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Mainline Insurance Services, Inc. started in June of 2006. We started with 2 brokers, the owners of course, Michael Jones and Ralph Rivera. Our vision was simple, focus on helping businesses with their insurance needs. Although being a licensed property & casualty insurance producer allows you to provide insurance solutions for a wide range of needs, we decided to focus on business insurance only. This allowed us to create solid relationships with the insurance carriers who had their appetites focused on business as well. Two licensed brokers became 4 and as time always seems to do when you’re having fun, time sped up into hyper drive!
To most of us, our small business is our livelihood. It is the baby you have brought up from infancy and you want the best for it. What happens when there is an accident? As we all know, accidents do happen.. The good thing is that you made a wise decision in purchasing general liability insurance. So how does it all work? What should prompt you, the business owner and policy owner, to submit a claim? The following steps are what you need to do in these rough situations.
1. Contact your agent at Mainline Insurance.
The moment you are notified that an accident has happened, you should contact your broker. Most of the time, you will be asked for details of the accident. Who, what, where, when and why’s will be asked. Often, they will recommend that you contact your insurance provider even if you haven’t been sued yet.
2. Get in contact with your claims adjuster
Once your broker submits your insurance claim, a claims adjuster will be issued to your case. He or she will ask you more detailed questions about the occurrence. The objective at this point is to clarify all details of the occurrence and help your adjuster put all the pieces together. Regardless of whether you feel you are at fault or not, it is important to work with the adjuster and provide all details necessary for the adjuster to perform his or her job.
3. Ask questions.
If you don’t know the answer to something, ask the insurance adjuster who is handling your case. You may want to ask the following:
- What’s covered under the policy?
- Is this particular incident covered?
- What costs are associated in this process even if I’m not at fault?
- What are my options if a lawsuit is filed?
- When should I expect a follow-up?
Your insurance broker is not involved in the claims process. Given this fact, it is still advisable that you keep in contact with him or her. This will help everyone stay accountable and ultimately help with resolving the issue as quickly as possible.
4. Keep accurate records.
Detailed records are evidence of your activities and agreements. Write down any communication you have with the injured customer, including any…
- Phone calls.
- Face-to-face conversations.
Do the same with any communications between you and your insurer. Get things in writing, and note when you contacted your provider and what you discussed. If your insurer requests copies of anything, keep a copy for yourself, too.
5. Weigh your options.
If after all these actions take place, you are sued, you should prepare for various scenarios. Your claims adjuster might suggest one of the following courses of action:
- Respond to the claim. You either admit to or deny the allegations of the claim and explain why. You will have the claims adjusters findings as your reasons why.
- Try to dismiss the claim. The lawsuit may be frivolous and your lawyer will seek to have it dismissed.
- Settle the claim. To avoid the expensive litigation process, your insurance carrier may want you to reach a settlement out of court with the client.
As always, if you have questions about what your General Liability policy can do or what you need to do in the event of a claim, feel free to talk to your insurance agent.
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