On November 1st, Wheeler, DiUlio & Barnabei hosted a lunch & learn webinar, Claim Presentation 101 – What You Should Be Doing to Get More Claims Paid. In this webinar, partner Anthony DiUlio discusses the topics of claim signing, organizing, documenting, presenting, and negotiating.
Signing the Claim
Signing a claim is one of the most important parts of the claim process. Claim signing has a huge impact on protecting all parties, the property owner and the public adjuster, during the investigation.
When signing a claim, it is important to research state-specific regulations as some states are very specific in what to include in your contract. Some examples of what can be required include the following:
- Company name
- Dates and times
- Fee percentages
- License numbers
- Cancellation provisions
Organizing the Claim
The organization of a claim is important as it exemplifies what the internal side looks like for the claim. If utilizing a management system, be sure the system tracks important dates as well as collects and files all communications, attempts, and important documents. There are two important aspects to organizing your claim: the state-specific claim timeline and important dates.
The timeline for a Pennsylvania claim is as follows, in order:
- Sign the claim
- Report the loss (1 day out)
- Document the loss (2-3 days)
- Schedule a joint inspection (2-3 days)
- Write a summary of inspection letter (1 day)
- Add a claim follow-up for coverage letter (10 business days)
- Send a follow-up letter (10 business days)
Documenting the Claim
Documentation is always important when submitting any claim. It is crucial to organize your files by coverage, to keep proof of the damages, and to keep a record of any communication you have with any party involved in the claim. This can be done by following a few steps.
First, be sure to have a copy of the policy and review it to have a full understanding of the regulations. In addition, take photos, first wide then up-close, of what you are claiming to prove damage, and provide details on the location of the damage.
Next, give an estimate of the damage cost to lay a foundational threshold to examine if the carrier is responding appropriately. All invoices, receipts, out-of-pockets, correspondences, and supporting documents should be kept and stored in your filing system as well.
Presenting the Claim
When presenting your claim to those involved, be sure to have your proofs readily available. This can help boost your claim throughout the process. In addition, document the inspection specifically in an inspection summary letter describing the events that occurred. Try to present your claim in person and as early as possible. You are less likely to get a good response if the claim happens later, on the phone, or through email. Communication is key when presenting a claim.
Once you present and submit your claim, follow up with a summary. Include a phrase similar to, “If you disagree with the above, let me know in the next 10 business days.” Follow-ups are important for having proof, especially in bad faith claims. We recommend not waiting longer than 10 business days to follow up on responses.
Negotiating the Claim
First and foremost, educate yourself before negotiating a claim. Read books, articles, and statutes so you are prepared and have a comprehensive understanding of the law. Joining groups (such as on Facebook or MAPIA) and taking certification courses are great ways to prepare for negotiating a claim.
Being an “expert” can only help your position and assist you in questioning adjusters. As previously mentioned, try your best to negotiate the claim in person instead of an email or phone call.
Have more questions about the claims process? Contact Wheeler, DiUlio & Barnabei today to learn more.