5 Routines to Strengthen Claim Reporting
Brian Rawlings, the practice leader for Venture Programs, shares five routines to strengthen claim reporting at fitness facilities.
Members are returning to fitness clubs — and that’s great news for the bottom line. But with this increased traffic also meaning a higher risk of accidents, this is a good time to remind clubs to report accidents and potential claims in a timely and thorough way.
While clubs may view a minor injury as not significant enough to report to their insurer, waiting until a customer comes forward with a medical bill or their attorney may ultimately make the claim more difficult and costly to resolve.
Here are five tips to make sure potential claims are handled properly.
1. Have a Plan. Every gym needs a written set of procedures for how staff members should handle accidents: who is responsible for taking statements, writing a report and gathering evidence. This helps ensure incidents are recorded as precisely and factually as possible in case a claim is eventually filed. Also, keeping equipment maintenance and facility inspection logs up to date will make your life easier if a claim is filed.
2. Record Everything. Cordon off the area where the incident occurred until a report is created. This report should include witness statements, a summary of what happened, and the steps taken after the incident. It is important that any incident report remain factual and avoid opinions. It should include:
- A brief summary of the incident.
- Times and dates.
- The equipment involved in the incident, if any.
- The staff response.
- Photos of the scene – phone cameras will work for this.
- A summary of how the incident ended. Was first aid required? Was 911 called? How was the incident area cleaned up?
3. Collect Evidence. In the event a claim is filed, your insurance adjuster will need records of everything that took place or is related to the claim. This includes maintenance logs from any equipment involved in the incident, video recordings of the event, signed waivers, witness statements, and broken pieces of equipment. It is worth noting that most video recordings are only saved for about 30 days if they are not backed up, so don’t wait to collect your evidence.
4. Don’t Wait – Report it Now. There is a myth that reporting an incident means premiums will go up. In fact, the opposite may be true. Unreported, costly claims reflect badly on a gym’s loss history. Reporting every incident, even minor ones, is the best way for managers to see their claims resolved quickly.
5. Talk to Your Staff. Your staff members need to know what to do in the event of claim reporting. They need to know who should speak to customers involved, and that managers and owners are the points of contact for anything related to an incident. It is critical that staff members do not engage with witnesses or members involved in a claim, inside or outside of the workplace.