The Importance of Customer Service in Claims
The Property and Casualty Insurance industry is facing hostile market conditions with the dramatic and sustained downturn of the world’s economy and the devastating catastrophe losses experienced in the last decade. Great pressure is being placed on the solvency and the perception of financial stability of some insurers and the reinsurance companies undergirding them. Some regulators have become aggressive as a reaction to these factors. Any reasonable assessment of the business environment has to include the threat of greater regulatory constraints. Many of the Department of Insurance complaints from consumers arise from the handling of claims.
These complaints may trigger market conduct exams and fines, and regrettably DOI complaints most often result from poor customer service by claims departments. Failure to document, failure to return customer inquiries in a timely manner, not adhering to company best practices and lack of good faith in the settlement of a claim all lead to a loss of valuable premium dollars, priceless company reputation, the goodwill of regulators, and potential customers.
As underwriting departments tighten their guidelines to maintain profitability in this tough environment, it is crucial that the claims department, from the first notice of loss to the ultimate resolution of the claim, always provide excellent customer service to the claimant. Insurance companies need claims people who are technically knowledgeable, detail oriented and great with customers in order to fill insurance CSR jobs. In short, the jump from a delighted claimant to satisfied customer can be as close as one good claims representative.