How to Respond to Claims Questions in the RFP

One of the insurance carriers that we work with, Berkley Design Professionals has provided information on what to do when there are claims questions in an RFP.You’ve done a great job marketing and pre-selling the client for that really exciting project, and the RFP has finally come in! Then you get to the last question:“Describe any liability claims that the firm has had during the past ten (10) years, including any currently pending actions and the results.”What do you do now?

The question needs to be addressed truthfully but, at the same time, you need to protect the confidentiality of the legal process of any active claim or settlement agreement as well as your firm’s and claimants’ rights to privacy. Of course, if your firm has been claims-free, that answer is easy: “none”.

However, most firms have had some claims activity in their history. For those situations, we suggest the following statement, which allows you to be responsive without sharing any details:

As an ongoing business involved in numerous projects over ___ years, professional liability claims have arisen on past projects. However, these matters are confidential between our firm and our clients, and we are not allowed to disclose information on specific claims or cases. Our firm maintains professional liability coverage of ______ per claim and _______ in the aggregate, which is and has been more than sufficient to manage our legal and financial responsibilities for claims that arise out of our professional services.

You can also embellish the statement with the following:

Our approach is to use reasonable means to resolve claims promptly without disruption to the project or client relationship.

Our policyholders have generally received acceptable response from this type of statement. If you do receive some pushback from your client, develop a generic description of the claim(s) without disclosing location, project owner, claimant, or other specifics. Typically, the summary of your professional liability insurance coverage should by enough to satisfy the client, so that you can go on and wow them with your RFP response and win that job!

If you ever have questions like this please contact your Professional Underwriters Inc. agent and they will put you in touch with the risk management team with your insurance carrier.   For a professional liability quote from Berkley Design Professionals and other carriers please contact us here.

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