Importance of prompt notification for improved claims outcomes

With every loss comes the potential for further detrimental impacts to your business. The speed with which a claim is first notified to Bellrock can make a substantial difference in ensuring these impacts can be kept to a minimum. For example, water ingress into your office space after a storm, a vital piece of machinery out of commission, a vehicle off the road for an extended period of time, or an actual or threatened litigation is not only inconvenient and time consuming, but can also impact a business’ bottom line. This article sets out why prompt engagement with Bellrock can help ensure your claim is resolved efficiently and effectively.

In the event of a claim, our aim is to analyse and assess your situation as quickly as possible to determine an appropriate strategy. Your appointed Bellrock claims advisor will then guide you through the process and proposed next steps be it notification to your insurer or pursuit of another party involved in a loss. Delayed engagement with Bellrock (and your insurer where necessary) after a loss can severely impact the repair or settlement process and our ability to assist you promptly. Even a short delay can add considerable time or costs to getting your claim finalised.

Delayed engagement often results in additional unnecessary costs especially where there is a third-party claimant involved. These can include legal fees or the insurer losing the ability to negotiate settlement demands on your behalf prior to litigation. Late notifications allow Insurers to claim prejudice especially where legal action is subsequently taken against the insured before the insurer is involved. Prejudice is where insurers claim their interests were impacted by an act or omission of the insured. Prejudice means that insurers can refuse to pay certain legal costs, expenses, or other amounts stemming from delays in apprising an insurer of a loss which harmed the insurers interests in handling or intervening in a claim under the insured’s policy.

A recent case study sheds light on the benefits of early engagement with Bellrock as soon as possible after a loss, accident, or incident occurs.

In February of 2023 a motor vehicle accident occurred involving a Bellrock customer’s ute and a third-party vehicle. Subsequently three letters of demand were issued to our customer by the other party to the accident claiming our customer was at fault. Ultimately, the letter of demand escalated to a Notice of Intention to Litigate by the third party’s own motor vehicle insurer after it paid for vehicle repairs to the third-party involved in the accident. Bellrock first became involved nine months later in November of 2023 and determined notification to the customer’s insurer was imperative. Once Bellrock became involved, it quickly submitted the claim for the customer alongside the required supporting documents. However, by the time Bellrock became involved, the third-party’s insurer had taken legal action against our customer.

In the end, the customer incurred their usual excess/deductible, but also additional legal fees which the insurer refused to cover due to its claim of prejudice as a result of the late notification. From the insurer’s perspective, the third-party’s pre-litigation demand would have been resolved short of litigation without the need for legal costs to be incurred. The reality is distractions arise through no fault of our customers, but distractions and delays have unintended consequences on insurance arrangements which Bellrock can help avoid.

Key considerations

By notifying Bellrock of your loss as quickly as possible after it has occurred, the Claims Team can assist by triaging the circumstances and responding accordingly. Bellrock will then be able to collaborate with you on an effective strategy to position your claim appropriately. Our Team has decades of combined experience on all manner of commercial claims, enabling us to drive the course of action to protect our customers’ interests. Early engagement and access to information helps Bellrock streamline the claims process, giving you the best prospects for prompt resolution. Additionally, Bellrock can help manage active litigation to ensure you get the best possible representation and outcome.

Once involved, Bellrock’s Claims Team will determine when to contact your Insurer to arrange for emergency make safe works to be carried out (for damages sustained to a building for example), or in a moveable property loss, we can arrange for the recovery of your vehicle or machine, have it taken to a repairer for quotes, and determine whether a loss adjuster should be deployed. Bellrock can also determine whether another party is at fault and therefore should be liable to pay for repairs and other losses which may avoid the need to claim upon your own insurance. For example, a customer’s contracts may assist in transferring the loss to the appropriate party and avoid the need to involve the customer’s own insurer straight away.

Likewise, in other classes of insurance with claims made and notified triggers such as professional indemnity liability policies and directors and officers liability policies, Bellrock can be engaged early to review coverage and develop a plan around notification to insurers to protect your interests. Claims made and notified policies generally require notification to insurers as soon as is reasonable after a claim has been made and early engagement with Bellrock will allow you to seek the advice you need to make sure your interests are protected including the engagement of skilled defence solicitors where litigation is present.

Responsive and effective claims management is a cornerstone of Bellrock’s service offering. Our goal is to protect your business from third-party liabilities, and in the event of a property loss, to get your business and property back to its pre-loss state as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Early collaboration with Bellrock’s Claims Team protects your interests and gives you peace of mind knowing you have an advocate on your side. Please contact us via the form below with any claim related queries.

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