How familiar are you with the claims process for the insurance carrier(s) you represent? How much help can you offer when one of you customers has a claim?

As with other domains within the insurance industry, the claims process is changing and becoming more automated. For example, within minutes of an accident, a customer can take photos of the damage to their car, upload the imagery to their carrier and file a claim.

Then on the insurer’s end, their computers can immediately check for things like weather conditions at the time of the accident, pull geodata about where the photo was taken from the photo file and run a scan to see how many other claims this particular customer has filed in the past.

Simple claims are then funneled to newer adjusters, while more complex or potentially fraudulent claims are routed to experienced adjusters who will apply a more discerning eye.

It all sounds pretty quick and easy. But this is a transitional period for automation technology, and it’s not going to be that simple in all cases. Some customers will have no interest in filing a claim online—they’ll want the reassurance of talking with a human being and the ability to get questions answered on the spot. Other customers might want to use the technology but will have issues figuring it out. And some insurance carriers will be all over this technology, while others will take more time to implement it.

Automation is likely to continue being used with claims in the future. More and more consumer goods are “talking” to the internet (think refrigerators that allow you to look at their contents via a webcam while you’re grocery shopping). It’s feasible that things like appliances and cars will start self-diagnosing when something goes wrong and send that information straight to their owner and/or their insurance company. Now that’s a next-level insurance claim.

As an insurance agent, it’s important that you are conversant enough with whatever technology your carriers are currently using that you can meet your customers where they are. That means you should be prepared to walk someone through everything from an easy request like answering one simple question to assisting them through the entire claims process.

Your ability to be helpful when a client has a claim can score you a lot of points. For most people, claims are stressful. They only happen when something has gone wrong, and most people don’t have more than a few claims during the course of their lives. It can be the equivalent of trying to navigate through a snowstorm in unfamiliar territory. You want to be the light in the storm that guides them to safety.

So check in periodically with your carriers and find out what’s new with the claims process. It’s likely to continue changing as automation becomes the norm in the insurance industry, and you’ll be able to service your customers better if you make a point to stay in the know.

Hometown Quotes is built on automation, providing fresh insurance leads in real time from consumers who are online shopping for insurance. Call us at 800-820-2981 to learn more about our services and pricing.

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Bridget Chamberlin

Bridget Chamberlin works in marketing at Hometown Quotes and is posting author and editor for Hometown University.

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