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Preparation is Key to Claims Response

Spring 2021 Issue

By Steve Carroll, Property Loss Consultant

I spent many years as an adjuster and claims manager for a mutual in Illinois before coming to WRC. I worked on numerous claims events and learned that no matter the size of the event, we could always be better prepared for the next storm.

Crafting a plan in advance can save valuable time and make your mutual much more prepared to respond when the next disaster strikes.

When a catastrophe does occur, many questions will arise. There are proactive measures you can take to streamline your response:

  • Develop a list of adjusting firms you can contact to help with incoming claims if the workload is more than your team or independent adjusting firms can manage. Remember, WRC’s Catastrophe Assistance Program provides guidance, including a list of qualified firms.
  • Be ready to provide a list and copies of all coverage forms and endorsements used by your company. Additionally, an abbreviated coverage “cheat sheet” is helpful to adjusters in the field.
  • Create a list of trusted local contractors and experts such as engineers and roofing consultants for adjusters. Include information on how to best contact them and if the adjuster can contact them directly.
  • When you have called catastrophe adjusters to the scene, set up a pre-deployment meeting to establish procedures for the field adjusters and answer questions. Stay in regular contact with them, especially during the first two weeks of the catastrophe response. WRC will remain in contact with you to provide support during the initial stages of the process.
  • Establish your internal claims pipeline. How will assignments get to the field adjuster? How will adjuster reports be processed and claim payments issued? This needs to be established before or at the pre-deployment meeting.

These suggestions can help limit delays so you can continue providing excellent service to your policyholders.

When a catastrophic event occurs that challenges your mutual’s claims capacity, the WRC Catastrophic Assistance Program is here to provide support. Please contact me if you’re interested in creating a plan. You can call me toll-free at (833) 275-2905 or via mobile (815) 238-5782.

It’s not a question of if a catastrophic event will happen, it’s a question of when it will it happen. As my grandfather always said, “Prepare for the worst and hope for the best!”