What your insurance agency needs to know if you are following up on your customer’s direct bill non-pay notices

There are pros and cons to performing this task and my comments will not touch on whether to do it or not but instead, if you do it or are considering doing it, what are the issues that you need to know.

Under most, if not all states, the agent has no standard duty to follow up with their customers to remind them that they have a payment due. The decision to do so is primarily yours as the agent. Why would your agency do it? Maybe for retention…maybe for customer service and I am sure that there are other reasons.

It is important to understand that once you undertake and assume the duty, the duty is yours until you notify them, typically in writing, that you are going to discontinue the follow up.

I often find many agencies that are performing the follow up…the issue or the problem seems to be that they perform it for some customers, but not for all customers. It is heavily recommended that you should not differentiate between customers…in other words, don’t perform the follow up for some but not for others. This inconsistency in the performance of this task has the potential to impact the resolution of the specific claim.

The burden of proof will be on the agency to show proof that they made the call. Is simply entering a notation in your agency management system sufficient? What if you get an answering machine and leave a message, is that going to be sufficient? These are questions that are tough to answer.

It seems that many agencies use a variety of approaches. Either they will keep calling until they get a live person or if they get an answering machine, they will leave a message but also send some form of written communication to advise the customer. Essentially using two approaches….verbal and written.

No doubt that thus has the potential to be a very time consuming task. Is this the best use of the staff’s time? This is a business decision that only your agency can make.

 

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