We want your insurance to work for you, so it's important you contact us at the right time and have the right information so your claim has the best chance of getting paid.
Business insurance is new territory for many freelancers and it's likely you've never had to make a claim before. Since this is uncharted territory we've put together some basic steps to follow.
When should I make a claim?
You don't have to wait until solicitors are knocking at your door to call on your insurer. In fact, the insurer wants you to contact them when you're aware of a circumstance that may give rise to a claim.
What is a circumstance?
A circumstance may be a complaint or criticism from a client, or a mistake you’ve made in your work.
If it's a mistake you've made in your work that you think could give rise to a claim, notify your insurer of the error and the possible consequences in terms of monetory loss. For example, what will it cost to reprint 10,000 flyers that have been printed with a spelling mistake?
If it's a client expressing dissatisfaction with your work or refusing payment, alert your insurer. Why is the client unhappy? Have they expressed concern that your work has caused a loss for them?
Even if there is no claim as yet, the insurer will be able to accept it as a circumstance and be ready to act should things escalate.
Pro tip: Not all situations will have escalated to the point that triggers your professional indemnity insurance. If you need advice around how to deal with a problem use the legal advice helpline included with your legal expenses insurance.
Most of the time when a client threatens you it's just hot air. It's a knee jerk reaction to something. They're stressed and taking it out on you. If it is an empty threat the client will back down when they realise you're in a position to defend yourself. If it's a serious threat the insurer will appoint legal experts to help you navigate the situation to get the best outcome.
So, when should you make a claim? When there's a circumstance that you think could give rise to a claim.
How do I make a claim?
If you're a With Jack customer you'll want to contact us and we can help you gather the information you need to send to the insurer. At this point our aim is to also give you a bit of emotional support so you don't feel alone.
It's likely you've never found yourself in this position before. You're anxious, confused and need to feel supported.
Here's the information we'll want to provide the insurer with:
- An overview of the incident including what happened and when it's alleged to have happened
- A list of the parties involved
- Any documents that can help to support you—communication between you and your client, emails, contracts etc
- The potential loss. Is your client asking for compensation or damages at this point?
Insurance is something you pay for and hope to never use. Certainly with all of the claims we've had at With Jack we've heard the same thing over and over. "I never expected this to happen to me."
Whilst you can control the work you do and the quality of it, there are many factors outside of your control. Think of your insurance the same way you think of wearing a seatbelt. Nobody gets into a vehicle expecting an accident, but we still buckle up to minimise the damage if something does go wrong. Professional indemnity insurance works in much the same way.