Although the details of the insurance claim process vary from one company to another, some processes remain consistent throughout. Checklists help insurers and claims managers stay organized. At JDi, our goal is to create a growing collaborative discussion to explore ways to manage complex claims efficiently. In part one, part two, and part three of this series, we discussed tips for improved claims documentation. Let’s dive a little deeper and flesh out some of the data collection options that help to improve claim documentation:
Begin the process by collecting the necessary data from the policyholder, including:
- Name, policy number, and statement.
- Policyholders filing claims for property damage must recount the incident in clear detail, and supply any supporting evidence.
- Pictures, sound files, videos, and other supporting evidence must be placed in the file.
- The names and contact information from additional claimants must be gathered at this time.
- Forms and documentation. Whether paperwork is filed by the agent, claim manager, or policyholder, signatures must be obtained where necessary and forms must be submitted on time.
Assembling the File
Once the process is initiated, information must be gathered promptly. The longer it takes to collect the data about the incident or claim, the more likely it is that information will be lost in the process. The use of claim management software may help expedite the process by keeping all file notes, forms and documents organized and accessible. The use of claim management software also ensures that deadlines do not pass unnoticed. At this time, information for the file should include:
- Doctor files (if injuries were reported)
- Witness statements
- Police reports
- Statements from involved parties
Managing the Claim
Time is of the essence. While the damages are being assessed, policyholders are waiting for repairs, checks to be mailed or resolution to be reached, depending on the nature of the insurance and the claim. To address the needs of the policyholder, claims must be handled quickly. The following items must be completed to manage the claim and close the file:
- Claim managers assigned
- Origin and cause experts deployed
- Examiner, appraiser, and adjuster reports submitted and filed
- Settlements determined
- Settlement checks mailed
- Damages repaired
Insurance claims management software tracks the claim process even more efficiently than simple checklists. Automated systems generate correspondence reminders, store claim information electronically and tracks claim progress from FNOL to the closure of the file. Given that many states have laws regarding the timeliness of claims, the time-tracking components of claims management software are invaluable.