Last week, I was part of a larger discussion with public adjusters addressing fresh perspectives on claim presentation. We discussed points and reminders aimed at helping public adjusters get their clients claims fully and promptly paid.
For those not involved in the discussion, here are some points we tackled regarding pictures documenting the claim.1
BEFORE & AFTER
Recent claim results compel me to emphasize public adjusters focus on Before & After well beyond previous file workups. I find carriers more and more relying on pre-existing condition/wear-and-tear exclusions to avoid coverage. When claim presentations also include “before” pictures, those exclusions can be de-emphasized.
Challenges often exist in getting these “before” pictures. Marketing materials, advertising materials, and social media typically remain helpful sources to help policyholders provide these pictures. If these sources stay empty, one may have to rely on witness statements regarding before & after property conditions.
Property damage claims often get passed from claims handler to claims handler. Even if the handler remains the same from claim filing to resolution, there will typically be separate field and desk adjusters. Instead of simply providing lots of pictures, your client’s claim benefits from taking the time to label the area and specific damage depicted.
As a rule of thumb, try to look at the photos objectively to determine if “The W’s” are readily apparent:
- WHO (took the picture)
- WHAT (are you intending to show)
- WHERE (is the specific photo in relation to the property)
- WHEN (was it taken)
- WHY (does it matter)
If “a fresh set of eyes” could not answer these points when looking at your claim pictures, consider providing additional information with your picture pages.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?
We’re called upon to do more and better when we represent policyholders. We need insurance carrier personnel to take affirmative action to help our clients, “to do something.” Human nature is such that the easiest point remains “to do nothing.” Would it help get carriers to fully and promptly pay your clients’ claims if your pictures were presented in the manner outlined above? Try it and see, then let me know how it works out.
MOTIVATIONAL POSTER OF THE DAY
1 I’ll post follow-up entries with Mike Poli and Craig Kubiak on their subjects, “Policy” and “Persevere”