Insurance Agents Survival Guide to Claims

The problem with Insurance Carriers handling claims in today’s environment is there’s just not enough time in the day, or the economics in the business to provide the good old-fashion service many of us grew up with, yet still expect.  There was a day when the Insurance Adjusters spent several hours at an Insured’s home, walked them through what to expect, answered their questions and even cut them a check on the spot for repairs.  That just isn’t the case anymore.

The new normal is an environment where the Insurance Adjuster has to many files on their desk, barely enough time to even look at the loss or call people back, nor answer detailed questions and will never cut a check on the spot.  The reality of today’s world is everyone wants it faster and cheaper and as a result, the bottom line is squeezed and the industry has changed, but that Insured still expects the same level of service.

So as an Agent, what can you do to make a difference?  After all, it is your customer, you cultivated the relationship, made the sale and have nurtured and maintained the relationship.

Your solution is to implement office wide procedures on how to process and handle calls from Insureds with prospective claims and to partner with local vendors that understand your needs as an Agent (lower loss ratios, higher customer retention and lead generation).  The Carriers and their preferred vendors do not understand your needs, so you must take action into your own hands.

Oh, by the way, I am not referencing implementing policies and procedures set by an Insurance Carrier operating in today’s claims environment.  If you agree with the statements from my above paragraphs, then I think we can both agree that it is a bad idea.  I am talking about implementing what is in the best interest for you and your Insured.

So, what kind of processes and procedures should you really implement?  Here are a few ideas from super successful Insurance Agents with low loss ratios, high customer retention and a pipeline of new business.

Everyone on the team must know the right questions to ask and Insured when they call. The more you know, the better advice you can give and direction you can point them in.  The day of just turning someone over to the claims department is over.  

Everyone on the team must know who your vendors are and what they do.  If you develop a relationship with a vendor they will be happy to come in and provide educational discussions to further train your staff.

Everyone on the team must know your policies on how to refer  vendors and how to talk to the customer about it.

You must partner with vendors that will connect the dots between how the claims department used to handle Insureds and how they are handled today.  This means the vendors must understand loss ratios, customer retention, lead generation, explain the process, be readily available and have the tools and technology to provide unequalled service.

So why go through all of this?  If you are asking this question, then why are you even in business?  You do this because you want to build the best business possible, provide the best service possible, have raving fans that refer you over and over again and to be the reason why people don’t just go online and save 15% in 15 minutes. 

In summary, if you do not implement your own claims handling policies and procedures that are in the best interests of your Insureds and your business, you will fall into a huge world of normalcy further pushing your customers to go buy their insurance online.

This document is courtesy of ServiceFirst Restoration Inc.  If you would like help implementing claims handling policies and procedures, please contact Christian Rovsek at 855-883-4778.

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