RMF Claims Corner Advice

Part of a house corporation’s responsibility is to make sure the chapter is properly and adequately insured. Most rely on the Risk Management Foundation (RMF) for this purpose. Here is some timely information and advice:
 
Submitting Claims in a Timely Manner. It is extremely important to submit all claims as soon as you are aware that a loss has occurred. The policy requires that the insurance company be notified of a claim as soon as is practical.
 
Failing to notify your insurance carrier of a claim could jeopardize coverage for the loss When a claim is submitted, an adjuster will be assigned to assist you. On property claims, the adjuster will: 
 
• Work with you to preserve evidence
• Advise on proper mitigation and remediation, 
• Obtain an accurate scope of the damages.
 
If repairs are completed or the damage is cleaned up prior to the adjuster inspecting, there is a chance that the actual damage may be disputed. If potential evidence is destroyed, the cause of loss may not be known and the obligation for insurance to pay may be compromised. Having the adjuster involved from the beginning will set clear expectations and lead to a smoother claims process.
 
For example, a recent claim was filed in which a bathroom door fell on and broke someone's foot. The injured party sought medical attention, but a claim was not submitted until a year later when an attorney sent a letter to the house corporation. The door had already been repaired and many of the witnesses had graduated making it difficult for the adjuster to defend the house corporation.
 
In another recent example, a guest in the chapter house had her fingers slammed in a door causing severe injury. The claimant's parents came to the house and spoke with a chapter officer to gather information. The claim was not submitted until six months later when the claimant's health insurance carrier contacted
the house corporation seeking reimbursement for medical costs.
 
Filing General Liability Claim. It is important that the insurance company be notified of general liability claims as soon as possible. The adjuster will need to complete an investigation to determine the facts of the loss. In most instances, this will mean the adjuster will need to obtain statements from the involved parties and witnesses. Time is of the essence. Crucial facts will be lost, distorted or remembered poorly as times goes by.
 
By submitting a claim immediately when it occurs, the facts have a better chance of being preserved. It is important that you submit every claim or incident that could arise into a claim, in order to ensure that the claim isn't prejudiced in the ways discussed above.
 
Unlike a homeowner's or personal automobile policy in which your rates are affected by every claim submission, your insurance policy under RMF’s insurance program is not impacted by the number of claims submitted, but rather by the amount of claim dollars expended.