Your insurance premium isn’t just another bill to pay each month. Your coverage is an important part of your business toolbox, helping to take care of injured workers, repair or replace damaged equipment, provide financial protection, and much more. Prompt claims reporting is important for speedy action if an incident does occur and will positively impact the outcome of the claim.

The claims process can be efficient and effective with good communication and a team mentality. Builders Mutual experts Stephen Holmes, a claims quality assurance analyst, and Lauren Leggett, a claims trainer, share the reasons that prompt claims reporting is the best practice for everyone involved.

Set a foundation of preparation.

Staying on top of your policies ensures you’ll be ready for a potential claim and that the process will go as quickly—and smoothly—as possible. Make sure your premium payments are current, and keep up-to-date contact information for all workers, including day laborers. The most important step of preparation is prevention. Always put safety first with on-the-job training to reduce the likelihood of accidents, and be sure your company vehicles and equipment are always well-maintained.

When an incident does occur, Builders Mutual makes it easy and convenient to report a claim with 24/7 claims reporting options. Because many business owners maintain close relationships with their agents, contacting your agent to assist with the claim may be helpful. Our article, “The Insured’s Responsibility: Your role in expediting claims,” provides the steps you need to take when filing a claim.

Why act now?

We know not everyone reads their policy from front to back—but we do encourage you to do so. In the policy, there’s a section of duties, which outlines the requirement of “prompt reporting.” This is for both Commercial and Workers’ Compensation policies. Some states have stricter guidelines, and some may be statutory. So, waiting can cost you financially, both directly from potential fines and indirectly due to a diminished investigation timeline, which can impede the process and result in higher claims costs.

Reporting early is also beneficial for all parties involved, from the policyholder and third-party claimant, to witnesses, police officers, etc., to ensure that incident details are more accurately recalled. Your adjuster will reach out within one business day from your report to begin the investigation. So, the sooner you report, the clearer incident recollection will be. As days—or even hours—go by, you’ll likely get busy or distracted, and the details can change or become fuzzy.

The quicker the adjuster can address the incident and start an investigation, the more thorough that investigation will be. You’ll get clarity about how to optimize the process, including what steps to take to identify potential fraud and prevent evidence spoilage. For example, if the incident involves an at-fault third-party (e.g., an equipment manufacturer), the adjuster will need immediate access to any evidence to help mitigate your expenses and determine if that other party is financially responsible for your claim.

Most importantly, immediate action builds rapport among all parties involved, which ultimately reduces costs and makes the claim go quicker. Everything about prompt reporting benefits you, the policyholder, while waiting only impedes the entire process and creates factors that hurt the claim.

Time is of the essence.

Generally speaking, the longer you wait to file a claim, the greater your risk of exposure, expense, and headaches. Sometimes waiting is done out of fear. For instance, you may think that reporting a claim is equivalent to admitting fault and that your premium will automatically go up. But this is not necessarily the case.

Just as each business is unique, so is each claim. At Builders Mutual, we are with you throughout the entire process, committed to providing unparalleled service, speed, and individual attention. To better help us support you, report any incident or injury that could potentially be related to your work, no matter how minor it seems. The sooner, the better.

Builders Mutual provides caring, expert support to see you through the entire claims process, whether it’s your first claim or you’ve been through the process before. Contact us anytime with questions or concerns about your policy, claims, risk management, or safety training.