Media - Disputed Claims - Recurring Themes
Over the years we have noticed several recurring themes in the disputed claims referred to us. In the following months we will address each of these in turn.
The first one is the tendency to leave the disputed matter too long before seeking independent advice; and so compromising the options available to resolve the problem.
It is to be expected of a broker that it will take the initiative on behalf of its client whose claim is being disputed, to negotiate to obtain a claim payment; and that is one of the often unsung special values of a great broking service. Indeed, it is a normal and natural thing for a broker to try to resolve a disputed claim with the insurer before going elsewhere for advice.
However, there is an art to resolving disputes of any kind and it takes practice and some particular knowledge of what not to do, as much as what to do.
It is important to recognise that once an assertion or representation has been made to an insurer it cannot be withdrawn; it is a permanent record of an opinion expressed at the time. Sometimes those early assertions and representations are not helpful to future negotiations, albeit made in complete good faith, and this is why our business model is to encourage brokers to run their problem past us before making the first approach.
Our business model is to serve brokers by providing a free “first-aid triage service” which alerts you to the problems to be considered and how best to tackle them before acting. Gone are the days when a broker could have a coffee with the underwriter and get a claim paid “on the strength of the account or relationship”.
Very often, having spoken to the broker we will advise them how to make the first move and, most importantly, whether there are any PII implications for the broker to take into account. If there are we will advise what they are and how to do that. We have many years’ experience of guiding brokers and their clients on these difficult issues and because we are insurance practitioners we understand the complex commercial dynamics that a broker faces in these unwelcome situations.
There is no downside to getting a free early evaluation of the prospects for success and how best to arrive at it.
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