1. Fill out your application completely and accurately. Do not give your insurer a reason to deny your claim or, worse, rescind your policy altogether!  Any “savings” that may result from failing to disclose certain information on your application is worth nothing if you find yourself without coverage when you otherwise would have had it.
  2. Timely tender claims under all potentially-applicable policies. Failure to timely tender a claim can result in the complete loss of coverage.  In the third-party context, a “claim” may be defined as a written, or even an oral, demand.  Do not assume that because your policy says it is a “claims made” policy that you do not have to report the claim during the policy period.   And remember – a claim may be covered under more than one policy.
  3. Do not ignore potential claims. Generally, under a claims made policy, notice of a “potential” claim during the policy period will preserve coverage under that policy even if the actual claim is made after the policy expires.  In such a case, it is important to timely report a potential claim because your policy for the following policy period may exclude coverage for claims which, prior to the beginning of the policy period, the insured had reason to believe would be made.
  4. Do not assume a denial means you do not have coverage.  Insurers do wrongfully deny claims, and a wrongful denial may not be obvious.  The relevant policy language may be misquoted or an endorsement overlooked.   An insurer may cite an exclusion but fail to note a potentially applicable exception which provides coverage.  Or, the insurer may simply have the law wrong.  If you have any doubt as to whether an insurer’s denial is incorrect, have an attorney with insurance coverage experience review the denial.
  5. Work with a knowledgeable broker.   Work with a broker who understands not only your business and the risks it faces but also the differences in coverage offered by various insurers.   There may be a good reason why one insurer’s quote is significantly less than another insurer’s quote for the same type of policy.  Make sure your broker understands and can explain the differences between various insurers’ policies so you can make an informed purchasing decision based upon more than price.