Claims handling processes can have a huge impact on how policyholders and their network of family and friends perceive you afterwards. Although the sale of a policy has its own important qualities for building a foundational relationship with clients, how an insurer handles claims can make or break an agency’s overall success. Every claim might have unique characteristics and procedures for agents to know and follow, but there are a few key things agents should always remember to do during a claims process.
1. Put yourself in their shoes.
Empathy is important to have in any type of loss, big or small. Even if you can’t relate from personal experience, try to remind yourself how you might feel if you were going through the same situation. The unpredictability of the loss often causes many people to be more stressed, angry or skeptical. Putting yourself in their shoes and understanding how insureds feel after a loss from the beginning can help you to ease their worries about how the claims process will go.
Taking this first step when talking with policyholders will not just make each individual claim process smoother, but can go a long way in gaining respect for yourself as an agent.
2. Review the policy before discussing the claim.
Even if you feel fairly comfortable diving in to help your client right away, it is critical that you review their policy to ensure that you know what it covers, excludes or limits. This is extremely helpful in answering any questions your client may have that you don’t know the answer to immediately, which could otherwise slow down the process by forcing you to scan through a lengthy document.
3. Communicate with policyholders.
After reviewing the policy, make sure you discuss all relevant benefits and coverages with the insured. Check that they understand everything that will be available to them, what will and won’t be covered and how the rest of the claims process will go. It is highly important that you communicate effectively and in a timely fashion from the start, but also continue to reach out to the policyholders throughout the process to follow up on how things are going or to provide updates.
4. Offer resources to the insured.
When talking with insureds about their claims, it is also a great idea to provide other resources they can turn to with questions or concerns. Whether you provide them with documents, like guides and FAQ answer sheets, or websites like the National Flood Insurance Program, these are great supportive tools that further show your ability to be a reliable and helpful aide in a difficult time.
Learn More About ASI
ASI is one of the largest homeowners insurance carriers in the United States. Through a network of independent agents, the company offers home, condo, renters, dwelling, fire and flood insurance in over half the country, with plans to cover the rest by 2017. Find out more at americanstrategic.com.