In the trucking industry, accidents and losses are an unfortunate reality. When such events occur, trucking companies need to report claims promptly. This article will discuss the importance of prompt claims reporting, the necessary information for reporting a claim, and the risks associated with delayed or unreported claims.
Here at HDVI, we take pride in our approach to incentivize safety and mitigate losses; unfortunately, it is impossible to prevent losses from happening altogether. In the event of a loss, it is the insured’s responsibility to report the claim immediately. Reporting a claim informs your insurance company (HDVI) that a loss occurred. Often, fleets have misconceptions about reporting claims and need to realize how critical prompt claims reporting is for a fleet and the insurance company (HDVI).
What you need to report a claim:
One misconception about claims reporting is the belief that all details must be gathered before filing a claim. In reality, to initiate the process, companies only need to provide a brief description of the incident, involved parties, and contact information. Additional information and documentation can be provided later, as each claim will require different types of information. It is crucial to report the claim immediately and provide further details upon request.
You can find links to an accident preparedness guide, accident card, and claim reporting instructions provided by HDVI on our Claims page.
Why it is important to report claims immediately
HDVI requires fleets to report claims immediately for many reasons. And some fleets don’t realize the positive impact of promptly reporting claims for their operations. The following are several reasons why prompt claim reporting is essential:
- Faster resolution and reduced downtime: Prompt claims reporting enables quicker resolutions and minimizes downtime for your fleet. HDVI can immediately begin working on your claim, providing expert advice to mitigate legal risks and reduce potential lawsuits.
- Preservation of evidence: Timely reporting ensures the preservation of valuable evidence, such as dash cam footage and witness statements, which are crucial for an accurate claim assessment.
In some cases, if evidence is lost, additional costs and resources may be required to track down info that could have been available immediately after the incident. Dash cameras are a significant component of HDVI’s program; however, the standard camera can only store footage for 2-7 days before it is overwritten. Reporting a claim immediately will allow a dedicated Fleet Services Representative to assist in preserving that video if the fleet still needs to do so.
- Fraud prevention: Insurance fraud is a significant business concern, costing billions annually. Prompt claims reporting reduces the opportunity for fraudulent activities against your company.
- Improved claim management: Reporting claims immediately allows for better control over claim costs, quicker resolution, and more accurate witness and driver statements. It also enables the preservation of vital evidence and prevents the loss of valuable data.
- Compliance with policy requirements: Insurance policies often require prompt claims reporting. Failure to report a claim promptly may result in policy violations and potential coverage issues, leading to financial losses for the company.
In short, reporting all claims immediately can have major impacts on your business, operationally and financially.
Risks of delayed or unreported claims
- Escalation of seemingly minor incidents: Minor incidents can potentially develop into significant claims. Delayed reporting may result in the loss of crucial evidence and hinder the claim investigation process.
- Assumption of No-Fault: Companies should never assume they are not at fault for an incident. Delayed reporting can lead to complications in determining liability and increased claims costs.
- Increased claim costs: In past studies, there is proof that the average cost of large truck crashes increased significantly when there were delays in reporting. Reporting claims promptly allows insurance companies to investigate and manage the claim more effectively.
Some fleets decide not to report seemingly minor claims; however, these incidents can turn into large claims. We often see fleets choose to report these claims later as they continue to develop, but video and other evidence are lost or more challenging to obtain.
Our experience tells us that the longer it takes to report a claim, the higher its costs. The best practice is to report the claim immediately and allow the insurance company (HDVI) to investigate on your behalf.