Understanding Our Claims Process
Thank you so much for choosing Redwoods as your insurance carrier. As you know, our approach to claims is rooted in empathy and relies on deep relationships. That means we do things a little bit differently. Below is some important information that will help you get familiar with our claims handling process, including what you can expect from us as well as what we expect from our customers when a serious incident occurs. To get started, we’ve provided our Claims Welcome Kit. This document provides helpful information about what and when to report incidents; our claims staff with contact information; as well as an FAQ.
Reporting Guidelines: What to Report and When to Report
Reporting Guidelines: What to Report and When to Report
The sooner an incident is reported to us—and the more complete information we receive—the better placed we are to respond appropriately. Our incident reporting process is designed to facilitate fast and accurate claims reporting, giving our team the information they need to help your organization and the claimant heal. In this video, Lindsey Lassiter—our Market and Innovation Manager—will walk you through what needs to be reported to us and how quickly it needs to be reported.
How to Use Our Online Incident Report Form
What to Expect After a Serious Incident
We are committed to standing by your side and offering our support when a serious incident does occur. You can expect more from us than you would a traditional insurance company. The exact process will depend on the type of claim and the specific circumstances in which it happened. Know that working through a serious claim is a long process. We will be there with you through every step, and need you to be there too to ensure healing for everyone. In this video, Jody Bagwell—our Chief Claims Officer—will give you an overview of what you can expect from us as well as what we will expect of you. We also encourage you to review our “When Bad Things Happen” one-pager.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I report an incident to The Redwoods Group?
A: For Liability | Auto | Property
- Online: Visit our Online Incident Report page
- Email: [email protected]
- Fax: 800-478-6068
For all Workers’ Compensation Incidents
- Phone: 1-800-690-5520
- Fax: 1-877-622-6218
- Email: [email protected]
Q: Why do you want me to report incidents so quickly?
A: Timely contact with the injured party (or their parent) is the best way to begin the healing process and gives them the peace of mind that they have someone with whom to discuss their claim.
Q: Should I also contact my Redwoods consultant?
A: Your Redwoods consultant is available for you; however, if your inquiry is in relation to a claim, your most productive contact would be to the adjuster handling the claim. If a claim is set up after you report an incident, you will receive an acknowledgment letter via email providing you with the claim adjuster’s contact information.
Q: How do I report an incident that occurs after hours or on weekends or holidays?
A: Major incidents: After normal business hours call the Claims Hotline at 877-590-4678 to speak with our answering service. We will return your call within 30 minutes.
Minor incidents: Use the online incident report, email or fax to report within 24 hours as usual.
Q: What happens after I report an incident?
A: Not all incident reports will become claims.
A Redwoods Claims Professional reviews your Incident Report and determines if further investigation is necessary, and evaluates whether or not the incident is likely to become a claim. When you report, it is very important to communicate if the injured party has:
- indicated that he or she is considering a lawsuit
- contacted an attorney
- asked for money or made other requests such as covering medical bills
If our preliminary investigation determines it is necessary to open an actual claim, we will email you and your broker a Claims Acknowledgement Letter within 24 hours. The email will include the claim number and the contact information for the assigned Claims Professional.
Q: What if I didn’t report an incident, but now someone is upset, asking for money, or has contacted an attorney?
A: Please report the incident to us as soon as possible by using one of the reporting mechanisms noted above.
Q: Who handles my claims?
A: Redwoods’ licensed, in-house Claims Professionals are ready to assist with all your claims needs.
Q: Who do I contact if I have a question or updates to an incident report I submitted?
A: Send a detailed email to [email protected] Be sure to include the date and time it was originally submitted to us. You can also call us at 800-463-8546.
Q: How should I respond if I am contacted by the media?
A: Our Claims Professionals can provide media statements, front desk staff statements, letters to your membership or parents, and other types of crisis communications assistance.
Q: What should I do if an injured party (or a parent) requests a copy of the Incident Report?
A: Incident Reports are considered private, internal and confidential communications between a company and its insurer. We recommend that you have a policy that retains the confidential integrity of the document by not sharing it with a third party (even a parent) without first contacting a Redwoods Claims Professional.
Communicate this policy to the injured party or his or her representative. If ever in doubt or if you have questions, feel free to contact a Redwoods Claims Professional for further assistance.
Q: How do I respond when an injured party requests help with medical bills?
A: Say that you are sorry that the accident happened. Do not admit fault, responsibility or liability. Say that you have turned the matter over to your insurance company and that we will contact them to discuss the situation.
Q: Aren’t medical bills covered by my Medical Expense coverage?
A: Your General Liability Policy’s Medical Expense coverage pays for medical expenses regardless of fault; however, this coverage is discretionary. This means that Redwoods has the option but not the obligation to pay these bills. We, your insured organization and Redwoods, will make the decision as a team. We typically do not pay medical expenses for injuries sustained during athletic activities, where injuries are common. However, we may pay if there are extenuating circumstances or potential exposures.
Note that Medical Expense coverage is excess to the injured party’s health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid. The coverage is designed to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses such as a co-payment or a deductible. As such, we recommend an injured party submit his or her medical bills to his or her own insurance carrier for consideration before submitting them to us.
Q: What are the limits of Medical Expense coverage?
A: The Medical Expense coverage is limited to $5,000 for each person, per accident. (An optional limit of $10,000 or $20,000 is available on most policies for an additional premium.)
All bills must be incurred and reported to us within one year from the date of the incident.
Q: What happens if we get sued?
A: Immediately email the Complaint to your Claims Adjuster. If one has not yet been assigned, please email the Complaint to [email protected] or fax it to 800-478-6068. There is a deadline by which we must file our response with the court. We will review the Complaint and contact you to discuss it further
Your Claims Professional will assign the case to an approved defense firm dedicated to protecting your organization’s interests.
We will work closely with your organization and the assigned defense counsel as we move through the legal process and see your case to resolution.
Q: Can we use the same defense counsel we have used in the past?
A: Redwoods maintains a list of approved counsel with the expertise and knowledge necessary to provide the best outcome possible in your case. While we prefer to utilize this panel of attorneys, please have that conversation with your Claims Adjuster.
Q: Who will pay for the cost of defense?
A: Your insurance policy pays the defense costs of a covered claim and those payments do not reduce your policy limits.
Q: How do I obtain a copy of my loss runs?
A: Please send loss run requests directly to your underwriter or email requests to [email protected].