Insurance for all types of risk associated with your operations is essential. You will be insured for various risks, including:
- Employers’ liability claims: slips and trips in the workplace, lifting and handling accidents, industrial disease, stress at work and bullying/harassment
- Public liability claims by visitors to your premises, including contractors and sub-contractors
- Motor accident claims: for injury and vehicle damage, involving fleet vehicles, lorries and vans
- Property damage claims: flood, fire, subsidence, explosion and impact. We are able to offer an insurance backed recovery service where damage is caused by a third party.
Claims made against you may give rise to a reputational risk (a serious incident could attract unwelcome adverse publicity).
You may have chosen to accept a large excess on your insurance policies. That means you pay the initial £X (X can be £1,000, or even in some cases £100,000 or more). That’s your money. Even if you have a very low, or no, insurance excess your claims history directly affects next year’s premium. Therefore you will always have an interest in how claims are dealt with, which are settled and which are defended.
Insurers however will dictate which firm of lawyers will handle your claim. That may be a firm at the other end of the country who know nothing about your business, and may not even take your views into account. The insurer will “sell” their panel lawyers as experts. They are undoubtedly experienced in claims handling, but for many insurers the panel is driven primarily by value, which in turn often means the lowest fees charged. If you change insurer next year, you will find your claims being handled by a different firm, perhaps from a different part of the country.
Can you do anything to influence which lawyers deal with your claims, and would that be in your interests?
With the help of your insurance broker, you can nominate your own lawyers. If the insurer values your business, and are satisfied that the lawyers are expert in claims handling, they will allow you to use them.