Celebrate Independence Day

Would you like to be free from worrying about your business being sued?  As our nation celebrates Independence Day you can take steps to free your business from unnecessary claims and litigation.  The steps to freedom are surprisingly similar regardless of what kind of business you operate.  Remember while you’re undergoing this transformation that America’s independence didn’t happen overnight and likewise your business may need some time before being fully protected from litigation, but the effort will be well worth it in the end.

Know your business

Are you familiar with the term “Best Practices?”  Though the details of various best practices are often debated among businesses that compete with one another the term is still used to describe, “A technique or methodology that, through experience and research, has been proven to reliably lead to a desired result.”  Using our intended result of improving our chances of freedom from unnecessary claims and litigation the “Best Practices” for the intended result will be remarkably similar. 

Your first step in reducing the risk of claims is to know the common loss drivers for your business and protect against those exposures to loss.  Contact your Markel loss control specialist if you’re not sure about the common loss exposures for your business.  Representatives are available to assist clients with loss control recommendations, articles, advice and consultations depending on your business needs.

Know your customers

It’s a well-known adage in business that, “friends usually don’t sue friends.”  The simple habit of getting to know your customers well enough that if you see them out in public you can engage them in conversation goes a long way in reducing claims and litigation.  Customers who like doing business with you will be more understanding if there’s an incident arising out of your business relationship that might otherwise lead to a claim.  Regular communication with your customers will solidify the business relationship and encourage them to contact you with a grievance before a potential little problem turns into litigation. 

Know your past

If you’ve been in business three or more years there’s a good chance you’re doing things better today than when you began your operations.  Perhaps when first starting your operations you didn’t document as well as you should have.  Are there disclaimers, waivers, guarantees, warranties, hold harmless agreements, or other business contracts you need to have signed?  Have you explained in writing to your customer exactly what your business can and cannot do for them? 

It’s always best to try to secure this type of paper work before a business relationship begins while things are going well.  If you have proper agreements in place before an incident they may greatly lesson the liability against your company in the event of a claim.  Contact your Markel loss control specialist if you need assistance in making sure your documentation is where it needs to be.  Solid documentation of your promises and your customer’s expectations will serve your company well into the future.  If your business is ever sued documentation may be the only thing that protects you from a large judgment against your company.

Know your present

Is your industry changing with the times?  Are there attorneys looking for reasons to sue your company that you may not know about?  What are you doing as a business TODAY that will help protect you from claims tomorrow?  Are there things your business is doing or not doing TODAY that might increase your chances of claims in the future?  Contact your Markel loss control specialist for the latest information on your industry and Best Practices for loss prevention.

Know your Markel loss control representatives

Visit the Markel risk management library for information and articles on your operations and how to protect against losses to your business.   

Want to get in contact with a loss control specialist who will assist you with your business needs?  Click here to find the representative best suited to help you.

The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us or your attorney if you have any questions.