How can you shine at claim time?!
22 February 2022
The best experience a client can have is when an insurer settles their claim within a reasonable length of time and with a financial settlement that indemnifies them for the loss which has occurred. As a broker or adviser, helping your client at the time of
a potential claim is where your value can really be demonstrated.
Equally the more the broker can help us, the insurer, the quicker we can get to work processing and settling the claim. Vehicle repairers are frequently backlogged and current shipping delays have added difficulties in getting parts quickly from overseas. The sooner we can start the claim & repair process the better.
Here are some tips on how you can help us help your client!
- For a start, explain to the client their obligations in providing evidence for a claim. Have they suffered a sudden, unexpected loss that is covered by the policy?
- At Star we offer “choice of repairer” so as soon as your client calls to tell you about an incident question if they have a preferred repairer and let us know who that is at the time of lodging the claim. Our assessing team can then forward the referral straight away. Ask the client to contact their repairer directly at the same time to notify them of the incident and get the car booked in for an assessment as soon as possible.
- If your client doesn’t have a preferred repairer then make a quick call to our assessing team, we can give recommendations based on the type of vehicle and location.
- To minimise delays we may well appoint an assessor to liaise with your client and/or the proposed repairer. The appointment of an assessor is not an acceptance of the claim. Such appointments are made on a “without prejudice” basis.
- Ask your client to provide us with a fully completed, signed and dated claim form from which we can determine what additional steps need to be taken. You, or the client, can lodge the claim on our website immediately and download the required forms. Including photos of the damaged area will also help.
- The client and broker need to co-operate with our reasonable requests when processing a claim; such as making the car available for inspection; providing sales agreements; valuations; or photos pre-accident.
- Remind the client they have a duty to take all reasonable steps to minimise the extent of damage following an accident - this might include covering the damage with a tarpaulin if the vehicle is not able to be garaged or otherwise protected from further damage. Failure to do so may well exacerbate the damage and insurers may not accept responsibility for additional damage that could have been prevented by the exercise of common sense.
- Finally, it’s a good idea to make sure your client has a copy of the relevant policy wording applicable to the vehicle insured. All our policy wordings are available to read online and download.
Clients often assume insurance will cover all unexpected events and of course, that’s not the case. Sometimes we have to deny a claim which falls outside the scope of the policy. In this instance, we call on your insurance understanding and relationship with the client to help explain why their claim has been declined or a lesser amount than expected has been paid.
Brokers and advisers generally have built up a professional relationship with their clients and can add real value by helping set expectations around the claims process and preparing the necessary documentation.
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