Managing claims from end to end can often be a great and rewarding experience for a claims manager, but for those other parties who are also involved, it can be a daunting and unfamiliar experience. As I was writing this article, I considered the experiences I had been privy to during the time I worked for an in-house claims team and now a Third Party Administrator (TPA). One of the most important components of the claims process is the organizations ability to effectively manage key relationships with its stakeholders. For those TPA’s who operate across the country and the world, making sure that your relationships remain healthy and positive will ensure your brand’s ongoing viability and prominence.
Insurance carriers and corporate entities of varying shapes and sizes have used TPAs for many years as a provider of specialised claims services with the view of delivering cost efficiencies to their claims functions. But whilst managing claims is certainly the central role of a TPA, in recent times it has become clear that the role of a TPA is much broader.
For the customer, having a good TPA on hand can make the world of difference and can be a vital resource to any insurance company’s claim function or a corporate entities risk management framework by ensuring that all of their relationships are managed effectively. Claims are often received in trying situations and the claims process can be met with fear or apprehension for the many policy holders and third parties involved.
In various complex risk management arrangements, a TPA is akin to a glue that keeps the entire claims process together and is solely responsible for the smooth running of an insurance carrier or corporate entities claims’ function.
Insurance arrangements today carry many intricate relationships which need to be navigated by a TPA. The task of ensuring that each and every stakeholder plays their role without compromising relationships can be a difficult task. Utilising a TPA ensures that all claims advance in a cost effective and efficient manner.
It stands to reasons that effective relationship management and communication will pay dividends in the form of heightened positive brand awareness and trust and confidence in your organization’s ability to manage claims.
Whether you are an insurance carrier or a corporate entity who has a large or complex claims portfolio, you will also have a network of key stakeholders which need to be kept abreast of the ongoing developments that can affect them.
A good TPA will integrate smoothly with their client to manage the key relationships between the many stakeholders who take part in the claims process. Often there will be times where a claim has gone off track because some or all the relevant personnel who should be kept informed of key developments simply aren’t!
Dealing with third parties, loss adjusters, investigators, statutory authorities, clients, brokers and insurers – all requires an appreciation of the role that these stakeholders play and the most effective way to ensure that a claim runs as smoothly as possible is to ensure that all lines of communication remain open and all expectations are managed. Yes, indeed communication and proactive communication for that matter is key and a great TPA will be instrumental in ensuring that all significant developments along with vital information is effectively communicated to its network so that no stakeholder is left in the dark.
Ultimately your stakeholders will be your greatest assets and the greatest advocates of your business and by keeping them happy you will ensure your position in the industry for many years to come.
By Tim Kasem – Account Manager, Liability
This article was authored by Tim Kasem – Account Manager at Proclaim. Tim has had over 5 years’ experience working in liability claims and stakeholder relationship management. His present experience extends to handling claims of all various degrees of loss primarily for the London Market and previously for an Australian insurer.