Every once in a while, a less-than-scrupulous person gets the idea that he can fake an injury on your property and make some easy money…at your expense! In fact, there is a growing problem of criminal enterprises dealing exclusively in false slip/fall claims.
What can you do to protect your business? Here are four tips to consider.
Install security cameras. A picture might be worth a thousand words, but security camera footage could save you $300,000. Without adequate security camera footage of your property, any claim of slip/fall injury will be the claimant’s word against yours. Why take the risk? Installing a security camera system will ensure that you have an electronic eye on all parts of your property and provide you with irrefutable evidence in cases of fraud.
Maintain your property. Don’t give a fraudster the advantage by delaying or ignoring obvious safety issues! Outside the business, be sure to fix damaged sidewalks and driveways as soon as possible. Additionally, make sure sidewalks, driveways, and walkways are thoroughly cleaned of snow, ice, and other hazards. Inside, make sure spills are cleaned up promptly and effectively. If you have to mop a floor during business hours, close off the area with caution signs until the floor is dried, and make sure employees know and use the proper techniques to ensure excess water or liquids are removed from floors as quickly as possible.
Document, document, document. Before an incident even occurs, make sure you document the regular maintenance and safety checks you perform on and around your property. Keep a detailed log of cleaning, maintenance, and safety measures in place. After an incident occurs, make sure to take detailed notes—including photos—of the incident and the area in which it occurred. Get the names and contact information of everyone involved, including witnesses. When gathering information, be aware of anything that seems suspicious—someone who slipped on a dry floor, a witness who appears a little too enthusiastic, or something that just doesn’t feel right. Trust your gut, but be discrete and don’t argue with the people involved; talk to your agent instead.
Work with your insurance agent. You have better things to do than to play Perry Mason when a slip/fall claim is made against your business. If you have good security camera footage and have taken diligent, accurate, and copious notes after the incident, your insurance company will be very thorough in investigating the claim and ensuring it’s legitimate. Claims examiners are well trained in spotting fraud, so rest assured that your insurer is working for you.
Our colleagues at CNA have developed a helpful guide for business owners to consult when faced with a suspicious claim. Check it out, and tell us what you think in the comments! Got a story of a fraudulent claim? Ever had to bust a fraudster? We love war stories, so feel free to share those, too!