Don’t Throw Them Away!

No one wants unnecessary papers lying around, filling up valuable space in drawers, filing cabinets or on shelves.  Yet it is important to keep copies of your insurance policies even after they’ve expired/renewed.  Should a claim come up, having the original policy language available could be a huge benefit when making a case.  In some instances, the burden falls on the policyholder to prove that a policy even existed.

Ideally insurance policies should be kept forever.  Treat them as you would any other valuable asset, not subject to a document destruction program.  Certainly many companies increasingly are turning to electronic media for document retention and storage.  In addition, should a claim come up it is important to know on which policy you need to notify first.

Maintaining a thorough corporate insurance history is a significant and worthwhile commitment of time and resources.  It may sound easy enough, but reality often proves more difficult.  Companies merge or break up.  Insurers may have copies as well, but that is not guaranteed.  But having the information readily available may be a huge benefit in the future.

From Business Insurance, March 16, 2009 issue, pp. 1 and 21.