Emerging Benefits of Virtual Claims Reviews
Annual Property/Casualty claims reviews are one of the ways that reinsurers can provide meaningful feedback to their clients on claims handling strategies, litigation issues and claims handling processes. Our clients routinely tell us that this feedback is one of the most helpful aspects of our business relationship.
In the COVID-19 era, we have continued to review claims for clients - virtually, of course. Although we look forward to conducting these reviews in person again, we have discovered that we are able to do the same in-depth review of the claims and provide the same level of feedback remotely. In fact, many companies are finding that the reviews are especially helpful, and perhaps even more important, in today’s environment.
Here are some of the reasons claims reviews are helpful:
- A thorough review with Gen Re may help to alleviate any concerns the client may have about its ability to maintain the quality of its claim files, despite working remotely.
If Gen Re has conducted prior reviews for the client company, those reviews can be used as a benchmark, which enables us to provide useful feedback to the claim managers.
- Many litigation files are in limbo while the courts are closed or not functioning “normally.”
Recently we reviewed litigation files with interesting court and/or counsel proposed “workarounds” that none of us would even have dreamt about last year. Once identified, some of these claims may benefit from a discussion as to whether or not the proposed workarounds are satisfactory, and whether a brainstorming session is warranted in order to come up with a more beneficial counter proposal.
- Given the additional backlog that court closures have created in most jurisdictions, we are seeing more opportunities than usual to work out favorable settlements.
Conducting reviews has allowed us to help clients identify which claims might be considered for such settlement strategies.
Here are some of the lessons about remote reviews that we’ve learned in the last six months:
- Build in enough time for the IT departments to work together to set up the logistics.
As a remote review typically involves establishing secure communications between Gen Re’s and the client’s IT departments, we suggest having the IT departments connect 30 days or so before the review date.
- A quick systems run-through - before the review date - pays dividends.
In most cases the IT departments are able to provide early access well before the day of the review. A quick 30-minute “tutorial” session a day or two in advance, on how to navigate the systems (similar to what generally happens in an in-person review), definitely helps the review go more smoothly.
- If all else fails, be open-minded.
In the handful of situations where the IT departments cannot provide access to the company’s claims systems, the clients have found other ways to share the necessary information. Some clients have sent copies of claims files or reports; others have even loaned us their laptops.
- Virtual wrap-ups have allowed for continued claims collaborations.
These meetings have provided the platform to discuss challenges and to share ideas for strategies that produce better results. Several led to subsequent virtual roundtables that allowed us to really “drill down” on issues in a particular claim or group of claims.
Working collaboratively with our clients, we are able to find the best way in each circumstance to conduct the claims review according to a client’s needs and abilities. With planning, purpose and patience, we look forward to providing you with the claims feedback that you have come to expect and to rely upon from Gen Re Claims.
Until we are able to meet again in person, stay safe.