HANDLING CLAIMS MADE EASY March 8, 2022 | Business Tips , Inspection Tips | client satisfaction , inspection industry By Bill Erickson, NPI, Inc.'s Executive VP Every inspector fears the day when they’ll have a claim filed against them. Whether it’s clearly your fault or not, it can feel like a giant weight coming down on you. You can quickly find yourself exhausted from spending time and money trying to resolve the problem. However, just a bit of preemptive work on your end could make claims not as scary. Expect to get a claim at some point. Try as you might to avoid a claim altogether, it’s unlikely you’ll dodge one forever. But don’t worry, you’re not the first and certainly not the last person to deal with a claim from a disappointed customer. You can’t control every situation, so the best thing you can do is try to prepare for what you can. Preparing for the fact you’ll face a claim one day will give you a head start when you’re actually faced with one. Claims are intimidating, but proper preparation will make them less overwhelming. Don’t push a claim to the back burner. The worst thing you can do after you’ve received a claim is to put it off. It’s likely that your insurance provider details the process of reporting a claim. Not reporting it in a reasonable timeframe could result in them providing less or even no coverage for you. That can make it hard for you to apply for insurance in the future as well. Always remember that avoiding the issue will end up making it worse than it needs to be, so act quickly. Collect every relevant document you have on hand. To make it easier on yourself and your team, track down every relevant piece of information. This can include email chains, your report summary, and any other correspondence you’ve had with the customer. This will help make it clearer as to what transpired before, during, and after your inspection. Put everything into one file so that you can easily access and look back at it during the process. Stay current with your insurance policies. Your insurance coverage is your best friend when it comes to claims. It’s your first line of defense in protecting your business and your reputation. Always stay on top of your policy renewals and of course your licenses as well. A lapse in either could result in fines, reduced coverage, and higher fees. Strengthen your inspection agreement. An inspection agreement can be the difference between coming off a claim unscathed or being on the hook for a large settlement. Always be sure you know what’s in your inspection agreement, and have it signed by the client. This gives clients the responsibility of reading and understanding what you do and don’t do during the inspection process. Always remember you’re not by yourself. Again, keep in mind that you aren’t the only person in history to deal with a claim. Lots of people have dealt with them, which means there are many places you can turn to for help. Just remember to stay calm and reach out whenever you need to. Looking to start a National Property Inspections franchise? Request your free, no-obligation info packet at npifranchise.com . About the Author Bill Erickson, Executive Vice President With more than 30 years of experience in marketing and sales management, Bill has created many of the NPI diversified marketing programs. On a daily basis, Bill handles customer relations and provides marketing training and support to franchisees. Outside of NPI, Bill and his wife, Julie, enjoy entertaining friends and family at their 1890’s Victorian Queen Anne home where there always seems to be another renovation project underway.