Our claims team often receives frantic phone calls and urgent e-mails requesting that a loss adjuster be appointed post haste. No claim forms are available, the extent of the damages is described to be severe and the estimate reported runs into several thousands of rand’s.

Based on the sketchy information at hand and in line with our service excellence approach, a loss adjuster is appointed only to find that the damages are in fact minimal or that the cause of the loss is not covered in terms of the policy.  At this stage the cost of the claim has already escalated from what it should have been due to unnecessary fees incurred.

The contrary is also true; losses are reported with relatively low reserves which create the perception that the loss could be handled on a “fast track” basis.  By the time the full extent of the loss becomes apparent the extent of damages has escalated and the time in which the claim could have been settled has increased unnecessarily, much to the annoyance of the client.

The prudent broker should take the time to calm the distressed client, allowing the client to provide a less emotional and more realistic report on the loss. The broker should obtain enough information regarding the loss to make a report with reasonable accuracy, i.e. a full description of the cause of the loss and the extent of the damages which will assist in determining what actions should be taken to minimise the loss.

The accuracy and comprehensiveness of information collected at the first point of contact with the client after a loss would go a long way in managing claims costs and improving client service.