HOW TO BEST HANDLE CLAIMS ~ American Business Insurance, Greenwood Indianapolis Insurance

Monday, January 16, 2012

HOW TO BEST HANDLE CLAIMS

Whether claims involve liability, property, workers compensation or other types of insurance, policies outline the obligations of the policyholder in the event they must file a claim. Regardless of the type of claim, policyholders are required to make contact with their insurers immediately.

Property Claims. Policies have specific wording regarding the obligations of a policyholder in the event a claim must be made. The Business Owners Policy, which is also called a BOP, requires policyholders to take the following steps:

Report legal violations to the police immediately.
Make immediate contact with a personal insurance agent.
Resume the maximum volume of regular business operations as soon as possible.
Make temporary repairs and take any other necessary steps to protect property from further damage. It's also important to save the damaged parts if they must be replaced. In some cases, the claims adjuster will want to examine them.

Business Income Claims. In order to establish an amount of insurance benefits for a policy that provides business income coverage, BOP holders need to keep specific business records. The following are required records:

Expense and income information must reflect recent profit and loss statements and income tax forms.
Historical sales records for the company must be kept.
Businesses must keep a thorough record of extra expenses required to resume business operations after a covered loss is experienced. Some examples include temporary equipment rental, temporary rental space and moving expenses.
Receipts or other records for damaged inventory are necessary to replace lost items.
Any other business records that might assist in determining a company's projected profits if the loss hadn't occurred are also helpful.

Workers Compensation Claims. For a workers compensation claim, it's important to notify the insurer immediately after an employee suffers a work-related injury. Notifying the insurer immediately is the best way to help the employee recover quickly, get through rehabilitation and return to work. Employers must comply with the insurer's investigation following a claim. This means that records must also be provided if requested.

Liability Claims. Contact an insurer immediately if a person threatens to file a lawsuit against the company. In some cases, there might be a good reason for an individual to pursue a lawsuit. However, they might not choose to do so. For example, if a person falls on a business property, they might or might not sue. It's important to report the incident and possibility of a lawsuit to an insurer immediately. Be sure to include specific details, contact witnesses and make necessary followups. Business owners shouldn't spend any money on injured persons aside from basic first aid care if they claim to be injured. If the individual sues, it's important to cooperate in the investigation.

Vehicle Claims. If employees drive business vehicles, they should be instructed on the proper responses to accidents. Employers should put an accident kit in each company vehicle to ensure that a proper response is possible. The police must be notified immediately after an accident occurs. Employees should obtain the names of all other individuals and witnesses involved. Contact the insurer immediately to report the accident.
There is probably specific information regarding how policyholders should proceed if they're unhappy with the way a claim is handled. It's important to read the instructions carefully and follow procedures. If there are any issues or concerns, contact one of our agents to discuss them.

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