Most would agree that when it comes to claims adjusting, contents claims are an entirely different animal than a standard property claim. This is due to the fact that even though the structural nature of many property claims resulting from wind, fire, or flood can be quite complex, they tend to follow a consistent set of guidelines in regards to reporting and correcting damages.
Contents claims, on the other hand, have much more uncertainty attached to them, in part because of the virtually unlimited number of items one might have in their possession – and that’s only part of the story. There are the emotional aspects of contents claims to contend with as well. Adjusters have to walk an often precarious line between delivering compassionate customer services, while simultaneously ensuring accurate assessment and valuation of items lost.
So, how do you effectively navigate these waters? It starts with proven and precise processes.
Inventory – Every claim begins with developing a detailed inventory of items lost. There are a few ways to accomplish this but having a clearly defined process for inventory creation is critical. It’s also important to have properly trained, dedicated specialists in the field working closely with the policyholder to streamline the inventory process.
Transcription – However the list of inventory items is developed, it must be accurately transcribed and interpreted. Audio, video, pictures – are all formats utilized for putting together an inventory list. Collecting that information into a cohesive, professional loss list is a key component of an effectively managed contents claim.
Valuation – Accurate valuation of inventory items using real-time pricing metrics to determine LKQs can speed up claim processing. However, it’s also important to involve the policyholder in the dialogue. Simply looking up a general valuation in a uniform pricing index may not satisfy a policyholder who has a unique item or a preference for a particular brand. Behaving in a customer-centric way that allows for input from the policyholder regarding how inventory is valuated can help facilitate a seamless claims resolution for both parties.
Receipts – It may seem obvious but ensuring that all receipts are accounted for, organized, and processed is another crucial element. Using advanced receipt technology can help ensure accuracy while expediting the tedious process.
Appraisal – One-of-a-kind, collectible items that must be appraised can be the proverbial fly in the ointment of an otherwise smooth claims process. Treating such items with compassionate care and putting the appraisal process into the hands of professionals with specific expertise is absolutely essential. Not only will the insured typically appreciate the specialized attention to their prized possession, but it is also the best way to determine whether an item is replaceable or repairable. Going the extra mile to ensure the item in question is appraised by a specialist the insured approves of is a huge step in the direction of satisfying the policyholder that you are indeed, acting in good faith.
There’s no question that successfully navigating contents claims is a lot easier with a specialized team of trained professionals and a proven process. Partnering with the right team of experts who have access to advanced technologies can reduce your overall operating costs, minimize risks, and elevate the experience for policyholders.
Eberl is reimagining the way we do things. With expanded capabilities that now include contents claim adjusting, we are ready to be there – when and where you need us. Contact us today to learn more.