Documentation is essential in filing a claim, whether it is to your own insurance carrier or if you are making a claim against a third party. If the incident occurred on campus, contact Public Safety at 610-330-5330 to file an incident report. An incident report should also be filed with Public Safety for damages occurring off campus that were not reported to the police. If the police were called to the scene, a similar document can be obtained from the local police jurisdiction. Keep copies of all medical bills, invoices for purchase of replacements of damaged or lost property or repairs, and estimates. Set up a file on your claim, and keep copies of all correspondence, notes of who you spoke with and when, their phone number, and the outcome of the call. Do not dispose of damaged items or have the damage repaired until the insurance company authorizes you to do so – they may want to inspect the damage.
Filing a Claim on Policies You Own
Check with your insurance agent if you have a loss – don’t assume that it isn’t covered. If you are filing a claim on a policy you own, read the policy section on the requirements for filing claims and follow them closely or contact your insurance agent for assistance.
Filing a Claim Against Others
If you have a small, straightforward claim (typically under $5,000) against a third party, send a letter to the party responsible for the loss. Clearly describe what happened (include the five “W”s – “who” “what” “where” “when” and “why”), what your losses were (use the keywords “bodily injury” “personal injury” or “property loss or damage”, as applicable) including values, incident or police reports, and why you think the third party is responsible. There must be negligence on the part of the third party in order for them to be legally responsible for your loss, and it will help your claim if you can articulate in the letter how they were negligent. This specific wording will trigger the respondent’s insurance policies and may help you obtain a quick settlement without having to involve an attorney.
Filing a Claim Against the College
If you believe you have a claim against the College’s policy for bodily injury or property damage, please forward the documentation referenced above to the staff of the Business Services Office. If the incident involved a College-owned or rented vehicle, follow the procedures found in the Transportation Policy found on the Public Safety website https://publicsafety.lafayette.edu/parking/.