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Top Tips on How Your Claims Process (and Advisor) Can Work for You

Written by Brandon Newlands, Esq. on

When working with an insurance agency, as a policyholder you should be aware of the opportunities to have your claims process (and insurance advisor) do the work for you. There are various ways to maximize your policy and ensure the best efficiencies during the process - allowing the process to do all the work, while you receive the benefits. Here are three top tips on how to maximize this process:

Clear & Concise Submission (Maximize your Policy)

  • During the claims submission process, it is the responsibility of a broker to ensure you are cared for from start to finish with a claim. It is unreasonable to expect you, the insured, to read through the policy and determine what requirements you have to meet. What we aim to accomplish at B.F. Saul Insurance is to remove that burden for our clients. We act as a conduit to maximize your policy and advocate on your behalf.
  • The first step in the process is to have B.F. Saul insurance submit a claim on your behalf. We want to make certain we care for the insurance-side of your claim. Your insurance company has no obligation to provide you with anything until we trigger the contract between you and the insurance provider. Our end goal is to submit the claim on your behalf to trigger coverage. This removes the complicated process of a claim's submission from our client and into the hands of professionals.

Advocate for Resolution During the Middle Phase (Cooperating early and Remaining engaged)

  • The second step is to advocate for resolution and ensure all parties are cooperating with requirements and remaining engaged. B.F. Saul Insurance aims to provide a concise and clear claim submission to maximize the potential of triggering coverage.
  • We work with our clients side-by-side to gather all necessary detailed information regarding the claim and send everything prepared to the insurance company. Once this part is complete, you wait for a response and assist the broker with filling in any missing pieces the insurance company may have. Clients believe once an insurance claim has been started, the claim takes care of itself. It is our job to make sure that all the small details are included and complete. For example, if your property was destroyed by a lightning strike, that is a first-party claim. We want to make certain we do everything we can to get you funding to rebuild from the damage. The quicker you get information to the insurance company, the quicker they are going to write a check and close out the claim.
  • The other example of a claim is if there is a lawsuit. If someone slips and falls on your property, we go through an entire checklist to make sure you are covered. Those sitting on what is called "loss runs" for an insurer are frowned upon when insurance underwriters are quoting premiums. So the faster you can get information and cooperate with the insurance company, the better. The goal is resolution.

Closure / Resolution of the Claim

  • The final aspect of our process and the ultimate goal is to close the insurance claim, and either receive the money owed on a first-party claim, or close the claim (if there is a claim against you - for example, a lawsuit). We want to ensure our clients do not have open claims. This provides assistance to our clients when looking to renew insurance, as open claims often have a negative impact on renewals.

Following these three basics can ensure that your claims process is thorough, managed well, and obtains the most efficient closure. These simple guidelines can help you navigate the most difficult claims to closure - often with the help of a trusted advisory body, who can provide the best guidance during the entire process.

B.F. Saul Insurance (BFSI) is a regional diversified insurance brokerage and advisory firm based in Bethesda, MD. Our core insurance business is Commercial lines (i.e., property and casualty), Financial lines (i.e., D&O/E&O Cyber), and Personal lines (i.e., homeowners and auto) for successful families. Our key industry segments include real estate, trade associations, not-for-profit organizations, and professional services.

Contact us to see how our Claims Advocacy program can help you with your personal or business insurance needs.

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About The Author

Brandon Newlands brings over 20 years of litigation experience to his role as SVP and Senior Director of Coverage and Claims at B. F. Saul Insurance. Brandon supports clients in the event of a claim or coverage issue, and specializes in coverage disputes, claims evaluation/valuation, and risk analysis. He leverages his expertise to guide clients in making informed decisions that align with their unique circumstances.

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