COVID-19 and Claims Adjusting: What You Need To Know

The World Health Organization(WHO) classified the outbreak of the novel coronavirus as a pandemic. Emerging as a global threat, governments all over the world have been resorting to certain means to curb the situation. One of the implementations that have helped mitigate the spread of the deadly virus is social distancing. Governments have also banned gatherings of large groups of people across countries. Sporting events, global fixtures, conferences, and meetings of all kinds have been canceled. Travel restrictions are already in place and most international, as well as domestic flights, have been canceled.'

As the fear and spread of coronavirus becomes more inevitable, there is a growing concern in the insurance industry, specifically among the independent adjuster community on how the virus is putting a complete stop to the claims business. Due to the lockdown in place, adjusters are unable to take up assignments that would involve traveling and this is seriously hampering their earning potential. Independent as well as catastrophe adjusters, whose work is purely commission-based need to re-evaluate their strategy when it comes to handling inspection assignments.

Eliminate person-to-person contact:

One of the primary steps to avoid spreading the virus is to minimize personal contact and maintain social distancing as much as possible. One of the primary ways to do this is to focus more on virtualizing the inspection process. Claimants can assist with the inspection by providing images and videos of the damage they have suffered with as much detail and accuracy as they can so that it can be assessed remotely. Implementing cloud technology and remote access for claims adjusting will help adjusters in the current situation.

Enabling proper screening measures at sites:

If adjusters have no other option but to visit a property for inspection, they need to make sure that the residents and people in the surrounding neighborhood are taking proper measures to prevent getting infected. Adjusters should set up a screening measure wherein before traveling to a loss site, they should ask if anyone is displaying cough, fever, or other signs of being infected with the virus. They should also ask claimants to submit their travel history to determine if anyone has been to any of the high-alert states or countries. Proper screening questions regarding health and safety concerns will go a long way to help adjusters stay safe and do their job diligently.

Prioritizing health and safety over claims:

Adjusters are under no obligation to necessarily go for an inspection. If they feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable going to a specific location which showcases a high number of cases or if they see the possibility of contacting the virus in any situation, they should avoid that particular claim for the time being. This careful selective approach will help adjusters in two ways. Firstly, they will be able to build a network amongst themselves with proper communication channels in place. Secondly, it will help minimize a large concentration of claims adjusters in one particular location.

Keeping these steps in mind claims adjusters can work on distributing assignments evenly and making sure that neither they nor their peers are prone to the virus in any way. Having a robust and proper plan will contribute to more efficiency in the overall workload and with time, as the situation dies down, processes can go back to normal.