has occurred that could result in a claim. Notifying your insurance company immediately, they have time to both investigate and prepare a defense if necessary. By waiting too long, the company may deny the claim due to a lack of proper notice or agree to settle due to a lack of time to prepare a defense.
Don’t delay filing a property damage claim with your insurance company either. Many claims seem to get delayed by a lack of understanding coverage or deductibles. If you have a property loss, review it with your commercial broker. Delays here can result in denials if not properly handled.
Your business should always have an attorney it works with. When it comes to a liability claim, your policy and the insurance company will spell out the litigation process and course of defense. It is possible to have your insurance company compensate your attorney, but you must start the process early on and not later. Make sure to review your present liability coverage with your commercial insurance broker.