What’s an Insurance Agent’s Role in the Claims Process?

Print McNeil & Company 10:46 am

In the insurance industry, claims are inevitable. One day you’re going to receive a call from a client saying there’s been an incident and they need to know what to do next. Will you be prepared when they do? Although the insurance company manages the claim, independent agents often are the point of contact for insureds and play a crucial role in the claims process.

Before a Claim Occurs

The best insurance agents get out ahead of claims and help their clients mitigate risk before an incident occurs. The first step is digging deeper into the insureds exposures and ensuring that there aren’t any gaps in their coverage. Dealing with a claim is stressful enough without discovering that it’s not a covered loss. You can also help your clients mitigate risk by providing them with loss control policies and procedures to implement. McNeil & Co.’s Risk Management team is constantly updating our available resources and E-Learning courses to help promote safety and reduce losses (You can contact our Risk Management team at losscontrol@mcneilandcompany.com or 800-822-3747 ext. 176).

During the Claims Process

Mitigating risk can help reduce the likelihood of losses, but accidents still happen. Throughout the claims process, your clients will likely have plenty of questions and concerns. Common inquiries may include:

  • How do I file a claim?
  • Who will evaluate the loss?
  • How long will the process take?

There aren’t universal answers to these questions, so make sure you stay on top of the procedures for each of the carriers in your office. McNeil & Co. has an in-house claims department that will process losses, allowing for a one-stop shop for personalized service and support for your clients. By logging on to our Agent Area platform, appointed agents can access their policyholders’ claims information in real-time, including: Claim Number, Status, Principal Claimant, Date of Loss, Date Reported, Claims Description, Adjuster & Total Losses Incurred. Keeping your clients informed throughout the claims process can help ease any concerns they may have and can strengthen your relationship in the end.

Speaking of client relationships…

Customer Relationship Management in Claims

As you know, relationship building is essential to an insurance agent’s success. This is never more evident than when a client must deal with a claim. Although you aren’t the one who processes the claim, to your customer’s you are the face of the insurance company. A lengthy or difficult claim can create a tenuous strain on the relationship you’ve developed by working closely with your insureds. You can counteract some of these potential issues by directing your clients to the appropriate contacts and providing advice as you guide them through the claims process. Displaying that extra care and effort during potentially difficult circumstances can strengthen your existing relationships and may even lead to client referrals that generates new business.

By: Tim Woitach

Visit our Claims page for more information on our in-house claims department.