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Damaged Equipment? [Proven Things You Need To Do During The Claims Process]

By Seth Hird | Posted on June 30, 2021

Equipment Industry

Overview

Damaged equipment is a stark reality in the construction industry. Damaged equipment means that contractors’ production decreases, and dealers need to spend time fixing the machine. The last thing anyone wants is to have a slow and problematic claims process. In this article, we will share some ways to make the claims process as smooth as possible for contractors and dealers alike.

Get Pictures!

A backhoe that has fallen into a ditch and has been damaged.
  • Dealers
    • This step begins with training your customers. As the adage says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Be proactive about teaching your customers to take pictures immediately after an accident. This step is crucial for your protection. Your insurance company will often require high-resolution photos to include in your claim submission. Five to ten pictures that capture the surrounding area and the damages should be sufficient.
  • Contractors
    • Taking pictures of equipment that was damaged while under your care is not enjoyable. However, this is your opportunity to ensure that your claim is covered. Your dealership might require photos when you notify them of an accident. Five to ten pictures that capture the surrounding area and the damages should be sufficient. If you cannot show your insurance carrier how the accident occurred, you could be held financially liable.

Resources: Best Practices for Collision Photography

Write It Down

  • Dealers
    • Here again, your responsibility is to educate your customers. First, you should know what accident information your insurance provider needs. The next step is to relay that information to your customers. Make sure your customers know they need to give you detailed information about how the accident occurred. Also, the less time that passes between accident to documentation, the better. Don’t be timid when it comes to getting a written document of the incident from your customer as soon as possible.
  • Contractor
    • Yes, you need to take pictures after an accident. However, an equally important element is creating a written document of the incident. Communicate with your employees that a written account after an accident is required by you. It’s a good idea to make a standard accident form so that there can be some uniformity to the first-hand reports. Finally, submit this form to your dealer so your claim can be covered. The more details you can provide, the easier it is for the insurance adjuster to process the claim.

Email us here, for a sample of our “Claims Process Form” (dealers perspective).

Prepare and Communicate

No company has ever suffered from overcommunication. In fact, according to a June 2020 study done by Smarp, 74% of employees feel like they are missing out on internal company communication. Which raises the question, “What information that you consider common knowledge is completely unknown to the majority of your employees?”

In light of this, preparation and communication are pivotal for your companies success. Planning for the unexpected should be a company norm. For dealers, this might look like contacting your insurance company to discuss their particular claims process. On the other hand, contractors may need to brief their employees on how to act after an unexpected event.

Moral of the story: Plan always and communicate often.

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