August 10, 2022 | Ujjval Patel, Director of Solutions and Consulting and Mark Snyder, Claims Subject Matter Expert

Why Insurers Should Maintain Control Over First Notice of Loss

In claims, first impressions matter. Insourcing first notice of loss (FNOL)—the first step in the claims process—helps carriers create a seamless, low-friction claim reporting process. Maintaining control over FNOL increases the likelihood that this first interaction positively shapes the claims consumer’s perception of their experience while setting up the adjuster who will handle the claim for continued customer experience success.

Carriers Can Streamline Claims

The importance of carriers maintaining control over FNOL has largely followed the trend of data and analytics in claims. Carriers that have insourced FNOL can use data and analytics to drive outcomes. They can collect complete facts up front and integrate new data feeds into the process, such as telematics or smart homes, helping move the claim along quickly and improve customer service. In best-case low complexity and severity scenarios, carriers can resolve and pay claims the same day they are received.

“It’s so important to have meaningful contact with the parties involved in a claim at our first notice,” said Jennifer Yert, Senior Vice President of Claims at Conifer Insurance. Confier offers its policyholders the option to use Hi Marley’s Automated FNOL to report their claims via text; this gives claims handlers all the key information they need to open the claim immediately and start helping people get back on their feet.

Hi Marley has quickly become a vital tool in Conifer’s efforts to resolve claims efficiently, beginning at FNOL. Yert added, “Ultimately, we want to streamline the claims process. Hi Marley gives us yet another way to do just that.”

Make Triaging Claims Easier

By insourcing FNOL, carriers have greater control of their claims triage approach, which leads to a higher probability that claims get to the right person with the proper skills, knowledge and territory to resolve the claim, reducing the likelihood of reassignment churn. This can be especially helpful during catastrophic events when there is a large volume of claims.

From FNOL through triage, the total loss process takes several more touchpoints and updates than a typical claim. And following Hurricane Ida, Plymouth Rock’s total loss rate was around 90 percent. “Managing a 90 percent total loss rate on the number of claims we received solely through inbound and outbound calls would have been challenging,” said Tony Ranauro, Director of Analytics at Plymouth Rock. “A lot of these conversations within that process are quick hits to confirm information. They don’t require a ten-minute discussion.”

Plymouth Rock assembled the Claim Triage Team dedicated to the CAT claims and gave each policyholder the option to communicate via text message. About 65 percent of insured customers opted-in to Hi Marley. Hi Marley provided Plymouth Rock with transparency into the collection of claims. Anyone handling the claim could easily click through to find the status of claims in real-time and proactively identify any potential issues to ensure customers could get back on their feet, faster.

Improves Customer Satisfaction

We know that adjuster attitude and approach is the top driver of 5-star claims experiences. And, as we wrote in our recent white paper, carriers with multi-channel communication best practices in place that effectively leverage texting solutions to deliver clear, timely communication with human kindness and empathy will be the winners in driving world-class customer experiences.

If FNOL is outsourced, there is a greater risk that vendor partners will not meet the carrier’s service expectations in customer-facing moments, potentially leading to negative experiences. Insourcing FNOL makes the customer experience better and carrier operations smoother.

After a year that brought two of the worst hurricanes in recent history—Harvey and Irma—Florida-based Bankers Insurance wanted to ensure they were better equipped to handle the next major hurricane, Florence. Elevating customer service, the carrier implemented Hi Marley, allowing policyholders hit by Hurricane Florence to file claims easily and quickly share photos and videos of the damage via text at FNOL. Instead of playing phone tag, Bankers could triage the losses immediately and get customers back on their feet.

“We saw the significant impact in handling Florence claims with Hi Marley,” said Steve Messina, SVP of Insurance Operations at Bankers Insurance. “Average days to contact and days to inspect have reduced by more than 50 percent. Claims closed within 30 days have jumped from just 2 percent to a meaningful 30 percent. And, the feedback from our customers has been tremendous.”

Managing FNOL in-house allows carriers to gain a better scope of the damage faster. This understanding enables supervisors to balance the caseload, efficiently deploy resources and expedite triage of losses, thus ensuring a higher probability that customers are serviced in a timely and quality fashion.

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