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2 Chores that should not be neglected to become a stronger claims organization

No one likes to cut the grass, but to make the lawn grow strong, it needs to be done regularly

Lets face it – no one really likes to do mundane things. Nonetheless, it’s those very chores that have to be done regularly to ensure a strong organization. Like cutting grass, the longer you let it go the worse it is for your grass, and the harder it will be to fix the mess that has been created (for more on cutting grass read the The Importance of Mowing Frequency).

There are certainly enough chores that need to be done in the world of claims that no one likes to do. You know what they are and can include writing notes on files, keeping a diary and paying bills. But as any good claims handler knows, if you fail to do those tasks regularly, not only won’t your grass grow, but you will have quite a clean-up later.

Two chores that can really help claim departments grow nice healthy grass are in the areas of training and managerial assessments. Taking time to do these two chores regularly will go a long way to creating a stronger claims group.

Education and training

Claims is an ever changing world, and whether it’s a new legal issues or keeping skills sharp, you can never stop learning.  Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, discusses the 10,000 hour rule. Mr. Gladwell explains that to get good at anything it really comes down to the amount of time you spend doing it. I know it seems like common sense, but even common sense needs to be repeated from time to time. To improve the skills of your claims professionals it’s imperative to keep the learning process going.

Becoming a world class claims organization requires, not only hiring talented claims professionals, but is also in how you keep those skilled workers fresh and up-to-date. Lunch and learns, continuing education, reading articles in trade publications, or subscribing to a great blog on claims, are all ways to encourage claim handlers to learn and grow. The effect on your operation will be clear – better, smarter and more efficient claims professionals.

Managerial File Reviews

Despite hiring the right people, and training them regularly,  you still have to review their work from time to time. You can’t just wait for problems to happen before doing something about it. Conducting regular informal managerial reviews of claim files is the best way to prevent problems before they become disasters. Being proactive about reviewing files will help you truly understand how your claim’s professionals are working and keep you abreast of developments and trends that are occur.

Doing a basic review should take no more than a few hours a week and should become part of a routine. Take a look at one or two claims files per handler or adjuster every week. These reviews can be quick assessments as to basics practice such as proactive handling and reserve adequacy. Save the detailed “section by section” review for an annual best practice audit. Keep these reviews simple and short. Maintain a basic record of the files reviewed, and create a simple rating system of “acceptable” or “needs improvement.” Make sure it’s informal, so it’s less of a chore,  and let the claims professionals know how they are doing regularly. If there is an issue or trend developing you will know about it, and be able to correct it, before it becomes a real problem.

Be the envy of your neighbors in the industry

There are certainly other chores to address for claim handlers that if left unattended will leave a garden full of weeds and a lot of work for the future. So mow the lawn often and save yourself time and money later. Your organization will grow strong, more efficient and be a leader in providing the best claims service.

What mundane tasks do you hate to get to but know need to be done to make you a stronger organization?

Posted in Best Practices, Claims Auditing.

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