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Claims are good

Claims are good.

Driving home tonight from dinner with my children and parents, my fathers phone rang and it was a local auto repair owner that had somewhat of an issue. Seems that about 2:00 pm today, a customer was getting their car repaired when the garage door spring got “out of line”. I’m not sure what that means, but as the business owner was calling a local garage door company, the customer stated, I can fix it.

Of course as the customer climbed up the ladder and touched the spring, it unloaded and ripped his hand in half. Seeing the blood and gore, the business owner called 911 and a “bambulance” was dispatched.

The man was rushed to the hospital and his status is still unknown.

So, of course we have some medical payments coverage, and thinking that if there is a lawsuit, we might just be negligent. Having a customer climb a ladder to fix YOUR broken door is not in the norm of business operations.

So, how do we avoid the above claim? We don’t.

I know the owner very well and I’m confident that he and I have never had the conversation about when the spring breaks on the garage door and you are calling the repair company and a customer states “I can fix er”, that you DON’T LET THE CLIENT FIX THE DOOR!

Regardless or as some of my clients say “Irregardless”, the claim occurred, it will be taken care of and long term the business owner will probably pay an increased premium due to his “oversight”.

The event that occurred today is an “outlier” or an event that might happen once a year. You cannot plan for this type of claim, you cannot prevent this type of claim, this is what we call in our company a “Homer Simpson”, of course named aptly after the baby in the Family Guy (insert smile here).

Claims happen and when they happen, we do what we need to do. We report them, manage them, and get them paid (if they are a legitimate). If they are not legitimate, that’s another story.

We follow up after a couple of days to make sure they are on track and we guide our clients to make sure that there are no loose ends. Claims are a key part of what we do and getting them managed correctly is a key component of our agency.

We’ll now discuss this claim in detail and determine if there was anything that we could have done to prevent it. We’ll order loss control out to make sure that the owner gets an overview of what he should and should not do namely not allowing clients in the garage area…but we’ll use this as an education opportunity.

When you get the call at 7:09 pm, don’t fret; it’s why they hired you. Embrace the call, give the client the advice they are looking for and use it as an educational opportunity for your staff. Claims are good.

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