As you will appreciate, it is one of the Underwriters prime conditions of the policy that any incident which may become a claim under your policy is reported. In most policies Underwriters require immediate advise of a potential claim. In simple terms your Hull & Machinery policy covers the damage to your vessel and your P&I policy covers your liability to third parties (this can vary so if in doubt please call).
For Commercial Marine policies there are generally no 'claim forms' as such so you should advise us of the circumstances by email or fax as soon as possible so that surveyors/solicitors can be appointed If your vessel has sustained damage then the cause of the damage needs to be established to confirm whether a claim can be made under the policy conditions (wear and tear is of course not covered). There will be a deductible applicable and if the damage does not exceed this then of course there will be no claim. Underwriters will need to be advised so that they can appoint a Surveyor as necessary.
It is the responsibility of the vessel's Owner to obtain quotes for the necessary repairs which if possible should be agreed by the Underwriters Surveyor. The surveyor is the eye's and ear's of the Underwriters and he may be able to give you some guidance as to the best way to facilitate the repairs however it is important to understand that the responsibility for the settlement of any repair invoices in the first instance rests with the vessels Owner. Once the repair invoices have been settled we can request reimbursement from Underwriters (subject to the policy deductible).
It is normal that the claim presented is for all the costs incurred so that the matter can be concluded in one go. Underwriters are not there to be a clients accounts dept to pay the invoices individually. For a P & I incident (cargo damage, crew/third party injury, contact with quay/jetty/collision with another vessel) we should be advised so that the Club can appoint a surveyor as necessary. Should a crew member or third party suffer an injury then a copy of the accident report should be sent to us to pass to Underwriters (we would suggest that if the incident is sufficient to make an entry into the accident book then it is sufficient to notify us to pass to Underwriters).
It is better to let them decide whether an incident needs investigating rather than to have something reported months if not years after the event which will make investigation difficult. An injured party has three years from the date of an accident or diagnosis of a condition in which to claim.
Should you receive a letter from Solicitors representing an injured party, this should be sent to us immediately as delay may cause a problem with coverage. Apart from a one line acknowledgement of the letter, under no circumstances should you respond to the letter without Underwriters agreement as this may prejudice your cover.
IF IN DOUBT GIVE US A CALL TO DISCUSS AN INCIDENT SO THAT WE CAN ADVISE YOU THE BEST ACTIONS TO TAKE.