The New Breed of Adjuster and How to Deal With It

Publish Date : 2021-05-24


The New Breed of Adjuster and How to Deal With It

Getting insurance is one of the most important financial investments that you could do. Insurance is a form of security against risks. In the modern times, we are not only looking at water or fire damage. We are also looking at aspects such as sickness, handicap and unemployment. Losing the main source or only source of income can be highly disadvantageous and that is why insurance companies have accounted this risk in their policies. If you like planning ahead in the future, you might want to take advantage of unemployment coverage.

The Unemployment Insurance is a form of protection for you if you happen to lose your job all of a sudden. There are many policies that also cover accident and illness as part of the coverage. Normally, these policies require a waiting period before anyone can make a claim. The period can last from 1 month to 1 year. The policy is cheaper when the waiting time is longer. If you think that you have a secure job and your health is in good condition, a cheaper policy might be good. However, if you want to make sure that you can use it at any time for the sake of security, then a higher premium might be advantageous. Just look at the cost and see if you can manage.

The claim can only be made if you were let go by the company and you were unaware that that this could even happen at the time that you applied for policy. If you voluntarily left the job, the claim cannot be accepted. If you were let go due to your own misconduct, then the policy might be forfeited. Therefore, it pays to be a good and reliable employee since you have bigger chances that the claim will be given to you. If you choose this option, the benefits can last till up to a year but some companies offer until 24 months. After that, you might want to take advantage of other means, given that you still have not secured a job.

Nowadays, getting the lowest cost for Unemployment Insurance is very easy. All you have to do is go online. There are independent insurance providers that can give a quote online. Some companies only require the age and the cost and then you can find the premium suitable for you. Some companies insist on offering accident and sickness coverage. Some do fall into the trap while they know that they have decent health insurance offered by the company. Understand your current insurance options and see to it that you do research before settling with the right one.
Since moving to Colorado in 2008, I have had firsthand experience with a phenomenon that is unfortunately sweeping our nation. My wife tells me daily that the expected courtesy of yesteryear that she experienced as a child growing up in the Midwest has vanished and is nowhere to be found in the West. I have explained to her on numerous occasions that this is not a 'Denver' or 'West' thing, it is an epidemic that has consumed our country. With nearly 20 years of service in the insurance industry, I can definitely attest that Customer Service gets a lot of lip service, but does it still exist? Let me relay a conversation I overheard last week between a commercial policyholder and an adjuster in my office. It went something like this (the names have been changed, but the situation is real):

"Good morning, claims service center, this is John, may I help you?"
"Yes, good morning John, this is Bill Johnson with Acme Company-I can't believe I finally got a hold of you. I've left several messages, but got no return calls."
"(sighing, audibly defensive-DEFCON 3) I was on vacation last week and I'm trying to get caught up...what is your claim number."
"Look, I'm a busy guy and I don't have time for this stuff...I don't have my claim number - don't you people have it?"
"(DEFCON 1) Please don't raise your voice...I need a claim number before I can help you..."
Sound familiar? Why the disconnect? From my view, this is a survival strategy in a time of financial crisis - a shift from the traditional model of highly educated, experienced field based resource to a centralized, low skill and education 'economy' model, that has 'lowered the bar' on the caliber of individual that fills these roles. Any adjuster worth their salt has had to deal more times than not with the emotional reaction an insured or claimant demonstrates in the process, and the successful professional has learned how to 'talk them off the ledge' effectively, resolving the claim with win/win outcomes. Unfortunately, the 'new breed' of adjuster has less than three years of experience, tends to be specialized in one line of business and has little to no authority. This person also tends to get caught up in the drama of the claim, and as tensions escalate with the customer, the adjuster hits the DEFENSE button and we have a similar conversation play out as above. In my opinion, we as management need to take time and develop action plans that foster ownership of the claim, from cradle to grave, and foster creative approaches to mutually acceptable settlements. It all starts with communication, and firmly imprinting on the adjuster's brain the tools of their craft are the brain and the tongue...and the need to work together to be efficacious. Here are some steps I recommend to implement a process in your shop:

1) Sit down with each employee and do an individual S.W.O.T. analysis.

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2) Develop with the employee an action plan that pits a strength or opportunity against a weakness or threat (the goal being to show that strengths outweigh weaknesses. If they don't, you have a bigger problem.)

3) Empower the employee to engage this strength in each of their dealings with each customer.

4) Monitor conversations to provide feedback.

5) Follow up with weekly debriefing meetings, providing feedback and revision to plan as necessary.

Over time, the employee will see where they are making contribution and where they miss the mark. It also provides an excellent documentation tool for management come performance management or review time, as well is an excellent developmental goal for the employee and manager. There are many other factors to consider before you get the mediocre performer to the level of customer service star. But with today's work force, they want to make a difference and need to know they matter-what better way than to show them where they are strong or have potential, and challenge them to use this asset in every interaction they have. It may just be the factor that garners the buy-in needed to engage with the insured and achieve higher customer satisfaction.
 



Category :insurance

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