Just as bad things can happen to good people, bad things can happen to good companies.
While businesses need to take every reasonable measure to help prevent errors and accidents, they will occur. Whether it’s a slip, trip or fall incident
; an injury on a construction site; or a problem with a product off the assembly line; there will be occasions when things go wrong.
That’s why you have insurance, of course. However, it’s essential that when an incident occurs, you gather all the needed information for a thorough documentation of the event before submitting a claim. This will not only help assure the appropriate response to the claim, but a detailed account of the incident can be of great benefit if you face any legal action resulting from the event.
Following the seven guidelines below is a good way to help ensure any general liability claims are as complete as possible, hopefully moving the process to a good outcome.
- Contact your insurance provider. Do so as soon as possible after the incident occurs, so a claims specialist can begin the initial investigation steps while awaiting further information.
- Keep detailed records. Include all communications with anyone injured or directly affected by the incident. This should include emails, phone calls and face-to-face conversations. Also make sure you keep a copy of any paperwork requested by your insurance provider.
- Obtain statements from all people involved. Speak with any staff or witnesses present during the incident or who may have interacted with the injured party or persons directly affected. Gather contact information for anyone who might be needed at a later date to expand on their account of the incident.
- Gather contracts for associated parties. Contracts should include any vendors, companies leasing space, or any other people whose work might have had an impact on the incident, or whose operations may have contributed to the incident.
- Take photos. Get good, clear shots of the area where the incident occurred, people injured or objects damaged, and other physical details of the event. Take multiple photos from different angles and distances to document scale of the incident and context of the working environment.
- Obtain and maintain the security video. Security camera footage is often only kept for a limited amount of time. Make sure your security team has provided you with the video footage of the incident before it is recorded over or destroyed. Also check with neighboring businesses or institutions with office building security systems that might have captured activity your own security cameras missed. Ask the owners or operators of those buildings if they can save the video and provide it to your claims specialist, along with their contact information.
- Research prior incidents. Hopefully this was done earlier, but if not, look into any previous personal injury claim or reports of accidents/incident in the same area or involving the same people. This may be important in resolving a new claim.
If you are a Zurich customer and need to report a new claim, find contact information or make use of our many available tools and resources, please visit our Claims page.