Improving the cadence of claim reporting can improve the rhythm of the outcome.
An analysis of 2016 claims reported by Markel’s Dance Program policyholders found an average gap of 24.5 business days between the date of loss and the date it was reported to the claims department. While there are a number of factors that may attribute to this gap, studies show that the later claims are reported, the more they cost to resolve. There are a number of positive outcomes that can result from taking steps to close this gap.
You can help control the costs of claims by immediately reporting discovered damage to your property, and any allegation of property damage or bodily injury that is made against your business, even if the allegation is not an official claim. Timely reporting of incidents may also have a positive impact on your overall cost of insurance.
Timely claim reporting has many other benefits:
Reporting claims promptly is part of your insurance contract.
As the holder of an insurance policy, you have a contractual obligation to report claims as soon as possible. A good rule of thumb is to report losses within 24 hours of the occurrence and no later than 72 hours of being made aware of the situation. Many times, insureds are not aware of an incident until they receive suit papers advising of a potential claim. In these cases, notify your insurance agent immediately.
A claim won’t go away because you don’t report it.
Far too often, insureds try to handle an accident or loss themselves, only to end up notifying the insurance company after a judicial judgment has been entered against them. The insured then presents the claim to the insurance company, expecting to receive payment for the judgment cost, legal expenses, and court fees. Such delays could jeopardize your coverage.
If you fail to report claims promptly, you may receive a letter advising you that your insurance company is “reserving their rights” while investigating the claim, which may lead to a potential coverage denial for late reporting. You may have to hire your own attorney to defend you if a suit is filed, leading to time away from work and out-of-pocket expenses.
Follow these three steps to report a claim.
Step one: Report all claims
Immediately report all claims to your agent or to Markel Claims by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 800-362-7535 , or faxing 855-662-7535, with a copy to your Agent.
The new claim notice should include the following:
Step two: Get the facts
Step three: Copy and submit all correspondence
Note: All new claims should be sent to email@example.com.
Complying with the terms of your insurance contract is a great way for you to take charge of managing your insurance costs. It is important to train your employees to report accidents and potential claims to the manager as soon as they happen. Make this training a part of your new-hire process and provide frequent reminders to current employees.
Prompt reporting also provides you the opportunity to consult with seasoned claims professionals that help reduce you potential exposure should you get sued. Learn more about how to avoid admissions against interest by accessing Markel’s Risk Management Library.
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.