In every business, there is a chance that your mistakes could harm a client. Sometimes, these mistakes could cause them physical injuries. When they do, the client could face significant recovery costs, lost income and medical bills. However, since the business was the party responsible for the accident, they might have to be the one to pay for the client’s injury costs. Sometimes, the clients will even sue them to demand compensation.
Situations like these will likely merit a claim against your commercial general liability insurance. It’s there to help your business in situations where your mistakes have caused someone harm and you now owe them compensation. The policy can pay for these losses rather than forcing you to pay out of pocket.
However, you must make sure you file your claim correctly to reap full benefits. This will require paying careful attention to detail and gathering appropriate information about the claim.
Consider a few best practices that can apply when it’s time to file a general liability claim:
1. Make Your Claim Early
As soon as an accident occurs, report it to your insurance provider. In many cases, insurers recommend that you contact them even if a claim has not occurred. Therefore, should a claim arise, your insurer will be prepared for it and can guide you appropriately. Indeed, many liability policies require the policyholder to report the claim within a certain amount of time.
2. Be Transparent & Gather Evidence
Regardless of whether you think a liability lawsuit is unfounded, you still have to be able to fight it. Therefore, you'll need evidence to document the occurrence. It can help support your own position that you might not be responsible for the third party’s losses. Depending on the terms outlined in your policy, you might need to gather the contact information of the injured party, take pictures of the accident scene or gather witness statements.
Additionally, if you have any contact with the affected party after the accident occurs, keep a record of every interaction. Your insurance agent can tell you the materials you need to submit to them to file your claim.
3. Review Your Policy with Your Agent
Your insurance agent can act as a resource to help you understand how your liability insurance will benefit you. They can tell you if your policy covers the claim in question, how your policy will assist you and when you will need to contact them regarding aspects of the claim.
Additionally, your agent can act as an advisor on how to respond to a lawsuit. They can also advise you on your options to close the claim. This might mean fighting the suit in court, settling the lawsuit or getting the lawsuit dismissed. Many policies will provide legal assistance coverage that will provide you with counsel and guide you through the process of fighting the claim.
Also Read: What Does And Doesn't A Business Owner's Policy Cover?
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