Should you rely on your insurance agent to notify your insurance company of a new claim?

Don’t assume that a phone call to your insurance agent or broker is enough to notify your insurance company of a claim. Most insurance agents and brokers are conscientious and good at what they do. But mistakes happen. And if your agent fails to notify some or all of the insurance companies that may owe you coverage for a claim, you risk losing the coverage you paid for due to late notification. Make sure you see written confirmation that each claim has been submitted to all insurance companies that may be required to cover that claim.

A few years ago, a company operating in an industrial park was sued by neighboring homeowners who claimed the company was polluting their groundwater wells. The company asked its longtime insurance agent to notify their insurance company of the lawsuit to see if it would be covered under their insurance policy. The agent told the company that unfortunately his policy had a pollution exclusion so there would be no coverage and the agent did not follow up with the insurance company.

A lawsuit was filed against the insurance company, prompting it to admit it owed the company coverage and agree to pay defense costs incurred in the original lawsuit filed by the owners. .

If your insurance company refuses to cover your claim, for whatever reason, don’t assume they have the final say. Instead, dive deeper to make sure you get the coverage you deserve and paid for.