What happens when you have a General Liability claim at NEXT

Learn what to expect if you experience claim at your business

Julie Roseland
By Julie Roseland
Published Mar 14, 2023
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A NEXT claims advocate with a headset on at a desk with a computer.

General liability can protect your business from accidents that cause physical harm to someone other than an employee or damage someone’s property or reputation.

The list of what general liability insurance covers is broad. The coverage can be tailored to fit your needs.

When accidents occur, a general liability policy can help cover related expenses, including medical bills, repairing damaged property, legal fees and court judgments.

Examples of General Liability claims

Here are a few common general liability claims:

Customer injuries

You own a beauty salon, providing expert manicures and pedicures to your customers. One customer slips while getting up from the pedicure chair and injures themselves. They file a lawsuit for medical expenses.

Damage to a client’s property

You’re a contractor installing insulation in a homeowner’s attic. You accidentally activate a sprinkler head, setting off a chain reaction that floods the house. The homeowner files a suit for property damages.

Accidental advertising copyright Infringement

You own a health club and decide to promote your business through print advertisements and online but use an image without obtaining permission or purchasing the rights for its use from the photographer. The photographer sues you for copyright infringement.

Reputational harm

You own an architectural firm and one of your employees goes online and badmouths a client. The client sues you for defamation, claiming their reputation was harmed.

Foodborne illness (for food service businesses)

You own a restaurant and manage a staff of cooks, servers and hosts. One of your chefs doesn’t follow protocol for cooking chicken, causing customers to get food poisoning. Customers file lawsuits for medical expenses.

These uh-oh moments, while disappointing, do not need to be devastating. Here’s how general liability coverage can help you when an accident occurs and you need to file a claim.

How the General Liability claims process works at NEXT

Claims can be disruptive, frustrating and scary. It’s unfortunate when an incident arises, but having NEXT in your corner can help ease the process.

Here is what you can expect if you purchase general liability insurance and experience a claim:

1. File a claim

Accidents happen. That’s why insurance exists.

If you become aware of a potential claim, it’s important to contact NEXT as soon as possible to avoid delays or complications in resolving the situation.

File a claim by reporting it online. You can also navigate to the Support section on the NEXT website and select “File a Claim.”

To begin, you’ll need to enter the email address or phone number associated with your NEXT account.

Be ready to supply details about the incident:

  • Including the date it took place
  • Supporting photos of the damages
  • Documentation, such as the work order or contract you have with the customer

This information will help verify that the incident falls under the scope of your coverage.

2. NEXT follows up on your claim

We understand the stress and disruption that a claim can cause. Our claims advocates are here to help you through the process.

After submitting your claim, here’s what will happen:

  • You’ll receive an email confirming the review process is initiated and assigned to a NEXT claims advocate.
  • You’ll receive your advocate’s name and phone number and a call from them (usually within 24 hours) to discuss the incident further.

What to expect from your NEXT claims advocate

A NEXT claims advocate is available to help you during the claims process.

Our claims advocates provide dedicated support services through all phases of the claims process – from the initial filing through resolution.

They can help guide you, explain the process and set up a plan to address the next steps. Their goal is to help you resolve the claim as soon as possible.

How will my NEXT claims advocate help me through a claim?

Your NEXT claims advocate will go through the details that were submitted with the claim and ask follow-up questions to make sure everything is in order. This will help identify any missing materials needed to process the claim.

Transparency during the process is important.

Your NEXT advocate will provide you with a date when they will reach back out with the next steps. In the meantime, you can follow your claim by logging in to your account.

3. Your claim is processed and resolved

Once all of the necessary documentation is collected, the claims evaluation process can be quick.

NEXT strives to resolve claims within 48 hours.

How long will it take to resolve a claim?

The claims process can be quick if it’s easy to show what happened and you have supporting documents.

This is why photos and any paperwork to support the details of the claim are so important. Any uncertainty in these situations can prolong the process.

8 ways to make the claims process easier

It’s vital to stay engaged with NEXT to ensure you are properly covered when it matters most.

Here are eight ways to make the process general liability claims process easier for yourself:

1. Get NEXT involved immediately

A condition of coverage is cooperation and timely notice of claims.

When an accident happens, don’t wait. File a claim right away to move the process forward. You don’t want anything to get missed because of delay.

Get us involved early. For example, if there’s a fire and we don’t know anything about it, and then two years later you get served with a lawsuit, we’ve lost the ability to go and investigate the scene.

That makes it much more difficult to do an initial investigation to help prove you’re not at fault. The evidence just isn’t there anymore.

The same applies to lawsuits. If you get a lawsuit, don’t hold onto it, get us involved immediately.

2. Be responsive and available

We do our best to quickly move your claim to resolution, but we need your help obtaining information such as incident details and documentation.

Responding to your NEXT advocate’s requests in a timely manner will help us help you. If you don’t respond to your NEXT advocate, this can prolong the process.

3. Communicate, communicate, communicate

NEXT provides as many communication options as possible. Choose whatever method works best for you: Phone, text, email or online chat.

4. Work with NEXT to investigate

If your business experiences an incident, immediately contact NEXT so we can help with the investigation and documentation you may need down the line.

5. If you think you have a claim, you probably do

If an incident arises and you don’t know whether you should file a claim or not, contact your NEXT advocate and ask for their advice on how you should proceed.

Let  us work on the issue for you so you can get back to keeping your business healthy and growing.

If your advocate advises you to file a claim with NEXT, do so from the start, instead of allowing things to escalate.

6. Make sure you have the right policy

Before you purchase insurance, take the time to closely review your coverage documents to ensure it includes the coverage you need.

Reviewing the documents and pointing out any red flags or problematic exclusions will help you in the long run.

Remember, NEXT has a free quote process. If you have questions about your business insurance package, contact one our insurance advisors. They’re happy to answer any of your questions.

The cost of your general liability insurance policy will depend on a variety of factors, but in the end, the cost of coverage could be less than the cost of an uninsured accident.

7. Don’t forget about Professional Liability insurance

When creating a small business insurance package that fits your specific needs, in most cases, you can add a professional liability policy. (Note: This coverage is included with general liability for some types of businesses.

E&O insurance can help if you or your business is accused of making a mistake, not when an accident occurs.

For example, let’s say you knock over a vase onto a rug. That was the accident. But you decide to clean the rug, and the solution you use damages it. That was the mistake.

When in doubt, add professional liability to your coverage for more protection to your business.

8. Remember, NEXT is here to help

Even if you don’t know exactly what you need, call, text, email or chat to get help from our insurance advisors.

We’re here to help. Ultimately, our mission is to help entrepreneurs thrive.

We try to make the claims process as easy as possible so you can get back to focusing on growing and managing your business.

NEXT helps small businesses thrive

NEXT makes the liability claims process easy so owners like you can focus on growing your business instead of worrying about an unfortunate accident.

We make it easy to file a claim and follow it through the review process.

Resolving claims quickly is the endgame to getting your business moving forward.

New customers can start a free quote today, and NEXT General Liability customers can file a claim within minutes.

Julie Roseland
About the author

Julie Roseland, MBA, is a senior commercial claims manager. She has more than 15 years of experience working in insurance claims and leads a team of more than 20 claims managers and advocates at NEXT.

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Upgrade your general liability coverage to protect any gear that’s stolen, damaged or lost.
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