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A claimant is a person or business entity that files a claim to receive payment for a specific loss under the terms of an insurance policy.

What is a claimant?

A claimant is someone who requests payment from an insurer for covered losses. An insurance claimant could be the named insured – in other words, the person or business that is listed on an insurance policy’s declarations page. Or a claimant could be someone who is not the policyholder but is still covered by the insurance policy, also known as the additional insured. This could be an employee, a contractor, or a vendor.

For example, if one of your workers gets injured on the job, that person is considered a claimant under your workers’ compensation insurance policy.

Do you have to be a named or additional insured to be a claimant?

Not necessarily. Anyone who has suffered a loss or damage because of your actions or those of one of your employees could be considered a claimant and would be entitled to file a claim for benefits.

For instance, if an employee is driving your company vehicle and hits another car, the other person who suffered auto damage would be a claimant.

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What is the difference between a claimant and the insured?

Simply put, the “insured” is a person or business entity that is covered by insurance. A “claimant,” on the other hand, can be any person or organization that suffered a loss and files a request to receive benefits from the insurer.

One claim could result in more than one claimant. For example, say you operate a business intelligence company that handles sensitive information. If you experience a data breach, multiple claimants could be eligible to receive benefits under your cyber liability policy.

Does a claimant need to hire an attorney?

Typically a claimant won’t need professional help to receive benefits. An insurance claim is essentially a business negotiation. A claims adjuster is assigned to the case and investigates it to find out whether or not there is cause to deny the claim. If the claim is legitimate, the claims adjuster or customer representative will work to ensure that the claimant is paid in a reasonable amount of time.

But if a dispute arises or if a claim hasn’t been paid in a timely manner, a claimant could hire an attorney to resolve the issue.

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