A business general liability (CGL) insurance adjuster once told me that they had closed my client’s claim.
A CGL insurance policy issued to businesses to protect them against, among other things, liability claims for bodily injury (BI) arising out of the premises. It covers accidents like slip and falls, and more.
I was bothered. I thought, “Does this mean that they now won’t make an offer in my client’s case? How can they do this? Why did they do this?”
Insurance Company Can Close You Claim If They Want
An insurance company can close your claim if they want to for whatever reason they want. When an adjuster tells you that he or she has closed your claim, it just means that he or she has made your claim inactive.
Claims Are Closed Because Insurer Hasn’t Heard from You
A claim is generally closed because the insurance company has not heard from you in some time. ]
Closed Claim is Different Than Denial of Liability or Coverage
A closed claim is different than when the insurance company denies liability or when they deny coverage. In the case of a denial, the insurance company is telling you that they won’t offer you money, at least before you sue.
How to Get the Claim Re-opened
So how do you get your claim re-opened? Just call or write to the insurance company and tell them that you are still pursuing your claim. I prefer to call and write so that I have as much documentation as possible.
I want to make sure that the insurer gets notice of my request to re-open the claim.
Real Example – Insurer Closes a Claim Where Man Sliced by Shower Door at Hotel
Let me give you a recent situation that happened in one of my client’s claims. I represented my client in a personal injury claim against a Florida hotel.
The CGL insurer for the hotel gave me the insurance company contact information for one of the contractors that I believed may have also been responsible for causing my client’s accident.
Ace Insurance Company insured the hotel.
I Set Up Claim With the Installer’s Insurance Company
I then set up a claim with the insurance company for the contractor that the hotel had hired.
Because I understand why accident victims should continuously give their medical bills and records to the insurance company, I gave both insurance companies my client’s medical bills and records.
Some time had passed since my client’s last date of treatment with a doctor.
Client Wanted to Get Final Opinion From Doctor as to His Injury
My client told me that before settling his personal injury case he wanted to get a final opinion from a doctor as to whether he would need more medical treatment.
This was a good idea. The responsible parties insurers had no way of knowing whether my client’s injury was permanent, and whether my client would need future treatment.
In any personal injury case, you are entitled to get your future medical bills paid if you can prove that another’s negligence caused your injuries.
We Waited to Settle Until He Finished Medical Treatment
I didn’t want to settle my client’s claim until he finished with his medical treatment, because the extent of his injury was not known.
We were in settlement negotiations with the insurer for the hotel and things were going well.
I then called Ace Insurance Company.
Adjuster Said Claim Was Closed
I spoke with a claims supervisor. She told me that the claim was closed.
The supervisor sounded very confident. I can see how this would be intimidating to many people.
It bothered me a little bit.
I can see how many people would have just assumed that it was too late to make a claim against Ace insurance company.
I asked the insurance adjuster to re-open the claim. We then began settlement negotiations.
Ace Offered 10k
Ace offered $10,000 to settle my client’s case. My client’s personal injury case against the hotel settled for $31,500.
These amounts were in addition to the $5,000 paid to medical providers for medical expenses under the medical payments coverage (“Medpay“) of the hotel’s insurance policy.
I Didn’t Charge an Attorney’s Fee on Medical Payments Coverage
I did not take an attorneys fee the “medical payments” that the hotel paid to the medical providers under the “medical payments” portion of the insurance policy.
If I would have just given up when the insurance company for the contractor told me the claim was “closed?, my client would’ve been offered $10,000 less.
Just Ask the Insurance Company to Re-Open the Claim
Do not be bothered if the insurance company tells you that your claim is closed. Just ask them to re-open it.
Claim is Forever Closed if You Miss the Time to Sue
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This article was updated.