Although marine insurance claims are denied for a number of varying reasons, one of the primary causes of delays, denials, and other insurance-related complications is simply poor communication. Whether it’s lost documents, late documents, poorly chosen words, typos, or a failure to create a paper trail, missteps in communicating with your marine insurance provider can have unexpectedly negative effects. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are negotiating an insurance claim for marine losses:
- Anything you say, send, or sign could affect your claim. Although you may assume all of the paperwork you receive is “routine,” signing anything you don’t fully understand could have serious implications and jeopardize your chances of success—and the same goes for your words in phone and in-person interviews with insurance company representatives.
- Every document matters. Before you send that seemingly routine letter to the trash, realize that every letter, form, and document could be important later. Retain all communication, follow up with the insurance company in writing, and keep documentation organized.
- Even small mistakes can turn into big problems. A single typo on a single document can complicate a claim for months, and it’s too easy to make a mistake along the way. In large-scale or complex marine insurance claims, these small errors can wreck even otherwise strong claims.
Working with a skilled policyholder attorney protects you from easy-to-miss communication errors during the marine insurance claims process, and you can rest assured that your interests are being protected in the meantime.
Our book, Your Basic Guide to Marine Insurance, offers an easy-to-understand overview of your rights as a marine policyholder and more information about taking action. To receive your FREE copy of this valuable guide, or to speak with us in person about your concerns following ship or cargo losses, don’t hesitate to contact us today.