There are many ways to get the most benefits from your insurance coverage and enhance the ability of your carrier to optimize outcomes after a loss. Below are five ways that can help you mitigate any claims you may have.
l. NOTIFY YOUR AGENT AND/OR CARRIER IF YOU MAKE CHANGES TO YOUR BUSINESS
Has your company recently changed the type of jobs it is bidding on? Have you expanded your business? If so, your insurance coverage may have unintended gaps. Assuming risks that belong to a third parry for installation at a client’s property, borrowing a piece of specialized equipment with or without an operator, or taking a job outside your normal
operating area are just some of the activities that may fall outside your current coverage.
These gaps can be eliminated or mitigated by securing the appropriate coverage additions or amendments prior to an accident occurring. By keeping your insurance agent and
company informed about the nature of your operation, you are less likely to suffer the financial impact of an unintended gap in coverage.
2. REPORT YOUR CLAIMS IN A TIMELY FASHION
Don’t make the mistake of holding off on reporting a claim for injury or damage presented by a third parry because you think it will go away or that you can handle it yourself
more effectively than your carrier. Important evidence may be lost and memories will be less clear over time. Your policy contract requires timely reporting, and failing to do so may jeopardize the availability of coverage. In addition, client relationships can suffer if they become unhappy with your personal attempts to handle the claim. Claim professionals are adept at exploring the facts, analyzing the coverage and/or liability and mitigating the financial impact of a covered loss. Prompt reporting gives them their best opportunity to do this effectively
3. A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
In today’s world, cameras are everywhere. Use your cellphone to document damage severity and location. Security footage is increasingly available in commercial and residential settings. Remember that many video loops , such as those often available on a client’s residential security system, are relatively short and need to be retrieved and
preserved as quickly as possible after an accident. Avoid potentially inflammatory pictures of injured parties, but otherwise, take plenty of pictures and identify potential sources of security footage that may have captured the accident scene.
4. PRESERVE FAILED TOOLS OR EQUIPMENT
Tool or product manufacturers may bear some or all of the responsibility for an accident resulting in bodily injury or property damage. However, it is difficult, if not impossible,to involve them if the tool or product is discarded afterwards. Make sure that such evidence is carefully preserved in a safe area. lf in doubt as to how to preserve or store it, ask your claim adjuster to provide guidance or assistance.
5. COMMUNICATE AND COLLABORATE WITH YOUR CARRIER
Your insurance adjuster will take the lead in developing documentation needed to support the claim process. However, this will require your assistance in providing copies of underlying contracts, insurance certificates from subcontractors or documentation from other parties. In addition, the claim adjuster may need access to employee witnesses, any preserved photos or films you may have, and potentially damaged or defective tools or equipment which might have caused or contributed to the claim. If you are unclear about what needs to be preserved or produced, it is important to discuss this with your insurance adjuster to make sure you are on the same page regarding responsibilities and time frames.
This article was originally published in the Landscape Professional Magazine and was written by Mark E. Anderson, ARM, CRIS, CNA Senior Client Services Manager. The purpose of this article is to provide iriformation, rather than advice or opinion. Please remember that only the relevant insurance policy can provide the actual terms, coverages,amounts, conditions and exclusions for an insured. All products and services may not be available in all states and may be subjectto change without notice.