Insured drivers are usually under a significant level of stress when they first contact their insurance company to report a car accident. Their mind often races ahead, and they overwhelm themselves before the process begins. Insurance adjusters can calm frazzled nerves and help guide the insured through the claims process.
For example, many claimants do not know what information insurance companies need before they can process the claim. Below are several common pieces of data insurance companies require:
- First notice of loss (FNOL) and the insured’s version of events
- The other driver’s statement
- The police report
- Statements from any witnesses
- The damage at the accident site
- Medical records for any injuries
Phase 1: Site of the Incident
Insurance companies need to stress to their customers the importance of FNOL at the scene of the accident. Many individuals assume they do not need to contact their insurance company if they were not at fault, but this is not the case. The insurance company will not know who is at fault until after they gather and review all of the above information. This process happens much faster when all involved parties report to their insurance company.
Phase 2: Collecting Information
Insurance companies begin gathering data almost immediately upon FNOL. This is because the information is still fresh in the individuals’ minds. Agents should instruct their customers to record as much information as possible (i.e. time of the accident, which direction the parties were driving, how fast each person was driving, etc.). This is also a good time for the insured to take pictures of any damage to their vehicle or person.
Phase 3: Resolving the Claim
Once the individual’s insurance company has all of the relevant information, they can prepare a settlement offer. How insurance companies handle claims helps determine the customer’s overall satisfaction. It can also affect customer retention, so it behooves agents to provide quality support. For example, to ensure a smooth claims resolution, agents should do the following:
- Recommend that the insured keep track of any injuries, pain, and medical records for treatment.
- Recommend the insured document any time they took off work to recover from the accident.
- Recommend that the insured track their travel costs to and from medical appointments. They should keep receipts for any co-payments and prescriptions as well.
Agents should stress that all of the above information helps them determine a fair settlement. By positioning themselves as a concerned party rather than a combatant, agents can pave the way for a smooth resolution. To learn more about improving FNOL and claims management, contact the experts at Actec.