You’ve done everything possible to protect your excursion guests. You’ve read “Tips & Tricks to Ensuring Passenger Safety,” implemented all of the necessary precautions, checked equipment, communicated with tour leaders and passengers, and feel great about your businesses systems and safety protocol. But then the worst happens, a passenger gets injured during your excursion.
The reality is, you can do absolutely everything right as an excursion business owner, and still experience this. That’s why it’s called an accident! The good news is that we’re here to help you when accidents do happen.
Here’s What You Need To Know
The first thing to remember is that the policy is fundamentally a liability policy (not a personal accident policy). Even the Medical Expense section is excess of any other recoverable insurance so does not just automatically respond when there is no apparent liability. The other thing to consider is that even if there was an alleged liability there is a deductible of $2,500 under the liability section so even if there is liability the first $2,500 is payable by the insured. Depending on the nature and the severity of the incident frequently the insured is in the best position to resolve minor issues rapidly themselves and merely report the incident for the file.
Filling Out The Documents
You’ll need to fill out the Claims Notification Document and Incident Report found here. Before you are in a situation where you need to fill these out, we suggest you get familiar with the information you will need. This way, in an emergency, you can fill out the forms with ease.
1. Name of Insured and policy number is obviously essential so we can determine which policy the incident refers to.
2. Name, Address, and Nationality of the injured party is also highly relevant for both any future correspondence & contact as well as initial assessment of a potential claim.
3. Incident report in brief is just to tell us what happened. If the insured has provided a detailed report please attach this.
4. Location of incident is also material since depending on the seriousness we may have to dispatch an investigator to conduct interviews and survey the area.
5. Description of Excursion is required so we can satisfy ourselves that this was a disclosed activity under the policy.
6. Signed Waiver/Hold Harmless, even if not mandatory the injured party may well have signed a waiver/hold harmless/liability release document. It is in the mutual interest of both the insured and the insurers that, if this exists it is provided. Obviously where this is mandatory under the policy it is required anyway.
7. Details of any primary insurance, this could take many forms. In the majority of cases insured’s have their own local insurance policy in place and our policy only responds on either an excess or contingent basis. That is to say excess of the local policy or contingent if the local policy will not respond (i.e. if legal action is brought against the insured or additional assured outside the insured’s jurisdiction). In other cases the incident took place on someone else’s property and they have a General Liability policy, or was the responsibility of a sub-contractor who has a local General Liability policy. It is important that those people (and therefore their insurers) are placed on notice of a possible claim.
8. Correspondence from injured party, attorney or additional assured (i.e. Cruise Line). It is important that if correspondence has been received that we are made aware of it so we can respond directly if necessary.
9. Details of injury sustained, we appreciate that at the first instance this may not be apparent but tell us what you/the insured knows.
10. Details of any treatment provided, this means anything the insured did or if known any third party medical treatment provided (i.e. Doctor or Hospitalization). Again the full extent of treatment may not be known and we certainly do not want technical medical information. Ideally we would like enough information to enable us to establish the extent and seriousness of the injury.
11. Medical treatment invoices, if there has been treatment provided by a Doctor or Hospital we will need any invoices to process any claim should it be approved. The sooner we have these the quicker we can process any amounts due.
- Incidents can be scary! Dealing with them might seem overwhelming or complicated. If you’ve taken all of the necessary steps to keep your guests safe, don’t blame yourself and remember that accidents happen. Follow the steps we mentioned above and remember that this is what we’re here for!