How our quick response team handles claims quickly
By: Andrea Morrison, Claims and Risk Assessment Coordinator
Risk Assessment Director Corey Bounds was on his summer vacation when we received notice of a significant loss experienced by one of our insureds.
Corey immediately put his vacation on hold and drove two hours to be onsite with the insured. Corey met with the insured to see the damage firsthand, discuss the claims process, and answer any questions the insured had. His prompt onsite visit not only benefited the insured, but also our carrier partners and designated adjuster. Corey was able to identify the extent of the loss that we were dealing with and communicate his findings to the carriers and adjuster.
Our number one priority at Continental Underwriters, Inc. is being there for our insureds. We understand what it’s like when they’re facing a catastrophic loss and considering so many unknowns. In many cases, they don’t know when their business is going to be back up and running or when they’re going to have money in their pockets to offset their losses. Delivering that level of care and consideration — and treating our insureds as people and businesses — means so much to them.
This is why Corey and I formed Continental Underwriters’ Quick Response Team. We work together to handle claims in record time, so that our insureds can get back to business.
Here’s how we do it.
Our responsive claims process
Many of our clients have a close relationship with Corey, so it’s not uncommon for some of our insureds to contact him directly when a loss occurs, but generally we receive notice of claims through the insured’s retail agent.
As soon as the formal loss notice is received in our office, Corey and I review the loss details in conjunction with the insured’s policies. Within a couple of hours of receiving the loss notice, Corey will call the insured to acknowledge the reported loss and explain the claims process. We know that making initial contact and setting proper expectations as soon as possible after a loss occurs puts the insured at ease and sets the tone for the entire claims process.
Once we have reviewed the loss details internally, we place the involved carriers and designated adjuster on notice of the loss via email. In addition to the loss notice, we provide the carriers and adjuster with all relevant policies and endorsements that could apply to the loss. Our designated adjuster then reviews the loss details and contacts the insured to gather additional details and determine if an onsite visit is necessary. If an onsite visit is required, our designated adjuster is typically onsite within a couple of days and in some cases the very next day.
Continental Underwriters’ rapid response is something that sets us apart from our competitors. The industry standard for a carrier to acknowledge a new loss is 24-48 hours, which means in some cases it may be a week before an adjuster is able to be onsite.
The perks of being proactive
Our Quick Response Team makes a world of difference and benefits our insureds, brokers, and carriers alike.
While it’s just the start of what will likely be a months-long process, our quick response is crucial to the life cycle of the claim. When we’re quick to take action, that also inspires our insureds to be proactive themselves. We share the same goal: to get their operation back up and running as soon as possible.
In most cases, the agents are the face of the entire insurance process for the insured and an unpleasant claims experience can reflect poorly on the agent as well. Our prompt response and frequent communication allows the agents to manage expectations with their client and quickly identify any issues that may arise which, in turn, gives us the opportunity to facilitate early communication between the necessary parties and work towards an amicable resolution.
We value our longstanding partnerships with our carriers and brokers, so our goal is to keep all parties informed throughout the entire claims process. The sooner the carriers can anticipate the extent of the loss, the easier it is for them to set proper reserves, evaluate the loss and issue payments to the insured.
Our proactive response to newly filed claims keeps our insureds and partners satisfied. As one carrier puts it, we “have the perfect balance of advocating for the policyholder and understanding the carrier’s claim process,” and that we “work equally for the policyholder and the carriers to facilitate a good outcome.”
It’s all in the follow-through
Our initial response is just the beginning, and the full claims process can be lengthy. In the event of a significant loss, the carriers need time to complete a full evaluation of the extent of damage. This generally requires the use of experts to assess the damage and provide the carriers with a detailed estimation of the loss. Our goal is to get money into the insured’s hands as quickly as possible, so our team immediately begins advocating for an initial advancement of funds to be issued by the carriers while the adjustment is in process.
Our priority is to keep the communication open and the claim moving toward resolution at all times. We monitor each claim from start to finish and send frequent updates to all involved parties to ensure that we are managing expectations through the conclusion of the claim. The cycle time for most of our claims is approximately six to nine months, depending on the severity of the loss.
We want our insureds and our partners to know: When the unthinkable happens, we’re here for them. When they have questions, we’ll find answers. When unexpected issues arise, we’ll help facilitate resolutions. And when they need us, we’ll drop everything — even on vacation — and do our best to make things right.
Contact Andrea at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how our Quick Response Team can serve you!