‘placing a constant focus on claims commitments’
It may come as a surprise, when insurer takes the claims handling policy as not a prescriptive one but recognises that no two claims are the same. Then prioritising and processing the claims as the heart of the business, as well as being a constant driving force. Everything needed do across the entire routine of business, it’s all building up to the day a customer has a claim. And hope that by placing a constant focus on claims commitments, should a claim arise it will be handled fairly and swiftly. Some staff with no surprises, describes coming to work on claims as “a joy”.
The Importance of Empathy: when it comes to hiring claims professionals, an insurance firm should on the lookout for two key attributes; ‘Character and Capability’. For Capability is of course the technical side of things. Do they professionals know their way around policy wording? Do they know their way around a claim? Are they technically good at what they do? While on the character side of things, look across at all the members of the claims team and the several hundred around the globe, and the common characteristic is that they are all empathetic problem-solvers. They care that something has happened to the customer, and they look for a way to make it better and a way to put it back together is getting the right supplies in place or getting the right legal assistance to help navigate a negligence claim.
That’s the characteristic that Nigeria insurers should be looking for. Are your claims team empathetic? Do they want to solve client’s problem? Are they going to be prompt and efficient in the way that they do that? when things go wrong, the first call should be: ‘how are you? Are you ok? Is your team ok?’ this may sound really simple, but it’s important to know that when you’re speaking to someone in those situations, they’re stressed; something’s gone wrong and there’s very often real fear there.
If the team approaches every call with empathy first will go a long way. Further calls might be weeks into the claim when customers aren’t in that high-stress emergency-style situation, but it still starts with: ‘how’s everyone going? How’s your business going? Now let’s talk about.
A Collaborative Process: customers can certainly be assured that a whole team has their back when it comes to making a claim through the firm. Every good firm adopts internally. Where the firm have claims underwriting, actuarial legal compliance, finance, all working really closely together from the developmental stage so the products meet the needs of the customer. This type of collaborating continues when it comes to building relationships or relationship management with your brokers and particularly with your customers. If you know your customer well and something has gone wrong, it’s a little bit easier when everybody’s on the same page.
One of underwriters says, if you are honest in operation? it’s easy to fulfill a promise when you had a hand in making that promise. That’s the way insurance should look at. The underwriter further pointed out that the insurance contract itself is a promise to do certain things if certain risks happen. If everybody knows what those words mean, if everybody knows the types of situations that might happen to this customer and what insurers will do about it, it’s designed for success, he added. It can even be down to the point of knowing which loss adjuster insurer can engage, or which building company or lawyer, or whoever it is that insurer might need to assist with a particular claim, he stressed. “If a firm have built on relationships and have worked collaboratively, you know. Insurance firm have done really good risk transfer going on from the customer to them. And then a really good process designed to help that customer as best insurers can on the day that they need insurance.”
He noted that Nigeria insurance should focus on one point of contact practices to steadily and gradually expanding its operational team and continues to move into new geographies. He further urges insurers has maintained its strong local authority and reason how crucial and reassuring it is for a customer to have one point of contact. He reiterated that insurers should really focus on being open, available, transparent and really efficient in what they do. “If insurers focus on the customer, their circumstances and open to the customer’s needs. In such a way there is always a key person that the customer will be able to speak to, to ask how their claim is progressing and to articulate their particular requirements.”
A Nurturing Culture: Insurance firm prides itself on having strong core values that have been embedded in its culture from the very beginning. In what is perhaps a rarity in this sector, the company focuses on the empowerment and wellbeing of its team, which then filters through to its customers. One of the things that insurers should talk a lot about is their culture. Insurers are incredibly proud of it and incredibly invested in building it. This culture should start with ‘Respect and Integrity’. Respect for each other and how insurers work. That’s really what supports the teammates, and where creativity springs from. It’s one of the most pertinent things about insurance business and how they operate. Insurance operators should take as matter daily words for their team about integrity as one of the core values in an organisation, so what is the right thing to do in this situation?’ it helps! It guides every decision that operator make, he added.
As at today and in the nearest future, good insurer should be about successful innovation, tech transformation projects, Speed and Transparency process. Our insurance regulator should be interest in hearing about the ways and how the operators automated their procedures and launched new technology platforms or transformed their products or distribution channels.
Nevertheless, insurance operators are warning that every claim must be investigated to avoid fraudulent claims. According to research, “The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates that illegitimate insurance claims cost about $80 billion every year and that 10 per cent of people think that insurance fraud is a victimless crime.
“Fraudulent claims raise the price of insurance for everyone, so it’s in a company’s best interest to verify that every claim is legitimate and accurate. Potential fraudulent areas are: Car accidents, personal injury, workplace injury and property damage are all common insurance claims that require an investigation.
“Insurance companies often conduct claims investigations to evaluate the legitimacy of a claim. The investigation process helps the claims adjuster make an educated decision about how to proceed with a claim
The regulator should have frequency ask questions (FAQs) for all operators about how a firm transformed its claims process? Have they changed their products to create new revenue streams? Have they solved a long-standing pain point for their customers? If yes, when? All these will give the regulator the over view of the entire process over the times.
The best operator (s) should be herald and encourage through organized mana that will draw attention of other operators into prepare to participate in the future.