Claims Made Policies and Occurrence Policies: The Differences

claims made policies

If you own an insurance policy (or two or three…), chances are it is either an occurrence or claims made policy. And as a business owner or a professional, when you begin working with an insurance agent to explore different policies, it is extremely important to know the differences and understand which will work best for you in terms of liability protection so that your livelihood is protected.

Protect Yourself as a Business Owner or Professional

Being in business for yourself offers so many rewards. You have the freedom to follow your dreams, control to develop your own products and services and innovations, create the schedule you want for yourself (and your team too), and perhaps even make a significant impact within your own industry. Along with that, you may have daily contact with the public and a growing client base. While that can be incredibly rewarding—and especially if you feel like you are making a difference in their lives—there may also be instances where you need protection; for example, if someone is injured on your property and you do not have the proper liability insurance in place, you could be completely drained financially trying to pay for the damages yourself.

Occurrence Policies

With an occurrence policy in place, coverage is provided as long as the incident happened while your policy was in force—and even if it is reported later (yet still establishing a date within the policy coverage period), you should still be covered. That applies even if once the incident that occurred during the policy period has later been canceled when the claim is made. To be clear, let’s say you had a policy in force from 2015-2016. Obviously, it has since been canceled, but a claim was just brought forth regarding a liability issue from 2016. The occurrence policy should cover it—and most general liability is written this way.

The Claims-Made Policy

The claims-made policy introduces some other nuances, however. You must have been continually insured when a claim was brought forth, and although the incident may have occurred outside of the coverage period, it is covered if the claim is brought forth while your policy is in effect. It is also possible to buy further insurance referred to as a ‘tail.’ This offers extended coverage is a claim is reported after the claims-made policy has been terminated. While this type of coverage is helpful for many professionals, and often for doctors, it is not available to everyone. Dealing with claims could be complex later too.

Contact Us for Help Now

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

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