Understanding the Crucial Difference Between Occurrence and Claims-Made Insurance

As business owners, we are constantly faced with risks that have the potential to impact our operations and financial security. To safeguard our businesses from unforeseen events, insurance becomes a critical component of our risk management strategy. Two common types of insurance coverage that businesses often encounter are “Occurrence” and “Claims-Made” insurance policies. In this article, we will explore the essential differences between these two types of coverage, empowering you to make informed decisions to protect your business effectively.

What is Occurrence Insurance?

Occurrence insurance is a type of coverage that responds to claims arising from incidents that occur during the policy period, regardless of when the claim is filed. In other words, if an event takes place while the policy is active, the coverage applies to any claims related to that event, even if the claim is made years after the policy expires.

Pros of Occurrence Insurance:

  1. Long-Tail Coverage: Occurrence policies provide long-tail coverage, which means claims can be filed for incidents that occurred during the policy period, even after the policy has lapsed.
  2. Stability of Coverage: Once the policy is in effect, the insured is protected for any future claims related to covered incidents, regardless of policy changes or lapses.

Cons of Occurrence Insurance:

  1. Higher Initial Premiums: Occurrence policies generally have higher initial premiums compared to claims-made policies due to the long-tail coverage they offer.
  2. Limited Control Over Future Costs: As claims can be filed years after an incident, the future costs of occurrence policies can be uncertain, potentially impacting budgeting and financial planning.

What is Claims-Made Insurance?

Claims-made insurance, on the other hand, covers claims only if both the incident and the filing of the claim occur while the policy is active. This type of coverage requires continuous policy renewal to maintain protection for past incidents.

Pros of Claims-Made Insurance:

  1. Lower Initial Premiums: Claims-made policies often have lower initial premiums compared to occurrence policies, making them an attractive option for businesses with budget constraints.
  2. Control Over Future Costs: The renewal process allows businesses to adjust coverage limits and endorsements based on their evolving needs, offering greater control over future insurance costs.

Cons of Claims-Made Insurance:

  1. Limited Retroactive Coverage: Claims-made policies have retroactive dates that determine the earliest incidents covered. Anything that occurred before this date may not be covered unless a specific endorsement is added.
  2. Potential Coverage Gaps: If a claims-made policy is not renewed or replaced with “tail coverage,” claims filed after the policy’s expiration may not be covered. If you are switching insurance agents or companies, you will need to make sure that your policy has the proper retroactive dates to make sure you are properly insured.


As a business owner, understanding the difference between occurrence and claims-made insurance is crucial in making well-informed decisions about your coverage. Occurrence insurance offers long-tail coverage, providing protection for claims related to incidents that occurred during the policy period, even after the policy has lapsed. On the other hand, claims-made insurance offers cost-effective coverage with control over future costs, but it requires continuous policy renewal to maintain protection for past incidents.

Ultimately, the choice between occurrence and claims-made insurance depends on your business’s unique risk profile, budget, and long-term goals. Consulting with an experienced insurance agent who specializes in your industry can help you assess your needs and select the most suitable coverage for your business’s protection and peace of mind.

At EnsureUp, our team of dedicated professionals is here to guide you through the complexities of insurance options and ensure you have the right coverage to safeguard your business. Contact us today at (305) 452-0587 to explore your insurance choices and build a robust risk management plan for your business’s success.

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