It’s hard to make an accurate prediction of the outcome when a liability claim first comes to your attention. Some incidents resolve simply, while others do not. However, for home care businesses that delay the reporting of a claim to their insurer, the outcome is almost always worse than it otherwise could have been with prompt reporting.
The timing of a liability claim resulting from an alleged mistake, accident or injury is often inconvenient. But the importance of prompt claims reporting cannot be overstated. The longer you wait, the more difficult, costly and stressful it may be to resolve. Here is how early claim reporting can help minimize your exposure.
Why Every Day Counts When You Have a Claim
When an incident that could result in a legal liability claim happens, every day counts. In addition to taking immediate steps to satisfy the client or their family, it is critical to alert your insurance provider of the potential claim so that your provider can assist you through the process, if needed.
The more that time passes, the higher the likelihood that the client or their family will retain counsel. Once a legal representation begins, a liability claim can take an average of 58% longer to resolve. A longer process can increase the stress of dealing with the claim and may lead to additional or unnecessary costs.
The passage of time also impacts the assistance your insurance program can offer to protect your home care business. Memory of incident fades, evidence is lost and verifying facts becomes more difficult.
Delayed claims reporting may also impact outcomes in the event of a successful claim against your business. The client or their family may hire a lawyer, seek out expert opinions or incur additional damages, all of which could increase the total claim cost.
The sooner your business reports an incident, the better. You may be able to settle the claim sooner, and without the other party hiring a lawyer. Memories will be fresh and evidence will be available to help your case. And in the event of a successful claim, a quick resolution will minimize the stress and cost.
In short, prompt claims reporting leads to better outcomes for you and your business, including:
- Time saved
- Money saved
- Your business protected
- Less worry and stress
Why It’s Important to Report Every Incident
In the home care industry, it can be difficult to gauge which incidents will amount to nothing and which ones will lead to a costly settlement. This is why generally the best course of action is to err on the side of caution and report every incident to your claims specialist at the first indication of a claim, potential claim or lawsuit.
It is important not to ignore or conceal a claim. Commonly, there may be concern about the cost of defending against a potential claim or a belief that an incident will be forgotten and not pursued by the injured party. However, any such incident has the potential to result in a claim, leaving you unprepared.
It’s good practice to contact your carrier even in the case of an “incident only” report. You will be able to make a formal report of the incident in question while it is still fresh in your mind, ensuring that your insurance company has the information it needs to help protect you and your business in the event the incident progresses to a claim.
How to Report a Claim to Your Insurance
It’s quick and easy to report a claim or incident with Lockton Affinity. For questions about claims and coverage or to report a claim or incident, simply contact us at (800) 723-9624 or HomeCare@LocktonAffinity.com.
With products to cover your professional reputation, property, financial security and more, Lockton Affinity Home Care Insurance Program has everything you need to protect your business. Get started today.