Insurance policies contractually obligate policyholders to report all claims to their insurance carrier. Know what your responsibilities are and understand the consequences of not fulfilling your responsibilities under the contract.
Policyholder responsibilitiesYou must
- provide timely notification to your insurance carrier of matters which may give rise to a claim, and
- forward your insurance carrier copies of all demands, notices, summons, or other court papers received, even if you previously notified the carrier of the occurrence or claim.
You may not
- negotiate or settle any claim without the insurance company’s prior knowledge, consent and participation.
These obligations must also occur within the timelines specified by your policy. If you’re unsure of your deadline to report a claim, contact your agent.
Consequences of violation
Insurance coverage is a contractual agreement, and upon entering it, you agree to abide by the responsibilities and restrictions within it. Failure to comply is considered a breach of contract that could release the carrier of its obligation to cover you, including the costs of defending and settling your claim. Report any incidents as soon as possible to avoid potential non-compliance.
Why it’s important to report
Reporting incidents to your carrier allows them to review your coverage details and options. If you are unsure if an incident is worth reporting, call your carrier to protect your coverage rights should the matter escalate into something bigger.