Best Practices on Limiting your Liability

Throughout the past 20 years, Inszone insurance has dealt with nearly every claim scenario you can imagine. What stands out over the past few years is the sharp increase in consumer filed lawsuits against the business owners we insure. Whether you’ve been operating for the past 50 days or the past 50 years, the odds of your business being sued are higher than ever.

If your customer is dead set on suing you, there’s not much you can do about that. With that in mind we have compiled a list of business practices that may help avoid a lawsuit and could be the difference between winning and losing.

  • If you even have the potentialfor a claim, call Inszone to discuss as early as possible. While each situation is unique, past experiences may help you navigate. You are not obligated to make a claim by calling us to talk.
  • Do not admit fault! Unfortunately, most allegations made against the pool service company are directed at the wrong party or flat out frivolous. Many times there are issues with the construction of the pool or the last remodel that have nothing to do with service. Remember the minute you attempt to fix the issue, it could become your responsibility.
  • Should you decide to file the claim, speak to your Inszone Insurance agent to start the process. You’ll want to have as detailed information as possible, such as specific dates. Inszone will submit the claim to Colony and an adjustor will be assigned promptly.
  • Common business practices that will help you avoid a claim:
  • Document discussions with your customers whenever you see a potential problem. Use email and take pictures, they will be less likely to pursue a lawsuit if you can show previous attempts to prevent an issue.
  • Keep a log book on work performed. Include water chemistry measurements in your log.
  • Know when to say no. Whether it’s a new account or an existing one, know when to walk away from what is bound to be a problem down the road.
  • Have formal meetings regularly each month or quarterly with employees if you have any. If your eyes aren’t the only ones on the ground day-to-day, make sure your team is able to identify potential problems to bring to your attention.
  • Use contracts when beginning service on a new account. List the services you provide and stick to it. Complete a pre-service inspection of the pool area before you begin servicing a pool.  Document pre-existing conditions and potential safety hazards. Make sure to include a copy of the pre-service inspection in your service agreement.
  • If at any point you agree to do work outside of normal service contract, have a separate agreement signed. Good examples of these are waivers/release of liability contracts if you are performing an acid wash, draining the pool and/or cleaning the tile.
    • Inszone would be happy to share examples of service agreements other pool services have relied on. Best practice is to have your service agreement reviewed by a qualified attorney.

 

Lawsuits are costly and time consuming for your business at best…at worst they can cripple an otherwise healthy operation. Business practices incorporating these preventative measures will help protect you when you hear the words “See you in court!”

 

Sincerely,

Pat Grignon

Vice President

Inszone Insurance Services, Inc

(916) 503-6359

pgrignon@inszoneins.com