By, Bryan Fields, Sr Sales Representative
Do you have a clear process in place to manage insurance policy checking tasks? If not, you could be in for a rude awakening when missed steps and careless oversights turn into dissatisfied customers and expensive litigation. For many insurance agents who juggle dozens of policies and responsibilities, critical tasks can easily fall through the cracks.
Issuing a policy with inaccurate coverage, coverage limits or acceptance/rejection information can present significant Errors & Omissions (E&O) exposure for retail agents and managing general agents (MGAs). Even for mistakes within low value claims, such as a $125 towing bill, agents can expect the underwriting carrier to conduct an investigation and audit that could be uncomfortable and time-consuming for everyone involved. That’s a stressful situation, but it doesn’t end there since the agency will also be dealing with a dissatisfied client who is having a sub-par experience with your business—a worst nightmare scenario.
However, this kind of issue usually surfaces because the claim is not a small matter. The problems don’t arise from that $125 towing bill, but can involve a six or seven-figure liability exposure. While small matters still require time, effort and money to resolve, there will also be an immeasurable cost due to the loss of customer trust and possibly the carrier and a determinate cost in E&O premiums.
But it can get much worse. These costs pale in comparison to the expenses and energy that larger investigations will require as claimants pursue the deepest pockets they can access. According to an attorney who has handled litigation for nationally-branded carriers and third-party administrators, “this type of dispute will always require the involvement of legal representation,” inevitably leading to a long and costly discovery process. Additionally, “a minimum three-hour deposition can be expected, preceded by a full day of in-office preparation with an attorney.”
According to the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, the number one reason for E&O claims is the failure to procure coverage. This is a serious error that’s one of the most common reasons why insurance agents are sued. These mistakes account for nearly 24% of E&O claims.
With a myriad of possible reasons why an agent may fail to obtain coverage, doesn’t it make sense to eliminate the possibility of transcription or communication errors?
Checking over drivers lists, reviewing schedules of insured locations, and poring over a line-by-line comparison of policies might not feel like the most efficient use of a production underwriters time, but it’s a crucial step to ensure accuracy. Businesses that outsource their policy checking activity need experienced analysts that will save them money, avoid costly mistakes and free up their time to focus on other business priorities.
Vantage Agora can take on policy checking services and insurance policy administration services without cutting corners that could result in an expensive, time-consuming headache. In an effort to provide the very best service possible, our team members follow a seven-step checklist to ensure policy checking quality assurance:
- Confirm that the insured name, client number and policy number matches with the current policy and proposal/quote/binder.
- Check that the policy premium and term matches with the policy and proposal.
- Check that the carrier provided matches with policy and the proposal.
- Verify that the premium basis exposure, class codes and coverage limits are matching in the current policy and proposal.
- Verify that forms, loss payee and additional insured information in the current policy and proposal are matching.
- Confirm the current year policy Endorsements Exclusions and Terms & Conditions with the proposal/quote/binder.
- If claims are made, authenticate the effective date and verify the amount of coverage.
The legal system is trending toward requiring higher, stricter standards of care that require agents to advise insureds about additional coverages. Vantage Agora’s dedicated team can be a backstop to help avoid inaccuracies and eliminate gaps while freeing up producers to consistently deliver the highest quality service to improve relationships and increase your sales.
Don’t leave policy checking to chance. Utilizing Vantage Agora’s BPO services and leveraging the company’s experience and industry expertise can give you peace of mind. Learn how to Get More Out of Your Business Process Outsourcing Solution and contact us to get the ball rolling.