– June 6, 2011
Ariana Huffington recently wrote about taking responsibility for ones own action in her article On Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Shakespeare, and the Enemy in the Mirror. As she reflected on some of the recent news of the week and reminded us that
in the game of life, as Cassius said in Julius Caesar, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars — but in ourselves…” This was a frequent theme of Shakespeare’s, who put it another way in All’s Well That Ends Well, when Helena says: “Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, which we ascribe to Heaven.”
So what the heck doe this have to do with claims? More than might appear at first glance.
Insurance companies and claims departments are quick to blame all sorts of issues when problems arise. The loss was unexpected, we didn’t know the information was available, or my favorite, it was the other guy’s fault. As Ms. Huffington went on to write
In the end, if we spent even a small percentage of the time we devote to obsessing about those we consider our rivals, competitors, and enemies on examining where our own fault lines are, it’s hard to believe we wouldn’t be more successful
For companies to be successful they must look inward and then act on what they learn.
Don’t Let History Repeat Itself
Recently I was part of a claim review that found significant issues in not only how claims were being managed, but in how policies were being issued. I provided my report and commentary about what was found. Regardless, the client chose to move forward to renew the account. It reminded me again of the time when we in claims had recommended the company get out of a particular class of business only to be told “it’s OK we doubled the premium.” Then reality sank in two years later when the loss ratios went over 220%.
Now I am not against writing business. I agree with the principal I learned from the CEO of one of my former companies that it’s not about not writing business it’s about writing the right business at the right prices and terms. Regardless, reviews done in both those cases provided valuable information that could help to improve the operation.
Claims auditing is a way to look inward and learn the faults within our ourselves. A good claims review can identify weaknesses and provide a road map to improve an operation. Regular reviews can help prevent surprise and insure the department continues to improve. Of course, the information needs to be used to improve decision making and not ignored. As has been said “those who ignore history are bound (or doomed) to repeat it.”