Your general liability insurance covers a wide range of mishaps that may occur on your property. These misfortunes may include accidents that lead to third-party injuries. However, general liability goes much beyond accidents, as it protects against various lawsuits. When you file a general liability claim, you’ll need to take the following careful steps to ensure the reimbursement process goes smoothly.
Steps to Filing a General Liability Claim
- Contact your insurer
The first step in filing a general liability claim is to contact your insurance agent and provide details of the event that has caused damage or injury to a third party. It’s important to file the claim immediately so an insurance specialist can begin working on it. Putting any type of insurance claim on the back burner can lead to forgetting about it until it’s too late or you’re up against a deadline.
- Maintain detailed records
Document the incident as much as possible to back your case for filing a claim. Get contact information from all parties, such as victims and witnesses that were present at the time of the incident.
- Request statements from people involved
Get as many statements as possible from victims and witnesses involved in the incident. The strongest way to document their statements is on an audio recording with video, but you can also document written statements or email messages.
- Get contacts from vendors
You should also seek contact information from vendors who are associated with the incident, such as contractors working on a project in that area.
- Take photos of the site
Use your smartphone to take multiple photos of where the incident occurred from various angles. Store these photos in a folder on your computer and email the most revealing photos that back your claim to your insurance agent. If you take several dozen photos, it’s helpful to organize them in subfolders that make certain scene details easy to find.
- Obtain and maintain the security video
Another important step to support your claim is to get security video coverage of the incident. Many places with 24-hour video monitoring delete footage from the past day or week to conserve digital resources. So get a copy of the video as soon as possible. You should also talk with nearby establishments and find out if their surveillance cameras have captured footage related to the accident.
- Research prior incidents
Spend time looking into the history of similar incidents that have occurred on the property. If you see a pattern of events, such as accidents happening in a certain time frame, it can act as evidence to back your claim. When multiple accidents occur in the same area to the same people over a short time frame, it indicates something in that location is causing the problem. That means responsibility for the damage falls on the property owner.
Protect your business from financial disaster
You have a lot to worry about as a business owner, and expensive lawsuits shouldn’t be one of them! Contact us at Hoffman Brown Company to learn more about general liability insurance and secure the right insurance coverage for your needs.