HOW CAN IMPROPER VALUES IMPACT CLAIMS?
The cost of purchasing new or used equipment and replacement parts has skyrocketed in recent years, which means it is more expensive to replace and repair equipment that is involved in a claim. For example, imagine you own a trailer today that was purchased three years ago for $40,000. Your insurance policy may indicate this trailer is insured for a stated value of $40,000. If that trailer is totaled in an accident tomorrow, your insurance policy will pay only $40,000 for the damaged trailer. But it might cost $75,000 to purchase a replacement.
This out-of-pocket expense could negatively impact your profits. Make sure you review your policy limits regularly to make sure the values listed for equipment are accurate.
WHY IS ON-TIME CLAIM REPORTING IMPORTANT?
On-time reporting of physical damage claims allows Great West Casualty Company to begin the investigative process while all of the details are still fresh in the minds of those involved. Prompt claim reporting is important for several reasons, including downtime and claim processing.
If the Property Damage Cargo (PDC) Adjuster can respond in the first 24 hours, they can take steps immediately to minimize the insured’s downtime, assist with towing, control costs, and get the equipment back on the road more quickly.
Additionally, on-time reporting can affect the severity of a claim. Great West’s PDC Adjusters work with wrecker services and body shops every day. They specialize in resolving claims promptly to minimize losses and reach a fair and accurate settlement. Experience shows, however, that the longer it takes to report a claim, the higher the claim’s cost.
WHAT ABOUR CARGO CLAIMS?
Consider the timeliness of reporting a claim involving perishable commodities. If you wait to call Great West for a day or so to give the receiver a chance to decide what he’s going to do, you could limit or prevent our ability to show that the cargo is not damaged or to mitigate a loss. In some situations, timely reporting can help prevent a loss.
Also, you are obligated under the terms of your policy to timely report claims. For motor carriers who transport building materials, coils, paper rolls, dry goods, chemicals, food products, ingredients, and livestock, the PDC Adjuster can, in most cases, assist with salvaging these types of cargo to mitigate the loss when legally permissible.
Great West also employs the services of independent adjusters to inspect the cargo, assist with the investigation, and help control costs. Again, reporting the claim promptly allows the claims team to resolve the claim quickly and fairly.
CALL TO ACTION
- Train drivers and operations staff on how to promptly report a claim.
- Review your insurance policies regularly and ensure all equipment values are accurate.
- Ensure each tractor has an accident kit.
Note: These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive
This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Joe Morten & Son, Inc. does not provide legal advice to its insureds or other parties, nor does it advise insureds or other parties on employment-related issues, therefore the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds or other parties. Legal advice should always be sought from legal counsel. Joe Morten & Son, Inc. shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein. Reprinted with permission from Great West Casualty Company.