gether like a complex jigsaw puzzle.
According to data modeling by Enservio’s Insurers World’s division, the average large-loss claim consists of upward
of 1,200 line items and an original claim
value of $115,000. Identifying these items
is an arduous—and often dangerous—
task that should be conducted by trained
The interplay of various resources and expertise will determine how accurately losses are
scoped. Moreover, the carefully procured and executed combination of soft and hard skills will
determine the insurer’s ability to retain customers and bolster good will. When handling large
losses involving thousands of contents, it is crucial to:
JIgSAW PIEcES FAll INTo PlAcE
The inventory is complete after two
days on site by the specialist sifting
through the rubble and interviewing
family members. That could translate to
essentially 20 years of home ownership
and memories distilled into 1,200 lines of
an Excel spreadsheet.
Technology advances for assessing
contents valuation have markedly improved the efficiency of this next stage
in the contents claims handling process.
These advances have streamlined the previously time-consuming process of transcribing voice files. Along with the inventory list, all the photos taken of the loss
site have been automatically downloaded
to a folder in the cloud, carefully preserving the wreckage, which is crucial data for
the contents inventory and valuation.
Another area where technology can
significantly improve claims-process efficiency is in evaluation. Valuation platforms can noticeably reduce cycle times,
in addition to improving the accuracy
and defensibility of inventory values.
With advanced valuation technology and
a pricing team focused on providing accurate replacement matches, this 1,200-
line claim, for example, swiftly moves
through the system, with each item appropriately evaluated and reviewed.
Upon completion of the valuation, a comprehensive, concise contents-valuation
report is generated. A dedicated service
manager can then review this report, in
essence coordinating the entire contents
E use valuation technology
and pricing teams to ensure
that each item is reviewed
and valued properly. In turn,
this will noticeably reduce
cycle times while improving
the defensibility and
accuracy of assigned values.
E Establish rapport with all
parties involved to possibly
facilitate smooth handling
of future claims and
E Show compassion and
understanding during the initial
meeting with the policyholder(s)
following the loss event.
E Take great care when
keeping in mind that many
items will carry significant
E Enlist a qualified
preferably with a proven
track record of dealing with
claims of a similar nature
E look for clues about
an item’s value, including
characteristics such as
make, model, physical
dimensions, part numbers,
colors, country of origin,
and so on.
claims process, beginning with the first
call from the claims adjuster mere hours
after the fire started.
This key offsite resource and the adjuster have talked to each other more times
than they can remember and have handled many assignments together. The personalized service and strong rapport that
has been established over time through
numerous dealings therefore can ensure
quality and a commitment to customer
service and claims handling excellence, all
the while managing all the varied and numerous pieces along many fronts.
When the final claim package is deliv-
ered, the adjuster can be confident that
he or she is receiving an accurate depic-
tion of the specific losses incurred by the
insured. Through careful execution of
current technology, expertise, and ‘soft
skills’—such as empathy and effective
listening—the contents claims process
can be streamlined to ostensibly piece
together the wreckage of the destroyed
home. The common goal throughout
the entire process between the contents
specialist, the insurance carrier, and the
claims adjuster is to speed the road to in-
demnity. In helping the insured and his
or her family get back on track as quickly
as possible, they are making good on the
implied promise from the contracted
coverage—namely to keep the insured
safe and provide shelter from the storm.
Keith Pequeno is the SVP of marketing at
Enservio, a provider of contents inventory creation, valuation, and replacement
services and software. In February 2012,
Enservio acquired Insurers World. For
more information, visit www.enservio.com.