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Navigating Crane Insurance claims with UAA

Michelle Morrissey, UAA’s National Claims Manager, and George Grasso, Chief Services Officer, provide useful insights into the crane insurance claims process – helping you to ensure your claims are processed in a smooth and timely fashion.

When it comes to managing claims for mobile plant and machinery, UAA’s highly specialised Claims Team is vastly experienced. It understands the importance of a smooth claims experience for customers, which is why UAA has tailored claim forms specifically designed for Mobile Plant and Machinery – to gather the necessary information to initiate and guide the claims process effectively.

To ensure a smooth and timely claims experience, it is essential to complete the claim form in its entirety. This minimises the need for additional information to be requested back and forth and ultimately avoids delays in the assessment process. 

“Upon receipt of your claim, our team will allocate it to an experienced claims consultant who will lodge the claim within 72 hours,” Michelle says.

Michelle Morrissey, UAA's National Claims Manager, can help companies with their crane insurance claims.
Michelle Morrissey, UAA’s National Claims Manager.

 “In most cases, an independent assessor will be already appointed to inspect the damages and will contact you within 48 hours to arrange the assessment of your machine. Typically, assessment reports are received within two weeks of the inspection, sometimes even much sooner. It all depends on the severity and complexity of the claim and damages incurred and what other parties may be involved,” said Michelle.

“The timeline for the assessment process depends on the type and extent of the damage. Once the assessment report is received, our claims consultant will make an informed decision regarding the indemnity available to you and the quantum of your claim. In general, claims result in either repairs or, if the cost of the damage exceeds the market value of the machine, the machine is treated as a total loss,” she said.

While each claim may vary in terms of the information required, the most important step is to promptly notify UAA of any potential claim. This notification should be made as soon as possible and is especially crucial for claims that may result in a loss of revenue.

To help manage claims effectively, here is an overview of the documentation required for different claim scenarios:

1.  Impact Damage: For simple impact damage, a customer will need to submit the completed claim form and a repair quote if initially available. UAA will review this information and determine if additional details are required.

2.  Complex Claims: For claims involving engine or mechanical issues, in addition to the claim form and repair quotes, UAA will request copies of pre-start checks and maintenance records.

3.  Total Losses: In the case of total losses, UAA will require maintenance records, photos of the damages, purchase invoices and any modification invoices. Providing this information promptly helps expedite the appointment of a valuer and avoids delays.

4.  Theft/Investigated Claims: Often an investigator is appointed with theft claims as it helps with finding/identifying the perpetrators. The investigators also work closely with the customer, police and authorities in locating the machine and bringing justice to perpetrators.  If an investigator is appointed by UAA, the following standard documents will be requested. If the client is unable to provide them during the claim lodgement, they can be provided to the investigator on request:
  Purchase invoice;
  Profit and loss statements;
  Maintenance records;
  Finance details;
  CCTV Footage ; and
  Other information 

Damage/Theft While on Hire: If damage occurs or theft takes place while an item is in the possession of the hirer, the following documents will be required to validate indemnity and potential recovery against a liable party:

 Signed contract of hire or hire agreement;

 Terms and Conditions of Hire, clearly stipulating the hirer’s liability for damages or theft while on hire;

 Hire invoice;

 Confirmation of no applicable damage waiver paid by the hirer; and

 Any pre-hire condition reports verifying the condition of the machine was in much better condition that its return from hire 

While it is ideal to provide these documents when the claim is lodged, the most crucial document is the completed claim form. Providing an honest and detailed description of the incident enables UAA to promptly assess liability and determine any indemnity.

Effective communication and cooperation between assessors, investigators and insured individuals play a vital role in the smooth progression of claims. Assessors value the information provided on customer’s machines and can provide valuable risk mitigation strategies to benefit to the business. It is important to understand that assessors and investigators are not deployed to avoid paying claims but are focused solely on progressing your claim and assisting in returning your business to production. By working together, UAA can ensure a smooth and timely claims experience, says Michelle.

“Prompt reporting of incidents to UAA is crucial, as delays in notifying us and proceeding with repairs before submitting a claim can lead to challenges in verifying and reimbursing the full extent of the cost,” she said.

“Timely provision of documentation to our assessors expedites the claim process. Rest assured that our claims staff and assessors only request relevant information to determine the damage and the policy’s response to the claim. There is no agenda to avoid the claim; our shared goal is to assist you and get your operations back on track while meeting our promise to you via our verification requirements.

“We understand that delays in repairs may occur due to the unavailability of components and general scheduling challenges. To address this, UAA may approach international manufacturers to order required components. Although these manufacturing times are often beyond our control, we work with brokers to expedite the arrival of parts by considering air freight options within the defined limits of our policy wording.

“At UAA, our claims officers review the facts and evidence to seek the best possible outcome within the policy wording. When indemnity is established, UAA advocates for settlement under the cover you have purchased,” said Michelle.

Lastly, with liability claims, prompt payment of the excess within 14 days of claim lodgement helps avoid additional costs incurred by third-party litigators. Third-party legal providers often impose set timeframes for claim payment before considering litigation. By paying the excess on time, we can finalise the claim lodgement process, enact the policy, and assist in minimising these additional litigation charges.

“We hope this guidance will provide valuable insights for crane operators when navigating through the insurance claims process,” Michelle said. 

“Our focus at UAA is to ensure a smooth, timely, and positive claims experience, and we encourage our customers to reach out to us as soon as an incident occurs. By working together and providing the necessary information promptly, we can expedite the assessment and claims settlement, getting you back to productivity swiftly.”

According to George, one of the most important aspects of a successful machine recovery is good planning and often a mind set to recover a machine in same manner as it has fallen over, generally reduces further damage to the asset. 

Often owners of machines can get extremely emotional about the situation and can often feel pressured to quickly recover and remove the embarrassing situation they are facing. It is important to seek assistance from your insurance company to assist with the recovery process, often your insurer may choose to other experts to recover your machine, thus removing yourself (the owner) from any further liabilities or damage to the machine that may occur during the salvage operation. 

UAA prides itself on its ability to assist clients in the recovery process and to mitigate further risks and damage to the asset, let alone reducing further damage to any Third Party Property. UAA can also use this efficiently to commence any discussions with Third Party property owners in mitigating their risks and further liabilities that may be faced by the client. A cool head during such circumstances is critically important.

George explains how the insureds can better assist in the claims process and the importance of focusing on collaboration and understanding.

“It is far more efficient for clients to engage with their insurance companies as soon as an incident has occurred. In saying that I can only speak on behalf of the services we provide at UAA, as many of our competitors wouldn’t know where to start with a machinery claim, and mostly will rely on the customer to arrange everything themselves.

“From UAA’s perspective, engaging our claims team up front provides you an immediate solution to assist in reducing your down time and exorbitant and often unnecessary costs,” he said. 

“Having insurance is one thing, but there is always a component of uninsured loss a client incurs such as increased cost of working, loss of revenue, continuous repayment costs with financiers, ongoing fixed costs and general loss of production and loss of faith with clients work providers. These are often hidden costs that sit outside the indemnity for the machine alone, which can often be more determinantal to the customer than the material damage to the machine itself,” he said.

“The role of your insurance company is to get your machine back in operation as quickly as possible to mitigate these issues. It is in the best interest of the client, the industry and insurers to mitigate further loss, without jeopardising quality and integrity. It is extremely important to engage with the insurers up front to assist you with all of this. They should assist you with an effective and efficient method of repair to get you back on your feet and doing this early is much more efficient than attempting to reverse engineer it later down the track,” said George.

George goes on to highlight how a collaborative claim experience compares to one which is “us vs them”.

“When you have a client, repairer and broker working collaborative towards a common goal aimed of reducing “Time and Loss”, the claims experience is far more proficient, productive and efficient,” he said.

“We have experienced circumstances when this approach doesn’t occur. This is often due to individuals wanting to take matters into their own hands and then expect an insurance company to foot the bill without being fully involved. 

“I don’t know many businesses that will be happy just to pay a bill without being involved in a collaborative approach, particularly one relating to an incident. From a claims perspective, the role of the insurance company is to buy repairs and to provide a fair outcome on indemnity in accordance with the terms and conditions of the policy contract both parties have equally entered into,” said George.

Once a UAA claim form is completed, it should be submitted via email to the relevant state-based email address listed below:

• New South Wales:

• Queensland:

• Victoria:

• Tasmania:

• Western Australia:

• South Australia:

• Northern Territory:



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