Making an insurance claim: your 5 point checklist
Making an insurance claim is something no-one looks forward to, but it shouldn't be a stressful experience.
Just follow these five simple steps to ensure the best possible outcome.
1. Notify Markel immediately
Even if a claim hasn't yet arisen, you should contact Markel at the first sign of a problem – for example, if your client has raised concerns about the quality of your work - by calling us on 0800 640 6600. In the first instance this enables you to receive advice on how best to avoid a full-blown claim, or at least to manage the situation as effectively as possible. This is vitally important, even when you don't believe that any claim made against you will succeed.
When a claim is made, even if you have already discussed it with us by telephone, you will need to put every detail in writing, together with all relevant documentation, in order for your claims handler to offer the best possible guidance and to manage your claim as efficiently as possible.
You should remember that it is a condition of your policy that you notify your insurer in writing immediately of any claim or circumstance likely to give rise to a claim; so if something is amiss with a client, don't delay.
2. Gather all of the evidence
As a matter of standard risk management, you should be in the habit of keeping all emails, documents and files regarding every project. Insurers need to know the who, what, where, when and why to gather a detailed picture of what happened. While this can be time-consuming, it is absolutely vital in the event that a claim should arise, when you will need to pass this 'paper trail' to Markel in order to for us to defend you against any unfair allegations.
3. Be completely honest with your claims handler
Not only is it your legal duty to be open and honest with your claims handler, it is also entirely in your best interests. They aren't here to judge you, and they know from experience that everybody makes mistakes. So be as honest as you can with them from the very beginning. Give them your personal opinion on the matter, but don't exaggerate. They will then be fully prepared to work with you to resolve your case as affordably and efficiently as possible.
4. Avoid making things worse
Creating fresh evidence or sending ill-advised letters and emails to the other party is absolutely to be avoided, as this risks making matters worse. In particular, making an admission of liability is something which you must never do. So please note that once the possibility of a claim has arisen, it is a requirement that you take no action that might prejudice Markel in our attempts to prevent greater costs than necessary.
5. Work with Markel
We have a great deal of expertise in defending and managing claims made against our clients, enabling us to hold your hand every step of the way: from assisting you with paperwork to instructing specialist legal advisors when necessary.
But we can only work effectively on your behalf when you assist us in every way possible. So perhaps the most important step you can take is to work with us rather than simply considering us your insurer, sharing all the facts we need to know and following our advice at all times.
Naturally, we hope that you will never have to make a claim. But if and when you do, following this simple 5-point checklist should help to make life as easy as possible.