Broker Check

How to Keep Claims from Getting Contentious

September 03, 2020

In a May 18, 2020 online article in NU Property Casualty 360, business coach Timothy D. Christ explains "Why insurance claims get contentious". Christ explains in simple language why insurance companies whose goal should be to settle claims as quickly as possible drag them out for months and years.

On the one hand, most insureds don't know the details of their policies. They believed they had broad coverage and are disappointed when exclusions or conditions rule out or limit coverage. On the other hand, adjusters can usually settle small claims quickly, but large claims need cost-benefit analysis and management approval. Emotions after a fire, auto or flood loss can affect insureds' attitude and make claims harder to settle.

According to Christ, the key variables in reaching a settlement are

  1. Amount of loss.
  2. Are the facts clear or uncertain?
  3. Number of parties - multiple parties slow investigation and settlement.
  4. Government involvement can restrict access; reports can include misleading information.
  5. Experts in complex claims can reach conflicting conclusions.

Having a trusted advisor - public adjuster, expert or attorney - can help insureds navigate a claim. At Beacon we try to be proactive in identifying problematic terms and conditions when placing insurance, besides providing advice when you have a claim.