When you buy an insurance policy, you are entering into a contract with an insurance company and like any contract there are clauses, some of which are very important.
The Policy Obligation
One of the most important ones is your obligation regarding the notification of a new claim or ‘a circumstance which might give rise to a claim’. This clause can be quite demanding as the onus is on you to ensure that the claim is notified within the time limit set in your policy and also is done so in line with your policy terms and conditions.
It’s usually easy to identify a claim as there will often be a clear indication from a claimant of their intention to claim compensation against you. This will usually take the form of a complaint or an allegation/s of negligence levelled at you.
Identifying a ‘circumstance which may give rise to a claim’ against you is not always as straightforward but is nonetheless important. If you wish to discuss whether a matter should be notified, then it probably should be, but you can call us on 0345 251 4000 to discuss the matter and we can advise you.
When You Should Notify Insurers
Regardless of your own view on blame or liability, you must tell us immediately you become aware of the problem or potential problem and we will notify your insurer. Failure to notify promptly can result in a dispute and a claim being rejected.
Unfortunately there’s no consistent approach among Insurers on the exact timing of notification provisions in policies. However, the wording is usually very strict and we therefore strongly recommend that all notifications are made within a 14 day period of first awareness.
What You Should Not Do Without Your Insurers Permission
As soon as you are aware of the problem, there are a few things you must not do without the permission of your insurer.
- Admit liability
- Take any action which could prejudice your Insurers position or their ability to investigate the claim
- Enter into claims correspondence without your insurers permission
- Settle or offer to settle
- Disclose your Insurers involvement or details of your professional indemnity policy
Any breach of the policy terms and conditions can lead to a dispute with an insurance company so we strongly recommend taking time to read the claims conditions in your policy document.