When a loss or an occurrence inevitably happens on your job-site, it is time to notify your insurance carrier and start the claims process. Whether it’s your first claim or your 100th claim, this might sound like a stressful experience. But don’t panic.

You’re not the only policyholder filing a claim this year. In 2017, Builders Mutual resolved 6,678 claims, including 4,257 workers’ compensation claims.

You can depend on your agent and your insurance carrier to assist you during this time. Their No. 1 goal is to handle the claim with all parties in mind––satisfying and taking care of everyone.

Claims Quality Analyst, Lauren Leggett, and Claims Trainer, Sherri Woodall, from Builders Mutual share how to assist your agent and your insurance carrier during this process. As former claims adjusters, both industry experts offer steps and pointers to expedite your claim.

Your To-Do Lists

There are two major buckets for claims: Workers’ Compensation and Commercial, which includes auto, general liability, and inland marine. Let’s review your to-do list for each when filing a claim.

Workers’ Compensation Claims

  1. Assist the injured worker in receiving immediate medical treatment. You cannot deny treatment. Review our article about choosing whether to visit an emergency room or an urgent care facility and what to expect at each.
  2. Ensure the injured worker receives a post-accident drug screen while receiving treatment.
  3. Report the injury as soon as possible. Each state has a specific timeline allowed for Workers’ Compensation claims, so be aware of these rules.
  4. Fill out the First Report of Injury and turn it into your carrier. This report supplies the claimant’s information.
  5. Be available for questions from your carrier. The carrier will need to communicate with you, the employee, and the medical professional in order to collect the necessary information. Be ready to discuss the claim.
  6. Reach out to your employee and his or her family. Showing that you care about them makes a huge impact on minimizing the result of the claim and reinforces your company culture.

Commercial Claims

  1. Promptly notify your agent and your insurance carrier. They can help you establish any critical next steps based on the type of commercial claim––auto, general liability, or inland marine.
  2. In the case of theft or an auto accident, notify the police. They will help document the incident.
  3. Document your damage by taking a complete inventory. It’s your duty to provide the specific details required.
  4. Mitigate your damages. This means protecting your property or vehicle from any further damage. For example, covering a broken window to protect the interior of a vehicle or building from additional damage.
  5. Cooperate with your carrier. You may be required to complete paperwork or provide a statement.

Steps You Can Take to Prepare

When we are asked if there is a way to prepare for potential claims, our answer is yes. Staying on top of your policies and having all your ducks in a row is crucial.

Start by making sure you have paid your premium. Every policy has a premium due each month or at other times throughout the year, depending on your payment plan. If the bill isn’t paid, your company and employees technically aren’t covered, so that premium will have to be paid before the claims process can begin. Avoid this unnecessary delay.

Before a claim, spend time on training that will help prevent auto accidents, job-site injuries, and other long-term health issues. Articles on this blog cover a variety of training topics, so do your research and choose training topics relevant to your unique line of work. OSHA and buildersmutual.com provide additional free training tools.

Another important tip for Workers’ Compensation claims is to simply ensure you have each employee’s updated contact information. With the increased use of day laborers, this tends to slip through the cracks. We have seen incidents in which a day laborer was injured and the employer didn’t even have a last name on file.

Finally, make sure your own contact information is up to date with your agent and your carrier. Don’t provide a phone number to a voicemail that’s full or an email address to an account you don’t check. Providing the most current contact information will allow your agent and your carrier to help you as soon as possible.

Stay in Touch

We understand that filing a claim may seem stressful. You wonder if your rates will go up, if you will be held responsible, how much you will get paid. These to-do lists and pointers can help you get ahead of the claims process and assist you in communication. The best thing you can do to is to communicate with your injured workers or involved parties, agents, and carrier. The quicker you share information, the sooner the issue can be resolved.