What do I need to do if I get sued or my client advises me that he is pursuing a claim against me?
- Promptly notify your local broker and insurer (See “Appropriate Recipient of Notice” in your Policy Declarations Page in your insurance policy).
- Rely on the experience of the insurer to assist in mitigation of potential loss or to help in the resolution of the problem. Remember, this may be your first experience in this situation, but the insurer likely has seen similar situations in the past.
Failure to promptly notify the insurer can threaten the ability to recover under policy. Notifying the insurer is typically mandatory if there is a potential claim.
What happens next?
- The insurer will determine if allegations are within the scope of coverage
- If so, the insurer will provide local defense counsel pursuant to its “duty to defend” to respond to complaint without waiving potential defenses. For example, the insurer can negotiate favorable rates for defense counsel and will vet the bills when they come in.
- The insurer will provide evaluation of coverage as the investigation continues.
- The insurer will, if the opportunity presents itself, seek early reasonable resolution of the claim without lengthy litigation.
What do you need to do once a claim or circumstance has been notified?
- Cooperate fully with the insurer, defense counsel or the insurer’s outside counsel.
- Provide additional information as requested.
- Assist in the defense of the litigation.
- Do not try to resolve situations on your own.
- DO NOT admit liability or offer any amount to resolve the issue without the insurer’s consent.
Review your Policy’s Declaration Page
The Declarations Page contains valuable information, such as:
- Policy Period
- Maximum Amount the insurer will pay
- Retention or Deductible
- Where to send Notice of a Claim or Circumstance
- Retroactive Date, if any