Could your public entity benefit from an expedited claims management process? Our first post “Improving Your Claims Management Process” details the importance of quickly reporting claims and how handling a claim sooner rather than later can keep the claims cost as low as possible.
Who is responsible for the longest delays?
Usually the longest delays in the insurance claims process are a result of one or more department heads that simply have not been trained on the necessity of quick claim reporting. An individual department may be holding onto the claim notice until they have all the information collected (trying to show they were not at fault) before they turn it into the risk manager or person designated to submit claims. However, no internal reporting requirements or trying to investigate internally has to be conducted prior to notifying the carrier. Once it hits the risk manager’s desk it is should be transmitted within a few hours.
Delayed claim reporting often involve law enforcement when they ask an outside law enforcement agency to investigate an incident and this outside report may take 3-4 weeks to be investigated, prepared, mailed and erroneously do not report the incident to the carrier until the full report is in hand.
What can you do to help?
Ideally all claims should be reported as soon as possible, which means the same day, or the next day. Do not worry that all the information has been gathered. What is important is that the claim handlers get involved as early on as possible.
Simply fill out the incident information that you know about now and turn it in. This goes for law suits as well which are usually very time sensitive and should be forwarded as soon as possible. This gets the process started quickly and the claims professionals will get to work trying to control your claim exposure and dollars.
Tips for Avoiding Delays in Your Insurance Claims Management Process
- Report the insurance claim as early as possible, this can keep the claims cost 15-75% lower than if reported beyond 7 days.
- Create a system for reporting and providing evidence to your claims management personnel, this can be ongoing while the claim is being reported to insurance carrier. Your carrier does not need to know every detail when the claim is reported your public entities’ risk manager.
- Life happens. Train more than one staff member who can handle claims in the event of an emergency, leave of absence, or staffing change.
- Going on vacation soon? Please designate a person to receive and forward claims in your absence to the agent/carrier.
We all know that there are times when we get a notice of claim from out of the blue for some prior date and no one at the entity knows anything about the incident. Well this discussion is not intended to be covered here, only the ones you know your public entity is directly responsible for. Our next post in this series will detail what you can do when an insurance claim “falls out of the sky.”
This is the second post in our series on “Improving Your Insurance Claims Management Process,” stay tuned for additional posts that will help your public entity create the best claims management plan for your public entity claims. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog so that you will be first to know when we post a new industry tip! To subscribe simply input your email in the “subscribe by email” form on the right sidebar of this page.