#1 reason you should never report claims late: coverage could be negated

By Higginbotham on August 19 , 2020

insurance claim form

People put things off for a lot of reasons. You might be busy. Maybe it seems unimportant. It could be just downright unpleasant. We get it. But when it comes to reporting claims to your insurer, promptness is essential. If you delay, your coverage could be negated – and that could be a big problem for your business. Protect your coverage, your company and your bottom line by reporting claims promptly.

Time Does Not Heal All Wounds

There’s a saying that time heals all wounds, but that’s not always quite true. In some situations, time can make things worse.

Imagine these hypothetical examples:

  • Someone falls on your property. You don’t think the injuries are significant, so you don’t file a claim – then the person hits you will a large lawsuit.

  • An employee is involved in a fender bender that wasn’t his fault. You forget to report the claim – and now the at-fault driver is claiming your employee caused the crash.

  • A storm causes damage to your roof. You don’t report the claim. Another storm develops, and now you have significant water damage and mold.

When it comes to claims, time is of the essence – even if you think the claim is minor or non-urgent.

Speed Helps Everyone

No one enjoys claims, but putting things off only makes the situation worse. Here’s why filing claims promptly helps everyone:

  • The faster you file the claim, the faster it can close and you can be made whole again.

  • The faster the insurer learns about the claim, the sooner the insurer can take action to mitigate the damage and prevent additional problems.

  • Prompt documentation and reporting of all incidents may help prevent fraudulent or exaggerated claims against your company.

  • Claims that are not reported promptly may be denied on the basis of the delay alone.

When Should You Report Claims?

Check your policy documents for specific requirements and timelines for reporting claims. It’s likely that your policy states that a claim can be denied if it is not reported promptly.

So what exactly does “prompt” mean? In many cases, it means right away. As soon as you know of a claim, contact your insurer.

Sometimes, legitimate reasons might delay you from reporting a claim. For example, in the case of a fire, storm or other potentially dangerous event, you might need to get to a safe location first. Definitely do that – safety is always the priority. Depending on the nature of the claim, you might also need to file a police report. But once these immediate concerns are handled, don’t delay. Contact your insurer right away to report the loss.

At Higginbotham, our claims team will review the coverage you secure through our firm and report claims to your insurer. Contact us to learn more about our Day Two Services®.

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Tags: Risk Management


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