An insurance claimant is a party who files a claim, which is an official request for payment from an insurance company for a loss covered by an insurance policy.

Read on and we’ll explain the concept of what an insurance claimant is and why the concept is key to understanding your insurance coverage.

Who is an insurance claimant?

An insurance claimant can be either an individual or an entity, such as a company. Claimants are typically divided into two categories: Either first-party or third-party. A first-party claimant is an individual or business who purchased the policy (also known as the Named Insured) or an individual or business also covered by the policy – the Additional Insured. An example of an Additional Insured might be a company’s landlord.

For example, if you are a nail artist and a flammable solution accidentally ignites and causes a small fire, your landlord could be one of the insurance claimants if listed as an Additional Insured on your policy.

A third-party insurance claimant might be one of your vendors or a customer. Imagine that you are a landscaper, for example, and you accidentally hit an irrigation line while digging a garden bed. This causes flooding that damages your customer’s house. The customer would be the insurance claimant when filing to cover the costs of the damages covered by the general liability insurance you hopefully have.

Examples of insurance claimants

There are a wide variety of individuals and entities that could be considered insurance claimants, depending on your insurance policy’s terms. An insurance claimant could be your business, your employee, a vendor, a customer, even a competitor.

If an employee scales a ladder overzealously and falls and breaks his arm, he would be the insurance claimant when filing a claim against the company’s workers’ compensation policy to receive coverage for the medical costs associated with his injury.

If you are a paralegal and you miss a key deadline in a court case, you might be sued for negligence. In this scenario, the plaintiff (the individual or entity that initiates the legal case) could be a claimant against your professional liability insurance policy because you caused financial damage to your client. In this case, the insurer will provide the investigation of the claim of negligence and defense in the legal proceedings related to the claim.

An insurance claimant can also be a competitor. For example, if you criticize a competitor publicly, whether warranted or not, they could sue you for damage allegedly done to their reputation. If this happens, hopefully you have general liability insurance, which includes protection for personal and advertising injury liability.

How do claimants get insurance benefits?

Claimants can receive insurance benefits in a couple of ways. If you watch a little too much Court TV, you might think that an insurance claimant needs to hire an attorney and go to court to seek compensation for alleged losses. This isn’t always the case.

An insurance claim is essentially a negotiation with an insurance company. If you or another party experience a loss that you believe is covered by your policy, then you can simply file a claim directly with the insurance company.

There are four basics steps for filing a claim:

  1. Document what happened by creating a detailed incident report.
  2. Get the names and contact information of all witnesses present.
  3. Take photos of the scene and collect video footage if available.
  4. File the claim with your insurance company.

Once a claim is filed, the insurance company will appoint a claims adjuster. The claims adjuster’s role will be to investigate the legitimacy of the claim under the terms of your insurance contract. If the claim is found to be legitimate, then the claimant will receive benefits according to the terms of the policy. If, on the other hand, the insurance claim is denied, then the claimant can either appeal or hire an attorney to try and resolve the issue.

If a claim ends up in court, then in most cases you will want to make sure that your interests are represented by an attorney. In such an instance, you’ll be happy to learn that Thimble’s general liability insurance and professional liability insurance provide the legal defense for claims made under the policy.

What is the difference between a claimant and an insured?

Keep in mind that an insurance claimant does not necessarily have to be the Named Insured, meaning the individual or business with whom an insurance contract is made.

A claimant could be a customer, for example. If you are a jeweler, and you accidentally lose a gemstone from a customer’s bracelet that is in your care, then as long as your policy includes a care, custody, and control provision, the bracelet’s owner could be the insurance claimant when filing for the replacement value of the loss.

Make sure you’re covered when someone brings a claim against you

Now you know that an insurance claimant is simply someone who files an insurance claim, and they can fall into a pretty wide variety of categories — policyholder, customer, vendor, and so on. If you or another party finds themself with the label of an “insurance claimant,” then, in all likelihood, an unfortunate accident has occurred and they’re holding you responsible. Nobody likes accidents, especially business owners. But If something does go awry, at least you know Thimble has your back.

Our on-demand insurance policies cover you by the job, month, or year. Just click “get a quote” or download the Thimble mobile app, answer a quick set of questions, receive your quote, and click to purchase, all within minutes.

Our editorial content is intended for informational purposes only and is not written by a licensed insurance agent. Terms and conditions for rate and coverage may vary by class of business and state.