Most people and companies are often unaware that when they first contact their insurance provider to report theft, loss or damage that they are actually contacting a first notice of loss (FNOL) call center. FNOL call centers typically operate 365 days a year, round the clock, ensuring policy holders can easily report a loss, and further, that the respective insurance companies receive timely and accurate claim loss data.
First notice of loss operations are sometimes staffed internally, but more frequently these days, the operations are outsourced to a specialist. As one can imagine with any 24/7 by 365 day a year operation, staffing, training and accurate claims intake are challenging for any organization. There are different types of vendors which offer solutions for FNOL, some offer software, others offer a comprehensive call center based on a proprietary application, and still others customize their call center operation to accommodate any platform. These are platform agnostic vendors who claim to work with insurance companies’ existing platforms.
Why is first notice of loss important to both policy holders and insurance companies? Obviously the key function of a notice of loss is to alert the insurance entity as to the theft or destruction of something which is covered under the terms of the policy. In some cases, notification will precede the filing of a formal claim. In certain circumstances, the insured may contact a FNOL representative and follow specific rules of engagement relating to the policy parameters. This is happens often when a provider underwrites different types of insurance coverage and uses a specific format for each type of policy offered to consumers. Herein lies the challenge for many insurers, and the frustration for many of those insured, as policy specifics dictate both the necessary information intake, and the resulting claims processing process. In many cases, speed is of the essence. For example, theft relating to jewelry would require very specific loss notification, and further, rapid notification to the authorities and insurance provider can help result in improved odds of recovery.
First notice of loss has also been undergoing a metamorphosis offering insurers an opportunity to demonstrate their relative professionalism at a time where their policy holders are likely upset and under stress. This is an optimum time, regardless of whether the call center is in house or outsourced to demonstrate a customer centric attitude increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Thus, first notice of loss (FNOL) is a critical component of client satisfaction and customer retention.