Filing an Insurance Claim for Your Business
Accidents, injuries, and mistakes happen. No matter how good a business runs, insurance claims are a part of life. Our job is to help your business navigate the claims process and get back to business as soon as possible. Even if your not sure whether or not a claim will amount to anything serious or legal, your best bet is to speak with your agent about the possible risks for your business.
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Insurance Claim Process
The insurance claim process varies significantly between the type of insurance claim and the insurance company involved. Small claims such as incidental property damage or a fender bender can often be resolved by carriers before any legal action or official claim is made.
Insurance companies generally assign a case manager, or adjuster, to every claim. These case managers often specialize in various lines of coverage. The carrier will most likely take your statement and request additional documentation such a claims report form.
Most carrier have online reporting capabilities for most lines of coverage. Visit your insurance companies website for online reporting options.
General Liability Claims
General liability insurance claims do not always have a significant impact on your renewal premium. Claim frequency and claim severity are the two primary factors related to an increase in premium and rates for insurance coverage. However, it’s important to note that frequently reporting potential claims that never amount to a real loss can still cause higher insurance premiums.
It’s important to know the facts and understand your insurance coverage before filing a loss notice with the insurance company. At General Liability Shop.com, our Loss and Compliance Department deals with business insurance claims every day. We’re happy to help customers determine how best to manage a potential claim for their business.
Third Party Claim
Keep in mind that most lines of liability coverage are for third-party claims only. General liability and professional liability policies do not cover injuries and damages to your own employees and property. In most cases, any payments or settlements will be made directly to the third-party on your behalf.
Workers comp, EPLI, and property coverages are specifically designed to protect your business from employee injuries and personal property or building damage.
Insurance Claim Forms
There are numerous insurance claim forms used by insurance companies. The type of claims form, or notice of loss, will also vary depending on what type of coverage and policy is being affected. A general liability notice of occurrence or claim is different that an auto loss form or a property loss notice. Most of these loss forms are proprietary because they are specific to the insurance company covering the claim.
Commercial Claims and Coverage
Business insurance coverage requires that your carrier defend your business from liability claims. Contractually, the insurance company has a duty to defend. your business and a duty to indemnify your business up to the stated amount of coverage.
While the majority of business liability claims are settled outside of the court system, sometimes legal counsel may be needed. Your insurance carrier should either provide your business with legal counsel or agree to pay for your choice of legal counsel. A good insurance agency should help you recognize if counsel is needed and also press the insurance company on your behalf.